When I was a little girl, my mom would say to her four kids, “Do it now before I run out of patience!” I would imagine a little patience thermometer, with the red line going down lower and lower as Mom’s patience ran out.
Last night as I was rocking Emmy, I heard the dryer beep.
“Get us, get us OUT!” my pants cried, “Or we’ll WRINKLE!”
Emmy was wriggling and jiggling as I held her, just like the spider that the old lady swallowed. She has to wiggle around before she goes to sleep; she can’t just rest against my shoulder and relax. Ed and I call it her “tired dance.”
My patience thermometer was very low.
I heard the ice maker drop the ice into the ice bin. I remembered the dirty pots and pans from dinner that I still needed to wash. Was this kid ever going to be ready for bed?
Emmy was finally ready to go in her crib, and she closed her eyes as I kissed her goodnight. Now on to the chores I needed to do. I brought my load of laundry upstairs to shake out those pesky pants. Lily was still not asleep. As I peeked in her room, I saw that her eyes were wide open.
“Mommy, it seems too early to be my bedtime,” she told me.
Darn that daylight savings time!
I lay down with her for a few minutes. While Emmy wiggles and jiggles, Lily twists my hair when I’m close to help soothe herself to sleep. “Be gentle!” I had to admonish her.
I wanted to go downstairs and have a glass of wine. Better wash those pans first, though, or they’d never get clean. Lily took her fingers out of my hair and started to whisper. Her hands moved in the air as she did a finger play.
Here is the church,
Here is the steeple;
Open the doors
And see all the people.
I finally stood up. I didn’t have the patience to lie there any longer. The red line had reached zero. I kissed Lily and told her I’d check on her after the pans were washed. (Confession: I checked Twitter first. Lily got out of bed and I put her back in bed. Then I washed the pans.)
By the time my pans were clean and dry, Lily was almost asleep. As impatient as I am with them sometimes, both my daughters very good at going to bed, and are asleep by 8:00. It was time for me to recharge and get my patience built up again for the following day.