Last week, on the way home from only five errands instead of the usual ten, Bear let loose a heavy sigh from the back seat. Glancing back, I asked what was troubling. After a moment of speculation, he said "Mommy, you make me nervous."
I make him nervous? How the heck could I possibly make a three-year old nervous, and where did he learn that word, anyway?! Perhaps he has heard us use it as we refer to new dog Jasper, but who knows. Bear is a very keen observer of his surroundings and the people in them, so it could have been the person in front of us at Fred Meyer for all I know.
At any rate, the remaining drive home gave me pause to reflect upon 1) whether or not I indeed make him and anyone else in the family nervous, and 2) if I do, how to change. I decided that afternoons definitely lend themselves to nervousness. Trying to make it to Wolf's school on time to collect him and his homework, nagivating traffic through still-icy streets, starting dinner before Taekwondo, interviewing people for upcoming articles, fighting of the PW (still); all potentially create a nervous mommy, in my way of thinking.
How to mitigate? Yoga, perhaps, but that would just be another thing I would have to commit to attending. Turning off the cell phone? Certainly. It drives Yukon nuts when he can't find me, but truly, he and anybody else can leave me a message.
I asked Bear yesterday if I still made him nervous. He told me "Yes, you do." I decided to probe a little further and asked "Why?" Maybe I would learn something more I could be doing for my poor little waif and his potentially shattered psyche.
"Because you don't give me cookies."