When Scooter was born, I learned a lot about myself. One thing that surprised me was the depth of patience I discovered. Even when I was frustrated and overwhelmed, somehow I managed not to take it out on him. I made it through the initial hormone fluctuations, breastfeeding difficulties, picky eating, and years of sleep problems--crying copiously to Trillian, of course, but not losing my cool with my son. I understood that he simply couldn't help it and that getting agitated wouldn't help the situation.
Increasingly that's not the case.
Intellectually I get how hard some things are for him. It's not as simple as tasting a new food or then eating more than a single bite. He truly does not process our requests until the third or so repetition. He must find one particular toy before he can settle in to go to sleep.
He needs me to guide him gently in the right direction, understanding when it's more than he can handle for the moment.
But I find myself becoming short and sharp more often than I would like. And wishing he could just get over it--even though I know it's not that simple.
I worry that my patience is gone forever and that Scooter will remember me as being more tense and curt than fun. I worry that the next child will never know the mother who had bottomless reserves of calm and that I will be frazzled and frustrated from day one. I know that I don't have the ability to step out of the situation and determine the best way to find my center again.
Summer vacation has been particularly difficult. What does it say that I think all of us view the start of the school year as our real vacation?