Today at lunch I was exhausted. Getting the second meal of the day for the three of us, all eating completely different foods. Bella had pizza and raisins, I had leftover fish stew and was mincing steak and potatoes and raisins and broccoli for Sophia.
And Bella was chattering away, wanting to play some kind of word game, where she says something and I must respond and she repeats and I must repeat. Ad nauseam. Literally. I was fighting not to be ill, knowing it was mostly the exhaustion. Counting down the minutes until nap time. And no patience at all for Bella’s games and need for affection which she expresses by circling my chair or Sophie’s and butting against me and wanting to sit and squirm in my lap. So I was answering her shortly or ignoring her overtures.
I even put my head down on the table and closed my eyes in between shoveling food at Sophie, who can put away more food than Bella at a sitting. Really.
And Bella noticed and said, “Mama’s tired.” And then continued to try to get me to respond to her game. And I almost snapped at her. And then she started on a new game, “Holy Mary and Baby Jesus, Mama.” I’m supposed to respond to her prompting, repeating it after her.
Sigh. “Yes, Bella, Holy Mary and Baby Jesus.”
“Holy Mary and Baby Jesus, Mama.” I guess she was looking at the icon on the wall behind me.
“Yes, Bella, Holy Mary and Baby Jesus.”
Yes, Holy Mary and Baby Jesus wouldn’t want me to snap at my poor little girls who were only being little girls, hungry and tired and needing affection and attention. It didn’t eliminate my exhaustion or my frustration, but it did make me pause. Indeed, I’ve been trying to turn more to Our Lady and ask her for help during my trials. And this is my trial. Not a huge mountain to climb, but responding pleasantly and with affection to my annoying child. Who once again all so innocently reminds me of where I need to turn.