Monday, April 6, 2009

Off the Roll

Carson has, what I consider to be, an unnatural fascination with bathrooms. I will not delve into Freudian meanings behind this. He loves the toilet, particularly the water. If the lid is not closed he thinks of it as his own private water table! He loves the tub and figured out about a month and a half ago how to climb in it. That wouldn't be a big deal except he seems to pop up when I am in the shower-and he is still fully clothed! He doesn't do those things every day, so that is not that big of a deal. But his most favorite pastime is something his beloved Aunt Robyn taught him. And he does it pretty much on a daily basis. That would be unrolling the toilet paper! Just tonight, I found a whole roll (I know, because I had just put it on) in a lovely heap on the floor. So, while I am searching for the end of it, I had a realization. You cannot put toilet paper back on the roll. Once taken off, you will forever (or at least until it is all used up) be able to tell that it was unrolled. You can try to put it back, but it will be rumpled and uneven, and in general look really awful. It is more than a little vexing, and usually I don't even try because the results (as mentioned above) are less than stellar.

So, because often ordinary events lead me to think of other things, I got to thinking about words. I may or may not have said some unkind things to my poor daughter this evening. Yes, it might have happened while we were trying to find order in the chaos of her room, but really that is no excuse. She wasn't really trying to help me, but she is only three. She had been chattering incessantly all day (truly, since about 2:00 pm she had not ceased talking and/or singing) and I was really losing my patience (which is threadbare at the best of times!). There were threats, yelling and not-so-kind words. You can guess who those came from. Well, things progressed and Josie apologized. I apologized,too. But, there was no more singing or happy chatter. She was just very quiet and reserved. Very unusual Josie behavior. We finished her room and I went on to discover the toilet paper and do other things. She was being very quiet so I went to check on her. She had put herself to bed and was asleep.

So, what does this have to do with toilet paper? Just that, when you are a mom, and you hurt your little one's feelings so bad that she goes to sleep without, books, without songs and without kisses, you feel pretty low. You wish that you could pull back all those words, roll them back up and make it all nice again. But, just like my bathroom tissue, it will never be the same. It will never fit quite as nicely, the edges will still be uneven. Carson unrolls the T.P. because it is fun, because he is too little to really know better. I am without those excuses. Saying unkind things to my child is not fun, and I definitely know better. So, why do I do it? I think really because I am frustrated with myself, angry that I don't do everything right. But, no excuses, I am praying that the next time I will remember that ugly pile of toilet paper and think harder about letting a pile of ugly words come out of my mouth. It is a God-thing that three year-olds are so forgiving, but I don't want to test the limits of her clemency!


  1. It would be nice if we could un-say words we've said, but we can't. A hug and a heart felt apology will go a long way in restoring your relationship with your 3 year old. Or you could just offer some ice cream :)

  2. Errr. Convicted and convinced that I, too, can the TP (Totality of my Patience) from becoming depleted with a bit more advanced preparation for the moments of ick that are bound to happen.

  3. I too wish that I could take back things that I've said. I would still have a great friendship if I had kept my mouth closed! Sometimes we just forget how much things hurt when they are said. I wish that I could pick my words up and fix them. Even if they weren't as pretty as before, it's better than having them on the floor! Wouldn't it be so nice if words were like typing?? You could just hit backspace and no one would even know it if you said something you didn't mean!



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