Lose the Battle, Win the War

Photo: Flickr CC: Krystian Olszanski

There I am. Standing in the budget section of the grocery store. Arms piled high in frozen dinners I’ll be lucky enough to enjoy, let alone cook, the remainder of the week. I’ve missed at least two shifts in two days of my two part time jobs. The few things I can afford to splurge on are fresh fruit and yogurt for Zoey.

And there she is. She’s running down the aisle screaming “No!!! Mine!!!!,” strewing raspberries along her path. A few people look at me, obviously wondering why I’m not disciplining her. A few others wonder why I’m not chasing her and bargaining with her.

All I can do is choose between laughing and crying.

I’m defeated.

It’s been a long couple of days and I’ll need my energy for the dinner-time battle, the bath-time war, and the bed-time hell. I calmly look at her and say, “Dude… Here’s the rest of the berries, just come here.”

She walks towards me knowing damn well she had won. And everyone looks at me like I am the biggest Pushover Mom in the world.

I don’t care.

It all started two days ago. She had a doctor appointment. I left work a half day early to bring her. That appointment took all afternoon.

She was miserable from being poked and prodded, which I understood. She napped VERY late and therefore went to bed late. Which means I went to bed late. Does that mean I slept in in the morning? No.

At 3:55 AM my dog decided to be ridiculously loud and obnoxious. I knew it was either get up and diffuse the dog situation or risk it waking her up. So I got up.

My fiancé, half asleep, said in the sweetest voice, “Want me to get up?” Yes!!! Yes goddammit!! But he fell back asleep. I really wanted to punch him in the face in that instant, but instead I went and made coffee. I wasn’t really mad at him. There was no reason for him to get up. I guess misery just loves company.

So here it was Tuesday. The day she comes to work with me. To my office. With paperwork.

My office resembled mid-afternoon in a daycare center. She still was in a crappy mood and my head hurt. Doctor called. We had to be back there at 2:30. Ugh. Another 45-minute ride with a miserable girl so she can be poked and prodded again.

Another two hours at the pediatrician and her shrill screech was deafening. My brain was mush. I have two jobs I’m falling behind on. I still didn’t know the reason why my kid isn’t feeling well, I hadn’t slept, and realize I hadn’t eaten.

Gotta stop at the grocery store. Gotta make it through this last chore…

So there I was. In the grocery store. Giving in to my temper-tantruming two year old without blinking an eye.

Judge me. I don’t care.

And now here I am. In my bed. My kid is asleep. On time! I managed to save my energy to make bath time fun. Dinner yummy. And bed time a breeze.

I have no regrets.


Amy Powling is 30-year-old mother of a two-year old little girl. Living in southern Vermont, she tries to balance work, parenting and writing in a rural, beautiful location.

Photo: Flickr CC: Krystian Olszanski

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