Sometimes we have those weeks. Grown-up nerves are short. The list of household chores is long. We pick, and yell, and over-correct. The Kid gets tired of it and goes selectively deaf. And the death-spiral-of-yucky-feelings escalates.
This morning, the Kid was holding the door open for me at the coffee shop. Only I didn't have Little Miss out of the car yet, so he was basically just standing there letting in cold air. I don't remember what I yelled, but I know the tone was downright nasty. And I remember the look on his face--not mad, but hurt. He was sincerely trying to help, and I was mad at him for it.
He was over it in seconds--the blessing of being four and easily distracted--but I felt bad all day.
Tonight, we had a do-better. ('Cause you can't really do it over, right?) Sweet Husband put Little Miss to bed, and the Kid and I worked on our respective art projects at the kitchen table. He drew. I sewed. We consulted every few minutes. And, of course, popcorn was popped. It was so much more the mother I want to be.
But why couldn't we have done that last night? More than anything, I wish I could notice when we're in that angry-death-spiral before one of us ends up with hurt feelings. Why is it so hard to see when you're in it?