Last week I was bragging to Paul about how little I've been crying. I chalked it up to superior self-control, but he claimed I was just as emotional. When I requested clarification he kindly replied that I wasn't as weepy, but I was angry. . . a lot. I took umbrage at that insinuation then took some deep breaths. I tried to explain the reason for all of my anger: sickness, hip pain, demanding toddler going through a rather opinionated phase, school work, home stress, etc. But he just smiled and, like the wise man he is, replied with silence. He was right, I suppose. Everything was making me angry.
The general feeling of powerlessness I have in my life is frustrating beyond words, but I've felt that ever since Andrea was born. My ability to cope lately, however, has been rather strained, and perhaps it's the testosterone surging from my uterus. I made a mental note of Paul's critique and have tried very hard this week to be a calmer person.
Today I just lost it though.
After spending the morning working on school work, I came home feeling rather chipper. I wrote a shopping list, Paul and Andrea accompanied me to the store, and we made dinner together after the groceries were put away. While Paul scrambled some eggs, I mixed up some cake batter and greased some pans. Thirty minutes later each layer of warm cake was carefully shimmied onto cooling racks and placed on the counter. Andrea pulled up a stool to watch me bake while she chattered away about how she's a superhero and a big helper. I turned my back for a moment to clear a spot in the fridge for my still steaming layers, and when I turned around to retrieve them, I found that superhero helper violently stabbing gaping holes through one of my delicate cakes.
"My cake! Look what she's done to my cake!" I shouted. Andrea sat there, eyes wide with worry. "That was not a good choice, Andrea!" I scolded, then proceeded to tell her that it upset me, and I needed an apology although that wasn't going to make my cake any less holey. She started to cry, and Daddy took her from the room to allow me time to cool off with those layers of chocolate sponge. I could hear him explaining to her that what she'd done wasn't right but it was okay because mommys and daddys make mistakes too. She can learn and do better next time.
I felt awful and inadequate. How did I let myself, with all my "superior self-control", let myself lose it like that over a cake? (A cake that isn't even for a special occasion!) How did I let a problem to be solved become so much more important than that superhero helper that needed loved? I spent the rest of the evening battling a snappy, frustrated mood and remorseful depression for my actions.
When the cake was finally frosted and there was nothing left to lick, Andrea started singing her bedtime song. We brushed our teeth and sat on the couch to read a book. Andrea fiddled, teased, and snatched the book away so I couldn't read it. I curtly told her to let me read the book or she was going straight to bed. She conceded, but just barely, and I proceeded to read through my guilty tears. When I tucked her in I kissed her forehead and told her I was sorry for yelling at her and being so grumpy. She pulled the binky from her mouth and whispered, "I wuv you."
Walking from her room I wondered if this is why they call it the blues because this baby boy anger hurts so much worse than the tears of my first pink pregnancy.