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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Losing It" or "Do You Love Me Enough to Drive Me in the Morning?"

Today, for the second time since I started the new chemo regimen, I was scheduled to receive both Herceptin and Taxol and the bone drugs. The last two weeks, I only got Taxol, and I finished really late both times. I did not want to come twice to the hospital, like I did the first time I got both treatments (and I did not need to get the bone drugs then).

So I told everyone (my doctor, the nurses, the research staff) how important it was for me to get both treatments today, so that I would not have to come in a second day during Chanukah. My kids are home from school and I want the time with them!

Everyone helped. I can't begin to list all the people who went above and beyond the "call of duty" to make it work.

I arrived at 8:40 (early for me), and I finished chemo around 4:40. Most of the staff left by 3:00 (it is Chanukah, after all). Even the nurse who was on duty until the end was patient and pleasant.

I got home after 5:00 and I was exhausted! (Also still a little woozy from the antihistamine) I wanted to eat a bit, light candles and go to sleep. Ha!

My eldest daughter wanted my help; so I dropped everything to help her. What I thought would take just a few minutes of problem solving, revealed a much greater problem (which she had created during a "teenage moment" yesterday). Though I was still upset with her about that particular "teenage moment," I tried to help solve the current crises. However, in the middle, as I was asking for her help to solve her problem, she had another "teenage moment." I had already solved the major problem and was now working on the original, relatively minor, problem (she really wanted a ride in the morning, at 7:00).

At first, I handled myself well. I stopped what I was doing and calmly told her that she behaved inappropriately to me and I would no longer be helping her to solve this particular problem (it's not like there was no way for her to get where she needed to go; she could take a bus).

Had I stopped there, she would have been upset, but I would have done the right thing.

Unfortunately, my kids know how to "suck me in!" Within seconds, I was dealing with a whiny and demanding child.

That is when I lost it.

Boy, did I yell at her! All my frustrations about yesterday's incident, combined with today's incident, combined with the fact that I was exhausted and still taking care of her even when she deserved to learn her lesson the hard way, and I was just fed up with her attitude!

My friend, who was in the other room, heard me shouting and high tailed it out of there! Oops.
Well, now she knows I'm human, and yell at my kids sometimes. (I know it might be hard to believe, especially for all you perfect parents out there, but I can be pretty scary when I am a raging lunatic mom)

I tried to regain my composure and talk reasonably with my daughter, but everything that came out of her mouth just agitated me further! Finally, Moshe came out and sent her to her room.

Later, much later, he went in to talk with her.

Then she came out to talk with me.

We were both much calmer and had a really productive conversation. Every time my daughter slipped into "teenage mode," I miraculously managed to maintain my poise and refocus her attention on the main issues at hand.

When we finished, she went off to do the things she had to do. I promised her that when she was done, we could spend a few moments together.

When she came back, she was affectionate, but still a little irritating. Eventually, I got her to smile and even to laugh.

"Why won't you drive me in the morning?" She asked, for the umpteenth time, looking up at me with her puppy eyes.

"Because I do not love you enough," I answered, exasperated.

"Can you love me more," she implored.

"I already do," I answered, kissing her on her forehead.

Y: "A hundred times?"

Me: "A million times"

Y: "A googol?"

Me: "A googol of googols."

Y: "Enough to take me in the morning?"

Me: "No."

Y: "Can you love me more?"

Me: "Yes."

Y: "A lot more?"

Me: "To the moon and back!"

Y: "Enough to take me in the morning?"

Me: "No."


Suddenly Moshe's voice interrupted us: "Doesn't she have to get up in the morning?"

I looked at Y with "that look" that said "you are getting me in trouble with your Abba again!" Then I mouthed to her "get into bed" and called back to him: "she's already in bed."

"No I'm not" she called back, laughing, as she ran to her room.

Then she stopped, turned to me and asked “Will you sing to me?”

I was so tired. But, how could I say "no?" We had had two very bad fights in as many days, and now she was asking me to sing to her, something I have not done for a very long time.

I got up and accompanied her to her room. Then she crawled under the covers and stuck her hand out, for me to hold.

As I sang to her, she closed her eyes and smiled that peaceful, beautiful smiling of sleeping children.

When I finished, we hugged each other.

"I love you," she said quietly.

"I love you so much," I whispered back.

Then, just before I walked out the door, I paused. "No," I answered the unasked question one final time.

"What...?" she started to ask.... then.... "Oh....."

She giggled.

"I love you, mommy."

"I love you too sweetheart."





Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,
RivkA

4 comments:

muse said...

How beautiful. you're amazing
Refuah Shleimah

Baila said...

It sounds like you handled yourself very well. Sometimes we need to "lose it", because otherwise we'd totally explode, and in some weird way it gets them to understand.

Rest up!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Truth is, I did not feel so amazing when I lost it....

I do not think my explosion led to understanding. Though I hope that our conversation afterward will.

I am glad that we were able to have a real conversation about some of the issues that came up. We really processed things.

Now, my daughter has to think things through....

Engineering Goddess said...

Rikva - ahhh teenage daughters - I have one that entered this phase by age this year (she was already there when she was 10). Sounds like similar conversations that my daughter and I have too. We yell one moment and then tell each other how deeply we love each other the next.