So I've heard, "Don't sweat the small stuff." And, yet, it's the small moments that push me over the edge. For example, it's my last day at the fair. Anika was supposed to work in the 4H booth for an hour. Then we would pick up Pumpkin and clean his cage.
Expect her shift doesn't have to end for another two hours, and she loves serving drinks. So I take Ian around to see the chickens, stand in line to buy him french fires with we eat over by the dance area so he's entertained. Then we go all the way down Treat Street, past the KNCO Radio booth, around the entire midway (we cannot cut through because the crazy power wires over the grass are impossible to get the stroller over- how do wheelchairs get around?). Over to the Kid Zone with playdough which he loves.
Still, we need to check on Anika every forty minutes, so I hike back to, "I'm fine, Mom. No, I don't want to leave yet."
And it's good for her, volunteering. And she's having so much fun! How can I pull her away because I'm tired?
So back to playdough. And when I walk back to pick her up after she finishes her shift, she wants to do playdough, too. There's nothing at home anyway. So back we go. And now Ian doesn't want to leave. So we're there until 7pm when they close.
All this . . . tests but doesn't break me. I'm fine. Mostly.
Then, hike back to the car to get the bunny cage. And the cage is awkward. I try to carry it with Anika but it's easier to carry on my own. Sort of. We leave the stroller in the car so we walk slow for Ian. We move Pumpkin to a neighboring cage and I pull out the tray full of shavings. Walk that around the barn to the dumpster. Then I need to rinse it out. I ask the Barn Supervisor. She points me toward a hose up the hill.
The hose is dry. Turned off. It snakes behind the bathrooms and up another slight hill to the spigot.
Ian is with me so wherever I go, he goes.
And here, this moment, is where I almost lose it. I roar inside. Because the hill has rough steps where everyone else in the world can scamble up the grade to turn on the water. I put one foot on the slope and know, it won't be me. I'll fall for sure. So I need to walk all of the way around the bathroom to turn the thing on. More walking.
Oh, and I forgot that I had to explain a few times why I couldn't help in the 4H booth with Anika. "I can't stand for very long." And everyone understood, but they still glance at my feet. Really? I guess they're thinking. Really?
There I am with the toddler and the dry hose and the ten feet of dirt. And that small moment crashes into me until I could cry. Right there. All of my planning. All of my hopes to pace myself and take care of myself and be good. All of my limitations right there.
The Barn Supervisor walks by and I ask for help. Please. She scrambles up the little slope, no problem. She is nice. But I could tell that she wonders.
I am beyond caring at this point. Spent. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spent.
I clean out the bunny cage. Then we hike back to the car.
My next step is to plan for next time. Because I have a rediculous idea that I can plan my way out of these situations :). Out-think the challenges. Yeah, right.
Still, next year I need a wagon :)
PS- Thank you to those people who are generous and kind and helpful. You make all of the difference in the world.