I am going back to work next week to fill in for a teacher who is having her baby. My own baby will go to daycare. This comes with its own set of fears and emotions, but I know he will do well & I will be right there to throughly annoy the daycare workers.
My return to the workforce has left me feeling a little inadequate. I have been thinking about all of the things I planned to accomplish while I was off work. There are many tasks that I have quickly checked off my list in the past week. But I still feel down.
Today, I decided to tackle my other list. My ‘happy’ list. This was a list of kind things I had planned to do for others. You know…the whole random acts of kindness thing. I wanted to take the boys to visit the nursing home, leave goodies around town, just spread a little cheer.
Now that bubba and sissy are both in school, it is just the baby and me. So, we headed to target to buy some joy spreading essentials. We walked by the clothes and I was reminded of my own wardrobe…yoga pants. I had to buy a couple of things to start work with. While trying on clothes, baby boy began to cry. This quickly escalated to a scream. I threw things in the buggy and headed for the snacks. I grabbed powered donuts (healthy eating can start when work starts, or on Monday) and some juice which I shakily spilled. Baby boy shoved a donut in his mouth and immediately smiled a sugary smile.
I needed a necklace to make the t-shirt I could afford look more work appropriate. Baby boy and I browsed target’s fine jewelry selection, until I decided that I was being ridiculous and I had plenty of junk jewelry at home.
As I walked away, I looked back in horror. We had left a giant trail of smashed powered donuts. Baby boy was just crushing them and watching as they fell under the buggy. I looked around, but couldn’t find anyone to help. I hid my face and walked away.
It wasn’t long until I heard a vacuum cleaner working on the mess. I pushed my buggy toward the man and tried to get his attention. He looked annoyed as he switched the vacuum off. I said, “I’m so sorry. My baby was eating donuts and made a huge mess. I could do that for you.”
He just shook his head and said something in Spanish. It probably wasn’t very nice, because I have a dusty, unused minor in Spanish. I know simple polite phrases. I didn’t recognize politeness in his tone nor his language. I can’t blame him, it was awful.
I left the store feeling worse. Not only had I spent my money on a stupid t-shirt and pants, I had spread sadness instead of joy.
We got home and I thought I could at least work on the mountain of laundry. I put some clothes in the washer and walked into our bedroom where I found baby boy covered in his daddy’s hair wax. He had smeared the entire jar all over his face and the puppy. I pulled off his diaper and threw him in the bathtub before I realized the diaper was extremely dirty.
I looked at the clock. It was 10:45. In the two hours since I had decided we would spend our day spreading joy, we had spread clothes, juice, powdered donuts, hair wax, and poop. No joy. Negative joy.