Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Motherhood and the Energizer Bunny

I've been on vacation. Actually, can you call it a vacation if you take three of your four children with you? Either way, it being summer and all, we're trying to take advantage of fewer commitments so we can travel a little bit. My husband took my oldest son to Canada fishing for nine days, and I took the rest of the troops to Wyoming for a week to visit my family--a much anticipated trip.

Everything started out great. The kids played nonstop with their cousins while I rested, visited, snacked and enjoyed the beautiful fresh Wyoming air (all except the drones of mosquitoes, that is). It was exactly what I needed.

Unfortunately, the best things always come to an end.

Halfway through the week I felt my patience starting to thin. Between the tattling, the whining, the begging for snacks, and so forth, I realized that location means very little when it comes to children. They can drain my reservoirs just as easily at Grandma's house as they do in our own home. When day four came and my three-year-old hit me for the upteenth time, I found myself on the other side of a bedroom door, wiping my brow in exasperation as my little guy threw a fit on the other side--a scenario I've participated in all too many times lately.

My 85-year-old grandfather came out of the next bedroom and must have noticed my reserves waning. I let out a sigh of frustration, to which he responded, "The trick is to outlast them. Then they learn to respond better to you." I laughed at his comment as a picture of the Energizer Bunny immediately appeared in my frazzled head. No one outlasts the Energizer. The familiar commercial jingle repeated itself in my mind as I nodded in agreement.

As the day wore on, and my stamina wore thinner and thinner, I decided my grandfather was exactly right. Motherhood is all about "outlasting"--outlasting fits, poor behavior, groundings, potty training accidents, poor attitudes, and so on. Our goal is to become Energizer Bunnies, so we can outlast all the problems that arise in a day and thus produce happy, wonderful children.

So, on days when my endurance is low, I'm just going to remember that little Energizer Bunny beating his drum as he rolls along outlasting everybody. And maybe then I will be able to outlast my children's determination to be naughty. If only I had batteries to help me!


Cathy Witbeck said...

We have guardian angels instead of batteries.