Whine: It’s a pretty bad feeling when, as you’re prepping for dinner and shooing a busy, fussy toddler out of your way and you suddenly realize that you may have neglected to feed certain busy, fussy toddlers any lunch.
Cheese: Do Costco samples and a churro count as lunch?
For me, the Worst Part of the day has always been the first five minutes. Always. I have a reputation in my family and in former workplaces as being something of a grump before 9am. Three kids and lots of long nights later, I am getting a little more morning resilient. I still snarl and roll over when little someones show up beside my bed before 7am, especially if they happen to be honking the bicycle horn my mother gave them for their birthday (can you tell I still haven’t forgiven her?) But in general, I manage to keep my torrential anger pent up long enough for me to get to the shower where I refuse to exit until I am feeling somewhat civil.
But then I head out to the kitchen and retrieve that shiny silver can with the big red letters. I pop the top and. . . sigh. The Best Part of my day. I have said the words “I love you” to my can of Diet Coke. Out loud. More times than I can count.
I run the gauntlet of my day, dodging snotty noses trying to use my shoulders as a hankie. There are moments flying at me from all directions. The moment when I peel a screaming toddler off my shoulder and send him into the forced labor that is the Ducky Preschool Class. The moment when Big Sis informs me that my oven is a rectangular prism. The moment when I do the math and can’t figure out how $X(income)-$10X(expenses) = any grocery money. The moment when I lose my cool in an ugly way with a tender-hearted six-year-old over a few misplaced toys on the living room floor. The moment when Lil’ Sis gets dressed all by herself and comes out with her shoes on the wrong feet again, toes sticking the wrong way in their Cindy Lou Who socks and sandals. Trashing the kitchen as I make a meal, two-thirds of which I will most likely send right down the garbage disposal after disapproving glares, stuck-out tongues and the customary two-bite peace treaty.
My actual job, I have figured out, besides surviving each and every day, is to sort through all the moments. Acknowledge the Worst Parts by cleaning them up, or facilitating apologies or apologizing myself. And it’s tempting to get stuck and stop there. Or to frantically try and grab all the Best Parts by scrambling for the camera or holding my breath so I don’t accidentally blow them away, hoping that if I hang on hard enough I can make the Worst Parts go away. But what I really want to do is live in All the Parts and then just say thank you.