Husband has been sick and working from home the last couple of days. He is lucky to have a job that allows him to do this, but it is not easy to work at home when you have a toddler constantly asking you to come play. So, I’ve done my best to keep myself and Luna busy and out of the house. After my work yesterday, I picked up Luna from Mother’s Day Out and took her to the mall. It was raining and freezing outside, so I figured we could have a good time running around the mall and maybe even get a little shopping done. Everything was working out just beautifully….until it wasn’t.
While browsing Nordstrom’s, Luna began asking for water. And, by “asking”, I mean screaming, crying and rolling on the floor yelling “water!”. There just happens to be a little coffee bar right outside of Nordstrom’s. Perfect, Luna can get some water and I can have a coffee. While waiting in line, Luna began whining that she wanted to walk. I put her down and she immediately climbed into a chair and dropped her stuffed Goofy, right next to the chair. Being the logical toddler that she is, instead of getting off the chair and picking up Goofy, she started wailing.
The wailing began just as I was ordering our drinks. I tried telling her to get down and pick Goofy up, but she had other plans. Luna, decided to not only continue screaming, but to lie on her belly and reach over the side of the chair to try and reach Goofy. With every passing second, the screaming got louder. Then, just as I was taking my change from the barista, Luna slipped out of the chair and landed on her head. That’s when all hell broke loose.
Knowing what was coming I rushed to her to try and quiet the oncoming screams. Hell hath no fury, like an already fussy toddler that falls down. Not only was she inconsolable, she was pissed. She refused the water, the hugs, the calming words, her Goofy, snacks…everything. She was thrashing and screaming as if I was pulling her teeth out. I tried desperately to hold both drinks, my diaper bag, the stroller, my shopping bags and my feral toddler and get out of the tiny coffee shop as quick as possible. EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. within 100 feet of us had stopped what they were doing to watch, and mostly likely call CPS. At one point an older woman even came over and offered to push my stroller out. She could clearly see the sweat beads forming on my brow as the wild toddler kicked and flailed frantically in my arms.
After what felt like hours, we made it to a table outside of the shop and sat down. Luna calmed down quickly as she sat on my lap and decided to drink her water. At this point I was not only embarrassed, but angry. As I whispered in her ear how very lucky she is that we aren’t at home and took a giant swig of my latte, Luna did the most unexpected thing.
She put her hands together and said as clear as day, “Love is patient. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is kind.” She repeated this phrase over and over along with some added babble. I just stared at her wondering, a) when did she learn this little prayer? and b) how did she know I needed this subtle reminder? Also, why couldn’t she sit quietly and pray like a little cherub in the middle of the very crowded coffee shop?!? Mostly, I stared at her in awe and tried to figure out the rest of her little prayer.
Eventually, I emailed her teacher to get the rest of the words… (said to the tune of Where is thumbkin“)
Love is patient, love is patient
Love is kind, love is kind
Always understating, always understanding
Time after time, time after time.
I sat with her, mulling over her prayer, and realized just how much parenting has taught me about true unconditional love. Sure, I may lose my patience with Luna more than I care to admit and I’m probably not always as kind as I could/should be, but I’m learning. That’s the funny thing about parenting. As parents, we spend so much of our time teaching and helping our kids learn, meanwhile, we are still growing and learning ourselves. While I do my best to teach her about life, rules, friendship, manners and going pee pee in the potty, she is in return, helping me be a more responsible, loving, understanding, patient and forgiving. It’s a beautiful relationship.
This is a memory I’m going to keep safe, right in my back pocket. I have a feeling I will need to pull out this little prayer many times of the next 16 years or so….and then some.