You know what’s frustrating?
Sitting on the couch, watching your two year old reach up to mess with the DVD player and only being able to yell “NO” at her rather than distract her or pick her up and physically move her away from it.
Your child asking you for a drink and your having to call for help for someone else to get her the drink.
Your child telling you she’s hungry and your having to ask someone else to make her the food.
Not being able to take your child to her gymnastics class.
Knowing that this is just how it’s going to be for over a month, maybe two.
While I often worry that I let B do too much with Ellie, and that I take advantage of having a helper by sleeping in too much and such…the truth is that I’m a pretty hands on mom. I change my share of diapers, I cook E’s meals, I discipline her, I play with her, and so on. It is incredibly difficult to pass that over to someone else.
It’s also frustrating to be reduced to a state of child-like dependence myself. I am lucky in that I can manage most things on my own, such as getting to and using the toilet (something I wasn’t able to do without help around the time of my back surgery–which was humiliating), getting dressed (with the help of a stick thing that we bought at the medical supply store), and within the apartment, getting around. However, I can’t easily get to the dvd player (or the giant DVD books), carry my laptop or my phone (unless I have a pocket, which my pajamas-shockingly-lack). If I’m hungry, I can’t just go make myself something–I have to ask (and often walk B through how to cook it, step by step). I can’t go get a drink. I needed help showering today.
Ironically, the experience is helping me understand Elanor better. I had forgotten how frustrating it is to have very little control over your life (and I certainly have far more than she does, even in my temporarily disabled state). I have more perspective, so I don’t melt down when I have to wait for food or my cell phone or whatever, but there is a small pocket of frustration of “if I could JUST do that on my own, I’d have the thing I want now!”
I wouldn’t have wished for this to happen to me, but I’m going to try to use the experience to help me remember my patience in the future…because it’s just plain frustrating to be a kid (or an adult who can’t help themselves).