Be Careful What You Wish For

Brace yourselves, as I am sure this personal revelation will come as a shock: I lack patience. It’s true. I yell at the microwave to hurry up, and I’m one of those drivers who will cuss you six ways from Sunday if you haven’t actually anticpated when the traffic light will turn green and responded accordingly (I don’t honk, though, my momma did teach me SOME manners). I’m short-tempered, short-fused, and short on forebearance.
In my past moments of introspection, I have often wished to have more patience and the ability to calm down and appreciate the days as they come. Well, I am an idiot. I have been granted that wish, only to discover that I must have wished upon the Monkey’s Paw, because the fulfillment of this wish is going to kill me.
My toddler has apparently been divinely (or otherwise) appointed to teach me patience. How? With conversations like this one, occurring during our 30 minute commute:


Truck in front of us throws big rock at windshield. I see large black object hurtling toward us and give a loud, startled yelp as it connects sharply with the glass in front of my face.
The Boy: What happened?

Me
: That truck threw a rock at the windshield. It made a loud noise and startled mommy.
The Boy: Oh. (pause) What happened?
Me: Sometimes big rocks can hit the windshield and make loud noises. It can be kind of startling.
The Boy: Mommy, what happened?
Me: (trying to pass offending truck, annoyed that rock has hit windshield of car that we’ve only made one payment on, and still full of adrenaline from the sudden impact and noise) That big dumb truck threw a big dumb rock at us. It made a loud noise.

The Boy:
What happned?
Me: (beginning to wonder if boy has hearing problem) That. Big. Truck. Hit. Us. With. A. Rock. I. Don’t. Like. That. Truck.
Repeat seventeen variations of this, at approximately two per minute, until exit ramp is in sight.
The Boy: What happened, Mommy?
Me: (At this point, we’re almost home, my nerves are frayed, the traffic sucks, and I’m having those mom flashes, you know, the ones that say “Maybe he’s learning disabled or has some sort of cognitive disability.”) Sweetie, it was a rock, remember? It hit the windshield and the big noise scared me for a minute. Okay?
The Boy: Oh, Otay.
I breathe sigh of relief, until
The Boy: What happened?
Me: Rock. Car. Hit. Noise. Eeek!
The Boy: Mommy, wha-
Me: Look! Look! There’s the driveway! There’s Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Come get your son out of the car, daddy!
Ignore hublet’s puzzled looks as I slam car into park, kill ignition, grab purse, coffee mug, boy’s backpack and stuffed animals and bolt into the house.
Then I take a two mile run. Small steps, right? Small steps.

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4 comments

  1. Alan Kellogg

    At that age the memory aint that hot. They can forget things you just told ’em. Makes the anti child snatching advice they give you pretty much useless.
    The next time something like that happens, pull over, turn off the engine, set the brake, then look at the puppy and tell him, “A loud bang. Wanna go see Daddy?” That should get his mind off the incident.

  2. Alan Kellogg

    Joe, your mother keeping you sedated until the age of 25 is not accepted child rearing practice.
    Mother: Doctor, little Timmy dashes off hither and yon. He has no attention span, doesn’t listen to me, he’s demanding, and just can’t sit still.
    Doctor: How old is the boy?
    Mother: He’s two.
    Doctor: He’s normal.