Searching for patience: My kid sees Africa, I see a missed appointment

I haven't been very patient with my kid lately. "Hurry up"s in the morning and "slow down"s whenever EK can't contain his excitement, flow from my mouth like the might 'Sippa. IMG_6816And, as if I need to one-up myself, I pair my lack of patience with  a dismissive attitude; "Don't just say 'yep', mama. Look! That puddle DOES look like Africa."

And he is right, it totally does.

Slow down, mama.

My Facebook feed is constantly cluttered with opinion posts on "How to be a more mindful parent" or "How to stop your kids from interrupting you in one simple step" and Pinterest crafts we can do until our eyes bleed.

The irony is, if I were a more mindful parent, maybe I wouldn't even notice all these "how-to's" because  I would be too busy building snow castles or whatever supremely "present parents" do.

Right now, EK is sitting so close to me my right arm is numb. We are watching Disney's Alice in Wonderland on VHS and talking about my old job at a video store. Our morning was spent running errands and looking at puddles. We got his hair cut, but not too much because he wants to grow it long. I'm trying to listen, I just don't always hear him.

I don't know if year four is so trying due to the sheer volume of questions flying out of little kids' pieholes, or maybe because these tiny people need to assert their independence while staying close enough to mama to feel safe. Or it could be attributed to their their general affinity for shenanigans and watching mom cry in the car. Whatever the reason, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I forget to just stop.

He isn't asking obvious questions to be annoying, he just want to interact. Well, maybe he does want to annoy me a little...he is my kid afterall.

Slow down, mama.

Two weeks ago we had some time to kill and  EK informed me he knew the location of an amazing lamp shop. Obviously. So for about 15 minutes, he directed me through Chicago traffic. It was a tremendous experience; from his perspective, I imagine he enjoyed having a little control over our day. It has to be so strange to be told what do  24/7.

**My mom just called and EK commented, "I noticed you were much nicer to grandma. I know you are going to keep working on it." KILL ME.

I guess I'll keep referencing Rachel Stafford's "The Day I Stopped Saying 'Hurry Up'" and try to employ her tactics. With that, I'm going to "hurry up", turn this beast off and see if I can get some feeling back in my arm.

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    Annie Swingen

    Chicago-based hyperbole enthusiast. Mom to a kid and sometimes my mom. Overboard (1987) obsessed weirdo. I like the funnies in life.

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