Wednesday, February 25

spill the beans

I'm over at MamaPop today talking about my guilty obsession with the team members from Paranormal State. Please (please) come over and visit; I have this fear of getting no comments and that is a shame I cannot live with.  Strangely enough I can live with the shame of publically stating that I would have totally gotten it on with a total square given the right circumstances, but that is there not here.

Anyhow, on with the motherbumpin' show....

The other day Gigi and I were on the subway travelling to meet SB. It wasn't rush hour when we left but it was in that pre-rush hour twilight where most seats are taken on the train. In other words, the crowds had not reached sardine status yet. Gigi and I had a seat together, she was on her knees looking out the window and I sat looking forward, trying to find zen during her extended period of distraction.

Her "but why" questions had ceased for the time-being and she was more interested in people watching. It is moments like this that makes for good public transportation with a preschooler. That is, until they invent teleportation devices built into strollers. They had better be working on that one, and if a parent is in charge, you know they totally are.

Anyhow, during this lull in what I frankly consider normal, if not exemplary preschooler behaviour, Gigi started the chant. You know, the repetitive chanting of a word or two that renders the word completely meaningless and instead turns it into a weapon of mass sanity destruction.

beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad 

It wasn't loud, she wasn't yelling, she was just chanting those words in a normal voice.

I knew where those words came from: beans for lunch, daddy was waiting for her. Two unrelated thoughts just being hammered into my skull with a technique worthy of Stockholm syndrome methodology.

beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad 

Actually it would be more accurate to say that to the best of my knowledge and understanding of human physiology, this chant was being hammered into my skull and all the loverly passengers who had operational ears devoid of sanity-saving buds on car 5591 on the TTC rocket.

But I still found zen. It can be difficult to achieve sometimes but over three years practice has gotten me to this point. So there I was, in that space I found in my mind's eye.Everyone else on the train seemed to be able to block it out, or at least they didn't seem too disturbed by my daughter's mantra of paternal musical fruit.

Alas, this zen is fickle and it doesn't take much to unbalance. In fact, one errant breeze from any direction may just force me to alternate resorts - like sticking a fork in my thigh to painfully symbolize how done I actually am.

beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad

As the chanting continued, I was in a calm place that the keyboard cannot describe other than to compare it to a tight-rope many parents know too well. For me, one misstep can plunge me into an abyss full of snapping barbs that fly from my mouth without restraint. I must remind myself that everyone has a story, everyone has a reason for being cranky, even if that reason is they just are.

And so I remain balanced and focused.

beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad beans dad

Then the woman sitting kitty corner to us, turned, leaned towards us, and hissed "SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHUSH" right into our faces, perhaps in case we weren't aware who she was aiming this gesture towards.

*snap* The tight-rope just shook and I'm plummeting towards the thorns.  But somehow I reach out and grab the rope above.

With that flail and recovery, I took out the aforementioned fork, stuck it in my thigh, swallowed back the barbs, and just smiled a real honest-to-goodness smile at this shushing woman. I hope the smile was just wide and not maniacal.  We locked eyes for a good ten seconds before she cast her peepers downward and retreated into what I assume was her internal zen room.  And with that, I retreated again to mine.

Finding calm may be incredibly difficult some days but always worth maintaining.  For that much I really do know.
***************
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19 comments:

Mandy said...

I always (usually) smile too, but on the inside, I spend hours composing perfect, zinging retorts.

I guess I have not yet found my zen.

for a different kind of girl said...

Oh, I'd have smiled, too. It was how I got through my day at work yesterday. However, in my head, I'd have crafted a scourge upon said person. I don't even know if that's the right word I want for what I would have done. I just know it would have been so flippin' Zen...

TwoBusy said...

"Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave."

Still trying to bring that mantra from the theoretical into active life practice.

Mac and Cheese said...

You are the zen master.

I miss the subway.

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

You are a much bigger person than I. I would have started chanting with Gigi. But that's probably why I shouldn't be allowed on the subway.

kittenpie said...

Wow. You are so zen, you must have by now reached Nirvana. Me, I'm an eyebrow-raiser and looker-down of noses. Seems to shut up those people.

mothergoosemouse said...

I can't believe she got shushed. Life is too short to shush happy little kids.

Unless you're the mother of one of them, that is.

Karen Sugarpants said...

Hahahaha...I felt the hammering - what a great post. I know the tightrope you speak of, too!

Kyla said...

I always wonder what makes people like that tick. I can't understand it myself, but then again, I'm the type of person who ends up entertaining other people's kids wherever I go...even when mine aren't with me. Kids are kids and when they aren't screaming, everyone wins.

The long, eye locked smile was well played. Bravo, you.

Assertagirl said...

Oh how you managed to keep calm and zen-like is very impressive.

beans dad

petite gourmand said...

it's
cucumber mommy cucumber mommy cucumber mommy cucumber mommy cucumber mommy
around these parts.....

ommmm.....deep breath.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

I can't believe someone would actually do that, say that to you! That's ridiculous! What does it matter to her what your daughter is chanting?!

That is all. Rant over.

No Mother Earth said...

Yeah, I totally would have joined in on the chanting. And I am LOUD when I want to be.

I'm also very mature.

Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mamatulip said...

"You kill more flies with honey than you do with vinegar," was what my mom always used to say.

I would have told that lady to stick it up her ass - you're much more honey than I am.

Denguy said...

Why is it that people think everyone has to be quiet on public transit?

Double Agent Girl said...

HA! Dude I would have TOTALLY went with maniacal. Cause its just WAY more fun making her wonder what you're going to do next, and what the hell is wrong with the chanting child in tow.

Stimey said...

I can totally picture this. Hilarious. And kudos to you for keeping your cool. Last I checked, people—even kids—are allowed to talk on trains.

Kat said...

And you didn't reach across and smack this lady why? She would have gotten the manic smile and a bitch slap from me!