I have a short temper. I’m working on it but I’m pretty sure rapid patience degeneration is genetic.
What’s worse is I constantly put myself in situations that will make me angry.
For example: We need groceries. I wait until it’s just about Riley’s nap time to leave the house. Why did I do that? It’s almost like I subconsciously like the challenge. My patience level started this morning at about a 10. (that’s the max: most patient, loving mom ever)
We walk into the store and instantly Logan has to pee. I hate using public bathrooms. I hate using them even more when I have two little ones with me. My patience has already dropped to about a 9.5 after a disagreement with Logan about which cart to use. Logan reluctantly enters the women’s restroom. (He’s “not a girl” and feels a little emasculated entering the girls restroom, but what’s a mom to do?) It’s taking a little long so I peak in. The sink is filled to the brim with soapy water and Logan’s shirt and hair are sopping wet. “LOGAN! Shut that off! Get out here!” Logan cries quietly because he “didn’t get to dry his hands and was now cold.”
Patience level: 8
I struggle to open Riley’s puffs to pacify him. (I’m hopeful food will work for the next hour). Some employee waits behind me impatiently because he needs to dump the trash and my newly clipped fingernails were no help to rip off the seal from the puffs container. The air was getting heavier, what with all the sighing behind me. “Can’t you see I’m struggling here!?” is what I think. I just say “sorry” and continue on. It must’ve been restocking time because I’ve never felt more in the way at the store. Oh, excuse me. excuse me. Sorry my spending money here is an inconvenience for you.
Patience level: 6
I take a deep breath. At least my kids are being good, I tell myself in an effort to tame the anger sharks swimming in my head.
I grab some chicken. Slimed! Chicken juice on the bottom of the container. I frantically search for a Purel wet wipe. Didn’t they used to have these everywhere!? I ask 3 employees and am taken from Produce to Deli back to the Meat department holding my hands like a doctor who just “scrubbed in”. I wipe my hands thoroughly and Logan’s (for good measure).
Patience level: 5
My phone beeps. A twitter notification. “I rule. You suck because you haven’t blogged all weekend, ya loser” (I may have paraphrased a little) from a fellow blogger. I type several replies (all of them including 4-letter words) and decide to forget it and finish this shopping trip, because Logan is now asking an old lady to bag his celery.
Patience level: 3
I finally make my way to the cashier. Riley is crying and Logan wants a “treat.” The cashier makes some joke that I ignored and hand her my recyclable bags. Even in angry haste, I put all the groceries in my strategic order on the conveyor belt. The bagging should be fool proof.
I ask the chick if she can scan the chicken for fear I’d get slimed again. She says, “Why don’t you hand them to me and then I can spray your hands?” That sounds awesome. I mean, I only have a crying baby and a nagging 4-year-old in my cart. And if that lady behind me doesn’t stop giving me the stink face, I’m gonna throat punch her.
The sacker-boy finishes up and asks, “Do you need help out with this?” It must’ve been a rhetorical question because when I said yes, he and the cashier shared a look and then he rolled his eyes. Yes. Rolled his eyes and grabbed my cart.
My patience level is no longer a number. It’s simply symbols and grunts.
I let Mr. Eye-roller put all the groceries in my car. I don’t care to help him. I’m a snob now. He rides the cart away without closing the hatch.
I get out. Close all the doors. The next few steps back around to the driver’s side are the slowest of the day. I’m breathing and I’m walking. No crying. No nagging. It was like a Tahitian vacation. I’m not sure how long those steps took but they were glorious.
I now have something to blog about when I get home.