The mama monster reared her head last night.
You know the one. She creeps up despite your best judgment. She surprises you with her ferocity. She roars. Sometimes you exit your body and watch her and think, Wow… who the heck is that?
One of my friends said something about motherhood that always makes me smile: Until I had kids, I didn’t know I had so much yelling in me. Amen, sister.
So back to last night.
I heard a funny sound coming from the kitchen – something like rain, but more like pebbles falling, like hail. I went in to find Nico had poured an entire can of coffee beans on the ground.
At first I was calm. Oops! Let’s get those beans back in the can… “ but then he started thrashing around, sweeping his little starfish hands as fast as he could to and fro, trying to disseminate the beans as quickly as possible before I shut him down.
The beans flew everywhere – careening through the air, across the kitchen floor, under the stove.
He then proceeded to stomp around and crush them with his chunky, little padded feet.
That’s when the mama monster reared her head. “Stop it Nico!” I shouted. “If you’re not going to help, get out of here!” and I furiously tried to shove the beans back into the can, trying not to include old pieces of macaroni and dust bunnies in each handful.
I roared. But really, I wanted to cry.
It wasn’t a big deal in the end. Some went back in the can. Some got thrown in the garbage. Some are still hiding in the crevices of our home, under the oven. We will find them again one day when we move out.
But in those moments, when the mama monster comes out, it’s never really about the beans. It’s always about the exhaustion and the bills. The overwhelm and the worry. The filthy house and having to make dinner again. (Seriously? Dinner again?)
The trying to get it right and always falling short.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with Ben when he was a toddler:
Ben: (whining and dragging his feet behind me as we walk home from school) I’m roaring and crying.
Me: You’re what?
Ben: Roaring and crying.
Me: I know just how you feel. I roar and cry all the time.
Ben: I’m sad.
Me: What are you sad about?
Ben: I don’t know.
Me: Why don’t you just roar and cry then?