My patience has an expiration date…

Sort of like milk that you forgot about in the fridge. Last time you opened it it was wonderful and the perfect accompaniment to your Oreo cookies (or yoreos as my daughter calls them) and the next time you open the carton the contents are more like butter than milk.

My patience turns like that except more suddenly. The speed at which patience disappears is inversely related to the amount of fun we had in a given day. The more fun we have the faster I turn sour.

If we have a mediocre day just sitting around I can last all night in fine spirits. However, if we plan something extra special like a playdate or God forbid two in one day or we spend the day outside or we go to a farm or do lots of baking or crafts, by 6pm I turn into a she-devil. And it’s not because the kids were bad or annoying or whiny. Typically these are the best days spent laughing and cuddling and kissing – the days memories are made of.

It’s like I have a fun timer and when the clock runs out I am no longer fit for human company. Thankfully my husband usually arrives home at just that time to relieve me of my human duties. I would like to say that I need a break from the kids but what I really need is complete silence.

As an example, I took my son to work today. He was well behaved on the train, in my office, on the subway etc. He was adorable when he saw a pigeon or a bridge or a boat. In between my work tasks we talked about what creatures the clouds looked like. All in all a great day! Yet the switch happened just the same. I even lasted through dinner today. My dinnertime Facebook status referenced having a great day with my son. And then it changed and all I wanted was quiet. I am now sitting in my daughter’s room waiting for her to fall asleep, a common practice since she first spotted the witch in her room. I am looking at her big cheeks and her chubby little hands thinking that she really is beautiful and praying that she doesn’t speak anymore for the rest of the night.

My husband is downstairs anxiously awaiting the return of the she-devil.

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