“Mommy what are you doing?”
“Driving the car.”
“Where are we going?”
“To the grocery store.”
A few minutes later,
“Are we going to the grocery store?”
“Yes, just like I said.”
A few minutes later,
“Are we there yet?” I just stay silent, I feel like that should be self evident. But maybe ‘self evident’ isn’t a concept that three year old children understand. I remember asking these questions as a little girl,
“Dad what’s your favorite color?” I ask.
“Blue,” he always says blue. Good, the world is okay, everything can proceed as normal.
I just finished the first chapter of Made to Crave; a book about replacing your cravings for food with cravings for something more holy. Lysa Terkheurst, the author, asks you to picture your cravings, she uses the illustration of a little orange monster. I pictured that three year old voice at my elbow, except maybe a bit more sinister,
“Hey, is there any chocolate in the house?”
“Are you gonna eat it?”
“No, not right now.”
“You should eat it.”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Have you eaten it yet?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“You really should eat it…did you eat it yet?”
End scene with me hiding in pantry with said chocolate now staining my fingers and the edges of my mouth. Like a zombie with brains.
I’ve begun to be perturbed by my relationship with food as of late, because I know that feel healthier when I eat healthy foods, cleaner, lighter, and better. Yet I still will choose sugar and carbohydrates over fruit and vegetables, almost every time. Why? Why do I keep doing that? Lately, that little girl at my elbow that tells me to eat all the time has gotten really annoying. Why is she there? Why do I feel the need to eat constantly? I think a hangover from pregnancy and nursing is being afraid of being hungry. When I feel that first little gnaw in my belly, I get a little frightened.
Awhile back Emma and I had come home from some morning event and I was trying to make lunch, her toy rolled under the coffee table.
“Mommy, I need my toy,” she interrupts me. Tears streaming down her face, panic fully evident across her sweet little cheeks.
“I can’t help you right now,” I responded, trying to pull together something from the nothing that was in our fridge. Our exchanges continued, it escalated. I refused to get the toy because it was pushed into a place where I could not retrieve it fast enough for my taste. I sat us down and we both shoveled the food into our mouths. Slowly the anger and frustration receded, I felt myself relax. ‘Oh, we were hungry.’ Ever since that exchange I’ve become wary of growing too hungry. If I get too low, it gets ugly.
Lately I’ve been letting my eldest watch TV while her sister naps (which either makes me the best or the worst parent ever, depending on your opinion), she was watching an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. An animated rewrite of Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. A song chimed out,
“Stop, Look, and Listen,” it repeated it’s saccharin tones to levels annoying, but as it twinkled on I thought,
‘Wait, you should stop, look, and listen,’ when that little voice at my elbow asks me if I have devoured every morsel of chocolate in the house I should ‘stop, look, and listen.’ Why is that voice there? Am I stressed out? Am I angry? Am I sad?
Yesterday I got hungry, I checked my phone, 10am. Snack time. I mean, it's snack time for my kids, doesn't mommy get one too. Well, Mommy you are no longer growing, and don't go everywhere at a run. I told myself, 'it's okay, just be hungry. You'll live.' I 'stopped, looked, and listened.' I was fine, I made it to lunch. And no one lost their head.
Right now it’s the end of the day, my husband has left to rip up pergo flooring from our new house, there is Cadbury bar in the kitchen. That little voice by my elbow has turned from little girl into full raging monster,
‘Finish It!’ I hear, like that voice in Mortal Kombat. Why? Because my husband is gone I feel like I deserve a treat? The girls went down easy, in fact I had a nice time playing with Emma before she went to sleep. Is it because I am alone? But here I am finishing a blog that I’ve been intending to write for days. I’ll try some of Terkeurst’s tricks, praying, reciting scripture. Realizing that maybe I’m not as stressed as I think I am.
I keep thinking that I should just let myself eat whatever I want until I am through with all the transition that we have. So much stress, just eat it. But then life is stressful. All the time. There’s always something. I’ll just let myself until my kids are in school…I’ll just let myself until summer…