I’ve done everything wrong today.
“Sing in the morning?” Hardly. It’s not even noon yet, and I’ve already yelled, screamed, hissed, snapped, and said things like, “Can’t you please just do ONE THING I ask you to do?” and “Get out of my way!”
My only excuse is that the Little Girl woke up in misery. The minute I picked her up, she started to make the universal sign for “ear infection”—pathetically batting the air next to her head, trying to wave away the pain.
Listening to your own baby crying in pain is agonizing. This is obviously advantageous from an evolutionary standpoint, but my nerves were shot after the first few minutes.
I had an hour and a half of singing, rocking, and walking around the house before the doctor’s office opened at 8:30. Mercifully, the doctor was willing to squeeze us in right away. As predicted, the Little Girl has a double ear infection—poor thing, she’s never had one before.
I couldn’t have handled the situation with less serenity or good manners. I was reasonably polite in the doctor’s office, but I snapped at the pharmacist, at the taxi driver, and at the poor sweet Big Girl who was trying hard to be helpful.
I think my work on the Happiness Project actually made me behave worse. In the past, I wouldn’t have been so conscious of how atrociously I was behaving. Realizing what a bad job I was doing made me feel guilty and inadequate—which in turn made me act even crabbier.
But now the Little Girl is asleep, having had her Tylenol (she threw up the first batch), her prescription is waiting in the fridge, the Big Girl is visiting her grandmother, and I’m promising myself to do better later.
This month, I’ve been reading of lots of memoirs by people dealing with catastrophe–most often, illness. On the Internet, I stumbled across no more mashed potatoes, a blog by a woman who is dealing with chronic illness, in her case from TMJ disorder. A lot of very helpful material there.