My lands, that was a rough one. Dentist appointment, doctor’s appointment. Tantrums from teenager and elementary schooler (both of strikingly similar tone and rationale). Gnashing of teeth over math problems, by two children. I drove about five loops around the neighborhood, doing Pikov Andropov (you know, a la Car Talk with Click and Clack).
But it’s not the busy that makes it exhausting. It’s not even the pushback—the stalling, the arguing, the backtalk. It’s that my children seem to spend so much of each day feeling that I am somehow failing them. Not being available enough, responsive enough, permissive enough, generous enough.
For example. Last night I baked rolls, and at one point in the evening, carried a hot, buttered roll on a plate downstairs to Logan in his room. He took the opportunity to chastise me for, as far as I could tell, both 1.) not helping him with things he needs and 2.) hassling him by involving myself in his life. It seemed unjust for him argue both sides. “At least pick one,” I thought.
The “conversation” culminated with his passionate pronouncement, “You really don’t help me with anything at all.” Which stung at that hour of night when I felt pretty depleted from a day’s worth of helping with things.
Only later did I realize that all this had transpired when I was in the act of delivering a hot, buttered roll. An act which I believe is universally and in all epochs and eras recognized as generous and helpful.