I have a really bad habit of setting myself up for disappointment. I am sure that I am not the only mother who does this and I really need to work on it. I decide that there is something that will be wonderful and I build it up in my mind beyond reason and then when it flops, I am so disappointed. I really set myself up for failure.
This week was a prime example. Most people would probably say that taking your almost-three year old down into the city along with your husband and your almost three-week-old baby on the hottest day of the year to see something that you KNOW will be crowded and probably too busy to enjoy isn't the best idea. Not me, though - Pk's favourite t.v. shows were being featured at an open house at CBC in the city and I thought that it would be a wonderful thing for her to do. Like most second time around mothers, I think, I have been battling a lot of guilt at not being able to do the things that I feel like I should do with my eldest and I really wanted to give her a special outing. We talked about it for days in advance and she was really excited about being able to go to "Mamma Yamma's house". Afterwards, we planned to swing by my parents' house so that mom and my brother could meet Baby Bean (that's become his nickname, I am not sure why). I even drove right into downtown, something that I loathe doing.
Of course, the day did not live up to its expectations. The crowds were HUGE, it was horribly hot and honestly, there wasn't much to see. We got in, ditched the stroller, got Baby Bean into his Sleepywrap (that's another post, it is wonderful!) and started to tour. There were several people dressed in large costumes of the most popular characters and when we took Pk up to one to have her photo taken, she attached herself like a barnacle to my leg and would have nothing to do with him. To see the performances they were doing, she had to be up on Dh's shoulders since the crowd was so large and she really wasn't very interested. By the time we left, after only about 45 minutes, she was being a royal pill, not wanting to hold our hands, trying to run around in the crowd and generally being belligerent, the way that she goes when she is feeling "off". To cap it all off, after we got home, after dinner, I asked her whether she wanted to watch her show (we PVR it for her daily) and she had a complete and utter meltdown. It eventually become obvious that not only did she not want to have her photo taken with the character but he had scared her so much that she was afraid to watch the show. Strike one, mummy!
This pattern of blowing things up in my mind and then being disappointed is a bit of a pattern for me. I can think of so many examples, holidays being the quickest to come to mind. There was the year that I went crazy at Easter and did a "Martha Stewart". I decorated everything, had personalized gifts for everyone with hand-stamped cards - if I do say so myself, everything was lovely. I was so excited. That is, until the family actually arrived - dh's sister couldn't eat anything because our butter was unsalted, my b.i.l. wouldn't eat because we had mint sauce instead of mint jelly and m.i.l. kept saying that she was nervous to eat off the china dishes (we had set the table with my grandmother's china). I can think of example after example and I come away feeling so let down -outings, special meals that don't turn out as planned, knitting projects that don't fit the way I want...
This all is on my mind right now because I just started the Kelly Minter Ruth Bible study I am doing with the Bible study girls and through the LPM Blog (although I am way behind for obvious reasons). I think it was the third day, the emphasis was on trying to be happy where God has put us as opposed to always trying to find happiness somewhere else. For obvious reasons, that really hit home for me. I do try and make these "big" events extra special, I try and do things that are totally exceptional for Pk (and, honestly, for myself) instead of looking for the little joys in the every day. I thought that the expression "To bloom where you are planted" was Biblical but when I tried to look it up, I couldn't find it so I gather that it must just be a saying. It resonates with me. Instead of trying to look for joy in the exceptional, I should just try and find the joys in the very ordinary, in the ground in which I am supposed to be growing. I want to teach Pk to learn contentment and how can I teach what I don't know myself?