The motto of the U.S. Peace Corps is "The toughest job you'll ever love," and until I become a mother I thought they were right. They are wrong. Being a mother (or father) is the toughest job and I love it. I don't always like it, but I always love the Bumper. Yesterday was one of those days when I did not like being a mom very much and it was one of those days that nothing could have prepared me for.
On Tuesday the Bumper and I spend a fabulous day together. In the morning she colored with her crayons, and played with her play-dough while I did the house work. In the afternoon we went to the local zoo and park, where she spent a good twenty minutes watching the squirrels find and bury acorns before heading to the swings, slide and sand box. She even left with out a fuss. I was thrilled, I was ecstatic, I was duped.
A view of the river that runs through the zoo
I should have known it was too good to last. My first clue ought to have been when her teacher at nursery school gave her a sticker for being a good listener. I felt so tickled I decided to take her to the school's playground. I reminded her to "listen to mommy" and off we went. All went well until it was time to go home. Then my cherubic toddler threw her biggest tantrum to date. She flung herself down to the ground, howled, cried, screamed, threw sand and refused to move. I tried being firm, I really did. I told her in a no nonsense tone that the tantrum would not get her what she wanted so she might as well get up off the ground and come with me. She didn't budge. In the end I had to drag her out, while twenty or so other parents watched. It was not pretty. The Bumper did that whole go completely limp while still squirming thing that little kids are so very good at and I literally dragged her to the car where she refused to get in. I had to explain to her the only way she could go home and talk to Daddy on the computer was to actually sit down in her car seat. She finally did and a few minutes later while happily munching her afternoon snack the Bumper announces "I'm sorry I cried Mom, I just wanted to stay and play. I'm sorry. I love you Mom"
Sigh. I am putty. "I love you too Bumper."
Parenthood is not for the weak.