Harder than What?

This has been a challenging week: Drake had a virus and was sick everywhere. He didn’t make it to the bathroom and peed all over me and the basement steps. I drank too much coffee and got so wound up I could barely function on my only day to myself this week. Drake and Guppy are constantly fighting and screeching. I tried to take them to story time at the library today, but Drake kept running around yelling. When I took him out of story time, he and Guppy ran in opposite directions in the library while I tried to check out, then a mentally ill woman began yelling and cursing at them.

Sometimes, I have the urge to crawl under a chair and curl up in a ball, like the baby wombat in one of our favorite picture books, Sometimes I Like to Curl up in a Ball. But my virtual penpal M, who writes at Mental Multivitamin, likes to quote this from Sydney J. Harris:

When I hear somebody sigh, “Life is hard,” I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?”

Yes, this week felt hard. But it wasn’t nearly as hard as it might have been if we’d been on the bridge at 6ish p.m. on Wednesday, as we usually are, heading into Minneapolis for new comics at Big Brain.

Life could always be harder, so it isn’t a good use of energy to gripe and dwell. As the teacher notes in yet another of our favorite picture books, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse:

Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better.

2 Responses to “Harder than What?”

  1. Lazy Cow Says:

    I often have Mental Multivitamin’s voice in my head when I start to complain about being a parent! It IS hard to step back and remind yourself that things won’t always be the way they are at a particularly horrible moment.
    I also have to remind myself that soon (1 1/2 years) my son will be at school with my daughter and I will miss them both dreadfully (but will also be doing a happy dance for all that lovely ‘free’ time).
    We all love Lilly too.

  2. girldetective Says:

    I often find I miss the boys dreadfully when I’m gone, but am so easily irritated by them when we’re together. They’re a little like ex-boyfriends–it’s easier to remember the good stuff when the difficult stuff isn’t up in your face.

    I frequently forget how suddenly and fast things can change. We’ve had to rearrange our dining room table since Guppy kept climbing up on it, and could reach the non-kid things I used to pile in its center. A few months ago, Drake would turn on his light after we tucked him into bed, and stay up “reading” till he fell asleep with the light on and a book in his hand. Now he gets up to read, but also turns out his light when he’s done and goes to sleep. I always feel the difficult stages will last forever, but they pass, and I forget to be relieved because new ones pop up, just like whack a mole.