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Blehs and Baggage

March 23, 2011

You ever have one of them weeks where it’s just bleh?  I wouldn’t say I had a bad spring break, but that there were pockets of distinct blehs. The girls were sick throughout spring break and my youngest’s missed the first two days back to school this week; she feels fine, but she has a rash from the virus that lingers, so she toodled off to to work with me. She’s dressed and ready for school today, but she’s fallen asleep again, lying on the couch, and I’m reluctant to disturb her until there’s absolutely no choice. We may attain meltdown state when I do wake her, but she needs to go to school, and I need to go to work, and she’s not sick, so we’ll face the meltdown if it comes.

It’s funny how things that were issues with your other children can cloud your perceptions. Bobby was a nightmare to wake up; we avoided it at all costs. He’d scream for hours nonstop if awakened and when he could crawl, if you woke him up, he’d scream and crawl to a wall and headbang. It was godawful. Rosie’s never been that bad. We’ll get tears and whining, and it won’t be pleasant, but it won’t be godawful. And truth be told, even though there’s a part of me that still clenches, tightens up in anticipation of a Bobby moment, it’s been more than a decade plus since Bobby’s done that. I’m still wired to react to it, to anticipate it. I’m still conditioned, set to respond to a stimulus I fear, but a stimulus that never comes.

In other words, I’ve got baggage, baggage that accompanies me with each child, even though it’s not related to that child. It’s not just as a parent, though. Each class conditions me, and I carry that baggage into other classes whether it applies or not. Every situation I face that’s similar to one in the past will mean that baggage is there, too, even if it doesn’t apply. And it’s not a conscious thing; none of us consciously choose to bring all that weight, all those issues, all those experiences into each new one. We do it because we’re wired that way, always ready to use what we’ve previously learned, ready to avoid the pitfalls, the perils, and I suppose, the Penelope Pitstops, too. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes it causes bigger messes than if we’d left all that baggage in the past.

So does my internal cringe anticipating Bobby-sized meltdowns coming from my sleeping Rosie ring true, or do my experiences with Rosie? As I’ve written this, worked through some of the bleh I’m feeling, we’ve awakened Rosie, prompted her to go over to the table to eat breakfast, which she did crying and towing her blanket along. She got over there, decided she hadn’t asked for what was there (she eats the same thing each morning), and she’s back on the couch, blanket pulled overhead, asleep again. We’ve still got thirty minutes before we have to walk out the door, so we’ll keep working at her, working at chasing the blehs away, and working at leaving the baggage at the door.

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