This morning, Shannon could not find a shirt to go with her pants.
“Mommmm! Help me find a shirt that matches!”
“You were supposed to do this last night before bed.” I say, sweetly?
“I didn’t have time. Help meeee!”
“How about this one?”
“No, that one’s ugly.”
“No, it doen’s maaaaatch”
“Please don’t whine. Just find a shirt. You were supposed to do this last night before bed.” Now I’m repeating myself, and not so sweetly.
Ten minutes later, we’re already five minutes late for school. She is downstairs yelling something about not being able to find shoes to match her outfit.
“Mommyyyyy! I can’t find my shoes! Mommyyyy!! Help meeee!”
“Well, where did you put them?”
“I don’t know!”
“If you put them back where they belong they would be there right now. ” (Here she comes, I can feel it… Psycho Mommy) “Wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t they be right there if you put them there? Yes. They would!”
Now I am standing on the stairs by our shoe cubby throwing pairs of shoes onto the landing. “These!? How about these?”
“Noooo, they look ugly.”
“Noooo, they don’t fit”
“This is why you’re supposed to get ready before bed. So I don’t have to go through this crap in the morning.” She looks at me as the word “crap” comes out of my mouth. She knows what’s coming next. This has happened before. I am repeating myself.
“Did you look under the couch? Maybe they’re under the couch.” I say as I lift the couch with superhuman strength and toss it to the middle of the living room. “Oh. My. God. Look at all that crap under the couch! What the hell?? A water bottle. Pretzels. And no friggin’ shoes.” Yes, I said friggin’. “Where are your shoes? Where did you put them?”
This right here, this is the moment when I should step outside of myself and realize that I have completely lost my yoga.
If I were in a room with a good friend, watching her behave the way I am behaving right now, what would I tell her? I would probably say “Dude, chill out. Take a deep breath. It’s just a missing pair of shoes. It’s just a few minutes late for school.”
That is precisely what I should do. In moments like these I have to get back to myself, and back to my yoga. The way to get back to myself is to step outside of myself, and watch me from the other side of the room.
I have to say: Dude, you are freaking out for no reason. Chill out, just breathe. Follow your own advice. Your Own Good Advice. You know the right way to behave, the right mind to be in. You can come back to yourself, if you step outside for a minute and observe. Just like a yoga pose, if you lose it for a while, you can always come back to it. Use your breath.
That’s what I should have done. I should have taken a deep breath and a step back. But I didn’t. I continued to toss shoes and furniture around the house mumbling expletives until Shannon walked into the room wearing a pair of sneakers and a scowl.
It wasn’t the most pleasant walk to school, but halfway there I came back to my right mindedness, and apologized for my behavior. I hope that I don’t do it again. I can help her to prepare better for her mornings, but there will be days when things like this happen. Many days. I just hope I can take my own advice every time, and chill, and breathe.