Why is it that on the days when I am with r. all day, everything seems to flow much more smoothly than on the days where I work, especially those days like today, when I work for longer?  It feels that on days when I work, I get into another mode, another flow, another rhythm. But I think my worst mistake is, guess what? trying to overcompensate.

Hear this and laugh. Today I worked longer hours because I have to do the corrections for my PhD, and as usual, until I don’t have the pressure of the deadline looming, I cannot seem to gain momentum. In this case, the fear and dread of going back to my thesis meant I avoided it like the plague. Well, I decided that when r. came back, we would cook dinner together, and not just any old bit of pasta, but something new, exciting and fun! Sushi!! Yeah! Did I say overcompensating?

But this is what happens. The days I work I seem to have much less patience, much less tolerance for interruptions, disorder and mess, so, well, it is not a day to make sushi for the first time. The inevitable happens – r. does not really want to cook, pulls me away from the kitchen, and wants me to go to the garden. I decided I would not be fazed, and take her little table and chairs outside, and as much of the ingredients I can remember and grab with one hand while being pulled with the other. I try to read the recipe but cannot concentrate with the tugging at my clothes, and well, r. enthusiasm, as usual, is for the ingredients, which she eats happily while I try to make sense of how to roll the sushi.

And then she does help me. She is overenthusiastic with the amount of rice that needs to be put in the nori thingy, and with patting it and spreading it everywhere, which in my impatient state means that after a while I cannot help but shout, ‘that’s enough now!’, as my exasperation grows. Finally, she, of course, is not keen to try the result, she already ate the ingredients in any case. And it is late, and she is tired, but I am hungry, so she sits on my lap, and delights in splashing the soy sauce with the sushi and wanting to put ALL the sushi bits in my mouth, one after the other, which means I get all the drips of the soy sauce and almost choke trying to tell her to stop. Exasperation and shouting ensues. R., who is now much more articulate, tells me she is upset, and how mummy got angry, and she cried, and then of course is the only thing that she wants to tell her dad when he calls from the airport.

Tomorrow, long working hours again, but my plan is simple: pasta with pesto – prepared in advance- and as soon as she arrives I will sit and read books forever and ever…


2 responses to “Rhythm

  1. I do the exact same thing. If I’ve been at work, I find it so much harder to engage in the activities my daughter loves but I don’t, and I’ve usually planned some special project in order to avoid those activities, but, since I also lose my temper more easily those days, we just end up with messes and tears. Or worse: zoning out to TV together for WAY too long. At least when we have messes and tears it’s some genuine interaction with inherent lessons about making up after fights, and people loving each other even when they are angry with each other, and stuff. The best solution I’ve found is to go out on those days instead- just to the library, or playground, or a special snack at the Asian cuisine place she loves.
    Love the blog by the way 🙂

  2. Thanks, good to hear you like the blog! Yes, keeping it simple works MUCH better, I just keep forgetting! The pesto, and just doing whatever she wanted – in this case using her newly found and mastered skill of spraying (with a water full spray bottle) and, thus, ‘cleaning’ her little house in the garden worked wonders…

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