how i had a fun day, almost ruined it, and finally remembered to stop

I had such a fun day with my daughter yesterday.

And then I almost ruined it.

We have at least one full mama-daughter day each week, and this was it.  This week, we had a lot of errands to do.  She's a great errand-partner.

Stop one was awesome: the post office.  We bought stamps, we had a conversation with each letter as she put the stamp on it (I got to play the part of the letter!), and then I held her up while she put those letters in the outgoing mail one by one.  Strangers chuckled, we had fun, and I got some work stuff off my list.

Stop two was good, too:  the bank.  It was cold, and the ATM was outside, so this was a quick one.

Stop three was extra fun.  Aside from grocery shopping, I almost never shop.  Which means she almost never shops.  But I really needed some new camisoles, so off we went.  And we had great time while she tried on some crazy shoes and organized the flip-flop display--and I got my camisoles.  (Lest anyone get distressed, I really mean she organized the flip-flop display.  I've worked a whole lot of retail jobs in my life, and I made sure she left it looking better than she found it.)

Stop four was less fun.  I was no longer I'm-so-patient mama.  I was slightly frayed, okay-let's-keep-moving-please mama.  I mean, we had some laughs and all, but between the kids' sunglasses display and the extreme interest in the toilet seat covers (a LOT of the toilet seat covers) during our potty stop ... well ... the shine was wearing off.

This would have been the time to call it done.  We had accomplished a lot.  It was naptime.  Neither of us had eaten lunch.  So, we went home right?

Oh, but we were SO CLOSE to that one last stop we needed to make.  So close, y'all.

And that last stop?  It was not fun.  And neither was the ride home after I accidentally bonked her head on the door when I was putting her in the car seat.  Truly, it wasn't a hard bonk.  But it was the last straw for a past-naptime, waaay past-lunchtime, over-erranded child.

And while she had the big crying, I finally remembered to stop.  I finally remembered to take a look at my child (and my own hungry, tired self), and realize, "Oh, right.  Hello.  I tried to cram in too much."

In my quest to GET IT ALL DONE, I ignored what my body needed and what my kid needed.  Crap.

So, okay, we all do that sometimes, right?  

Here's what got us back to fun mama-daughter day:

  1. Talking about all the things I appreciated about her help and funniness and patience during our errands,
  2. Some emergency popcorn from her backpack,
  3. And a pretty decent, though belated, nap.

I'm wondering if we can give that to our grown-up selves when we try to cram in too much into our leadership and our creative lives, too.  

Right when we're about to freak out because we can't do it all.  

Right when we screw something up because we're moving too fast.  

Right on that edge.

A stop.  And then an honest look at how much we've done really well.  A snack.  Some sleep.