gonna be okay

This morning I woke up and prayed that I would have the energy and willpower to clean up my house. Usually that's enough to get me going, but today was different. Today Clark chose to communicate using nothing but a high-pitched squealing sound for two and a half solid hours. I knew he was hungry (he's eaten little since his stomach flu last week) but he just screamed in my face when I offered him even his very favorite foods. I think he was so hungry that nothing sounded good. But he didn't say that. What he actually said was more like, "IDON'TWANTTO ahhhhhhAHHHHHH eeeeEEEEAAATTTT!" He said he didn't want to eat or do anything, and he said it all just like that, shrieked in my face.

Eventually I got tired of trying to make him feel better when he so obviously just needed to eat and said, "Honey you are starving. I am cooking this hot dog and feeding it to you whether you like it or not. I will put the bites in your mouth." He replied with his standard, "I don't want to ahhhhAHHHHeeeEEEEAATTT a hot dog." But then he paused for a moment and said, "I want to eat a cold dog." He took a cold hot dog out of the package and ate the entire thing as fast as he could. I was so glad he was eating something that I didn't even flinch. He began speaking like a normal human as soon as it was gone. We both felt so much better that we sat across from each other at the kitchen table and started smiling and then laughing. We laughed and laughed at ourselves without saying a word.

With my ears still buzzing from the afternoon's eternal whine (not to be confused with eternal wine, which I would have gladly taken during the peak of things) I called my mom and told her what was going on at our house and she offered to take Clark to see the Chipmunks movie with them. Um, yes. Yes you may. I dropped him off at the theater and noticed my tank was almost on empty, so I headed to the gas station with Alice asleep in the backseat.

I got out of the car and stood there in the 10 degree air and got gas without gloves, my fingers numb against the icy metal pump. The gasoline spilled a little and the smell combined with the windchill and the Lady Gaga song the gas station was blaring created this surreal zen moment that was jarringly both unpleasant and beautiful. It was like a very tiny vacation in a way I can't even explain. I soaked up every second it took to put 19.25 gallons of gas in my 20 gallon tank.

I got back in the car and felt a little like I'd been slapped in the face. In a good way.

Now it's 8:30 and I'm about to put Clark in bed because he's tired but I keep putting it off because I know that when he does fall asleep, I'll miss him.

(PS. I had never put more than 18 gallons of gas in my tank before. I am so thankful we didn't run out. This would be a really different post if we had.)

I wrote this post on Thursday but for some reason didn't feel like publishing it. I feel like publishing it now.


  1. Erin, this is your mother. You should probably make sure that it is clear you have little brothers who wanted to take Clark to the movies. When I read this it made me laugh because it sounded like grownups were already going check in on the Chipmunks and Clark would be welcome to join us.

    On another note, I'm pleased that the day took a turn for the better, and as you know, Clark ate 2 gallons of popcorn and drank a quart of Sprite at the movie.

  2. From the above comment, I think your mama might be as funny as you are. :) I mean that in a very good way.

    I'm so glad that Clark made a turnaround. Those days are so hard, but I'm always amazed at how quickly a mother and child can forgive one another and move on to laughter.
    Oh, and Levi has totally been anti eating lately. "I no eat (fill in the blank with any edible or non-edible item that happens to be around)" is an almost maddeningly common expression around here.

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  4. I loved your description of the gas station moment (smelly, gas dripping as it was).
    As moms of little (sometimes screamy) ones, we tend to seek (and find) peace in crazy places. Indeed, it's "gonna be okay".
    p.s. found you through Adventures in Babywearing. Enjoying your blog..

  5. you poor thing! those days are so hard! i was smiling throughout your post, however, and i love the picture your words paint! have a great sunday

  6. i love everything about this post.

  7. Every time I read one of your posts I want to jump through the computer and sit and have a glass of wine with you :)
    I love moments of zen like you described, because it's all we get these days! It's crazy, and hectic, and sometimes we scream because we are too overcome with what we're feeling to talk, but it's all good.

  8. Great post.
    And you definitely dodged a bullet by missing the Chipmunks movie. Dear Lord, that's 90 minutes I'll never get back.

  9. I love all of this.
    And if Clark has a new kind of high pitched whining voice tomorrow, blame Alvin.

  10. I totally get it. Grayson can be getting on my last nerve, testing my patience in every way for every second and I just miss him.

  11. The thought of you and Clark laughing and smiling at each other over the happiness of a raw hot dog- I smiled and laughed too. You're such a good mom Erin. I can't believe your little guy is turning 3!

  12. my two year old is the biggest whiner about everything - it is such a struggle not to rage at him. And then those moments in between whines when he smiles are just the sweetest. And I totally know what you mean about missing them when they are sleeping - although some nights it is such a relief to put them to bed!

  13. I am strangely happy to know that other children make high-pitched squealing noises. You should hear my 3-year-old...a soprano, for sure!


  14. this post is proof that you are such a thoughtful honest writer. i love it. i love how you describe these otherwise ordinary moments that seem to come alive other days so easily. you make blogging a legitimate art form.