When the going gets tough ……..

Got up in the morning to a messy kitchen. Sam’s successful marshmallow experiment left a trail of sugary mess! The three cats at the back managed to get into the backyard, meowing hungrily. My mom is lecturing me about saving energy to save the earth – my punishment for forgetting to switch the back light off! This was going to be a swell day indeed.

“Mom! Can you please hurry up? I’m late for work!” shouted Sam. I climbed back up from feeding the three ravenous cats that Sam was supposed to feed. Hurried past our dog. He smelled like he hadn’t had a bath for weeks. Wait a minute. Wasn’t Sam supposed to bathe him? She obviously hadn’t!

Got into the car and turned the ignition. The car cranked up laboriously. Hmm… I think I’d better drive the other car. Sam made some grunting sounds about being late. Got into the other car and guess what? That one refused to even crank! Great! That was just what we needed this morning – a sulking daughter and a spent car! Back to daddy’s car. Luckily it started ok this time. But Sam was not impressed. She was going on about her going to be fined for being late for work. That did it for me. I finally snapped! For the rest of the car ride, I gave it to her about the mess in my kitchen, about the cats she keeps forgetting to feed, and the dog she never remembers to bathe. And to make things even worse than it was, she started to argue her way out! I was really MAD now. I felt like the incredible green monster – “Don’t make me mad. You won’t like me when I’m mad!”

For the first time since she started her part-time job t Yoghurt Bar, she got down the car with a heavy heart, in contrast to her usual happy smiling face of being super enthusiastic about going to work. And for the first time, I didn’t give her my usual “Have fun at work!” wish. I was too freaking mad!

Heading back to send Am for classes at FLC. I looked at the time: 10.30. She was late for class. She jumped in hurriedly. “Where is Arian?” I asked. It was Friday and it was park day for him with the Clic kids. So she went in to get her brother. “What about Por Por? I asked again. “Did you ask her if she wanted to go?” So Am went in again to enquire. “Nope. She doesn’t want to,” was what she came back with. “Just great.” I thought to myself. “She is going to reorganize my kitchen again.” That’s my mom – the super organized and super clean former nurse! It doesn’t help to know that I can never measure up to her high standards in that department!

“Here’s the physics book that you need to photocopy for me,” Am said handing me the heavy tome. “I need it back after class to return it to my friend.” Just great. I had exactly 3 hours to do that. Shouldn’t be a problem. That was what I thought. But when I took it to the shop, the guy at the counter said:

“Come back on Monday.”
“Monday? That’s too late. Can’t you rush this for me today?”
“Sorry. It takes a long time to do this book. Need to do slowly because of its odd size (not quite A4 size).”

I went back to the car with the book. “Mommy, I’m late for the park! Why are we always late for park?” Arian grumbled. Poor Arian. Always the last in terms of sending priority compared to his two busy teenaged sisters. “I’m so sorry Arian. I have to send your two sisters first. But don’t worry. Your friends will still be there at the park.”

And thank goodness for that! When we met them there, all the earlier stress that was built up in the car seemed to have melted away. It is so good to have friends who understand and empathize with. Hanging out at the park together somehow is very therapeutic for me. Needless to say, the kids had lots of fun together. It is also good for us parents, to have the space to just “chill”, as our teenagers would say. Not needing to worry about the noise level, just sitting back and letting the kids spend their excessive energies running, climbing and having a swinging time!

On the way back, I got several messages on my phone. They were from Sam.

MSG #1: I’m sorry. I promise to do the dog n clean. I promise!
MSG #2: I’m sorry.
MSG #3: I’m sorry!!
MSG #4: I’m sorry! I promise I do it tonite Mommy!
MSG #5: U not angry?
Me: Angry no. Stress yes!
MSG #6: K..sorry. You bring my marshmallows and we makan together?
MSG #7: I’m sorry. I will always clean!

Guess she has learnt her lesson. Then my phone rang. It was Fred. He had offered to check with the bookshop near his house in PJ for the physics book that Am needed. And guess what? They had it! Thanks Fred! That was incredibly thoughtful!

So the day progressed in a more positive note after that. Had a good lunch with my mom (with no lectures from her!) and she was visibly impressed with Sam, who presented her with a cup of perfectly swirled, naturally flavored yoghurt! Finally she earned her stamp of approval! And in a less direct way, so did I.

When the going gets tough, the tough…… makes yoghurt 🙂 and eats marshmallows!

Have a good weekend!

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