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2020-11-05T16:33:32-05:00March 12th, 2013|Parenthood|

What they don’t tell you in parenting books

I am determined
that you will eat your lentil burger
even though you’ve already spotted
the fries and you want to dip them
in ketchup so badly
you become a single-minded
blazing hot tantrum of fries-wanting madness.

I cannot find the page
in my head that tells me

give in on this one

so my rage at your unreasonableness
and the way your whine pinches my skull
spills out of my gut
and I can tell by how my husband
goes quiet that he knows
I have gone off-leash.

I need to yell
and possibly do some
smashing,

but instead I announce to my family
that I am going to clap very loudly
which I do,
over and over and over
so that it feels like boiling water
on my palms.

They tell you in parenting books
that patience can give way to bone
that moments land
when you have no softness
left to give.

They may even tell you
that you will want to do
what you cannot do.

But whoever said deep breaths are enough
should try applauding for nobody
until their hands are fat and sore,

because only then could I find
that breath,

only then could I find
my hands,
cool and gentle
on your tired face,

only then could I find
my other voice,
the one I use for stories
that I make up in the dark
as I lie beside you,
forgiven,
and sing you to sleep.

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