There is a specific time, most days, that I’m running low. Warning. Red gas light on kind-of-low. I have deemed it “lost my patience o’clock.” It’s before dinner usually. I have said “just stop touching each other” or “no more wrestling”, or “no more punching, somebody’s gonna get hurt” one too many times. We have gone to the park, played in the driveway, run, run, run. At least in my mind. Nope, my body feels it too. Who gave my kids espresso shots when I wasn’t looking? In the ongoing daily battle of “children vs. mother energy depletion,” they are winning. Big time. They have lapped me. I’m losing hope. I need a tag team, someone with a new attitude, some confidence, a fresh face to slip between the ropes and hop into this ring. A fancy outfit might help too. None of my tired old tricks are working. They know they’ve got me in a vulnerable position. The count has started vibrating my face. 1…2…3…Now is the time to ask away and all of your wishes will be granted. Oh, you found a “fun dip,” and you want to eat it right now? Seems reasonable. It will surely not ruin your appetite for the delicious dinner we will be having. Eventually.
Today I made the mistake of going to the grocery store at “Lost My Patience O’Clock.” Worst idea ever. If you ever see me there, just go to the check-out lane farthest away from me. Let’s face it, even the most kind-hearted, non-judgmental person is going to judgey-judge the happenings in and around my grocery cart. One time I saw a social worker from the hospital I work at and I freaked, immediately replaying the grocery store shenanigans up to the point of seeing her. Scared for what she may have witnessed. Mesh shorts and cowboy boot outfits. Dirty faces. Stressed out mom. Occasionally, I look around and notice a person looking at us, the flaming hot mess. Probably thinking “that poor woman.” Some are bold and brave and make the remark, “you have ALL boys?” Deep breath in. And out. And again. “Yep. All boys. Last time I checked.” And Pringles and a bunch of other straight-up crap in that cart too. No nutritional value. We came for milk and we are leaving with empty calories. What I want to say is: “I’ve got to hurry home. Get cleaned up. My husband will be there soon. We have got to try. And try. And try again for “that girl.” Good thing these boys have some healthy snacks now. Then, I get to the car to find that I forgot the milk. THE MILK!
The problem is that I can’t send them to bed without dinner and energy left in their crazy, adrenaline-pumped little bodies. I’m a competitive person. One of my main goals every day is to figure out the best way to convert and deplete their infinite energy supply. Swimming. Climbing. Dodge ball. Don’t get me wrong, they get their fair share of iPad and TV show watching. However, I’ve learned that these “calm” activities result in a crazy breeding ground for energy. It builds. And grows. Multiplies. Builds an army with the motto, “Beat Mom!” That’s it. Everybody outside. Get on your bikes. Or something. Let’s hit the street. My mom used to make us run five laps around the house. Sometimes 10. I’m pretty sure it was at “lost my patience o’clock.” It usually helped change my attitude as a kid. Or maybe it just made me think, “mom means business.” After this run around the house to clear my head, I’m going to do something nice. Help her out. Maybe I can set the table for her. Or maybe I will act less crazy. Hide my energy, or suppress it. Shhhh. Be very quiet. “Mom might be going crazy.”
The first step is admitting I have a problem, right? My name is Amelia and my kids won today. I lost my patience. I lost my mind. I think I transferred all of my energy to them. I’ve got to get it back somehow before they wake up in the morning. There is always hope in tomorrow. Especially when today is almost over. And lost my patience o’clock has come and gone.