Raising children is a never-ending, soul-sucking plague on your capacity to remain patient. Babies test you by screaming whenever they please, and by refusing to eat or poop, and then suddenly needing to eat or poop or both when you’re trying to go to the bathroom, or board an international flight. One year olds test you by trying to kill themselves in the most ridiculous and creative ways possible All. Day. Long. Two year olds play the Contradiction Game (eg: “Gingerbean, would you like a cookie?” “NOOOO I ‘ate cookies.” “Ok then.” [two seconds later] “BUT I WOULD YIKE COOKIE PEEEEEESE”) and three year olds play the same game, but with the skill of a professional athlete. Four year olds remember everything, every promise (especially the broken ones), every forgotten dessert, every perceived infraction, every word, everything. And five year olds take all of this nonsense, and they add bad lying to the mix.
It’s such a beautiful time.
Needless to say, with all of this madness serving as the backdrop to one’s day, it’s hard not to question your skills as a parent. Maybe I made my kid into a total psychopath who can, in one breath, tell me that she “yoves” princesses but HATES ALL OF THE PRINCESSES. Did I eat something during my pregnancy that has resulted in a child who only seems to remember the times when I promised a popsicle forgetting I hadn’t made new ones (ONCE, THIS HAPPENED ONE TIME), but who can’t remember to put on his underwear? And perhaps it’s my fault that our two year old still can’t sleep through the night and wakes us up with a cheery “MMMMMMMUUUUUMMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY I NEEEEEEEEEEEED YOU RIGH’ NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW” every night at 2am. Maybe it’s me.
But then there are days like today. Oh don’t get me wrong – today was still a mess. Gingerbean had so many meltdowns this morning that Budsie turned to me and said “I think Gingerbean might be crazy, Mummy.” You see, we’ve entered a glorious new phase in our life entitled “No One Naps Anymore” and I, for one, think it’s the absolute worst. But I digress. Today, I got to witness my son doing something spectacular and heart warming. And, since I’ve had few of these moments over the course of this summer “vacation”, I’m going to go ahead and brag about it:
We had to pick up A. from the train today, and we arrived at the station a bit early (I have NO IDEA HOW THIS HAPPENED). I parked on the side of the road near the bus stop, and noticed a girl, about 20, talking on the phone and crying. Really, really crying. Budsie noticed her too.
Budsie: “Mummy, what’s wrong with that girl?”
Me: “I’m not sure, Budsie.”
Budsie: “Why would she be crying?”
Me: “Oh there are a few reasons, I guess.”
Budsie: “Can you give me some examples?”
Me: “Well, likely she’s been dumped. Or lost her job. Possibly someone close to her has died.”
Budsie: “Can we help her? I want to help her. We could go to her and ask her what’s wrong and we could help her.”
At this point, A. arrives. Budsie is quite adamant that we will be helping this woman, and just as A. gets in the car, she gets off her phone.
Budsie: “Look, Mummy! She’s off of the phone! We can talk to her now! I want to help her.”
So A. got out of the car, walked Budsie over to this girl, and Budsie told her that he saw her crying and hoped she would feel better soon. A. offered to give her a lift if she needed it. Turns out she had been dumped (called it). And I sat in the car, listening to Evelyn scream about wanting to drop Purple Bunny but wanting to also hold Purple Bunny, and I cried. Because my little boy wants to help people. Total strangers even. And A. and I made that. We made the crazy too, but we made that.