Last night on our long trek home to beat the cold front, we were on the front end of a three hour journey when I "thought" I smelled something. There was bad oilfield traffic and no where to stop as the sun slipped away. Indeed I left Sophie in the foulest diaper that's ever been laid this side of the Mississippi.
And then Claire... about 40 minutes from home she woke up screeching. I finally swerved off in a vacant church parking lot and whipped her out in the freezing cold to let her relieve herself and only then realized she had wet her carseat and was freezing and wet.
This wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been preceeded by three accidents that day alone by our normally very potty trained child. At one point there was unmentionable diaper business smeared in crazy places in someone else's home and all on accident. Earlier than that she splattered milk all. over. our. car. She spilled milk before we left and as I cleaned it she kicked me in the head. She spilled a drink once we arrived. She climbed on boxes at the bank. It was in every way frustrating.
I was fed up.
I was tired.
I was frazzled.
I felt like the biggest failure as a mother. Instead of reacting in grace and gentleness I became stern, harsh, angry and shaming as the little one screamed her tired and scared head off in the other room while I just couldn't grasp the logistics of the horrible "Poop-tastrophe" of 2014.
"Why?!" I kept asking her.
Claire just looked at me and kept saying, "I dunno.." and instead of softening me it just made me so frustrated I could barely see straight.
And then she crumbled. and cried. and sobbed. and heaved.
and I seethed.
We hugged. I apologized.
But that long drive home I just burned with shame and regret at every sharp look and disappointed word I laid on her that day.
Today we did little. I gave treats I shouldn't have and let her watch Dora a disgusting amount. We jumped. We played. We tried to do "normal".
And tonight there was that moment where you quit struggling and for a brief moment your wings pick up a draft and you soar.
I put her to bed and in the dark she asked me to pray. As I prayed she prayed along side me, out loud, her own prayer.. something about "church" and "thanking you".
Then she asked me to sing... I sang my usuals and she interrupted me and said, "sunshine... sing sunshine."
So I did.
And just like that, in the warm dark as I stroked her little hair and sang as low and softly as I could, she reached out and stroked my hair and for the first time ever, sang along. Every. single. word.
As if she had always sung it with me and like it was the most normal thing ever.
You are my sunshine,
my only sunshine.
You make me happy, when skies are grey.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you-
Please don't take, my sunshine away.
Mommy needed that.