I have never had much patience. I bet you’re wondering how I managed to survive almost five years in food service without it. Fortunately, I’m very good at pretending to have patience. I have spent years cultivating my ability to look like I’m not impatient while in my head I am secretly yelling, “Oh my GOD! Will you just make up your mind already!” Anyone who has ridden in the car with me can also attest to this since while driving I tend to be very verbal about what I think of the other drivers on the road. I was once trapped behind an old man going twenty miles per hour (I shit you not) on the interstate and I wanted to beat my head into the steering wheel.
I spent my entire pregnancy being impatient. I blame the back pain. Perhaps my impatience wore off on the little one since she decided to appear ten days early. Since then, however, I have had to force myself to be calm. You can’t rush a newborn. She will eat for as long as she wants to and there is nothing I can to do to speed up the process. This can be especially frustrating when she awakens in the middle of the night and I would like nothing more than to go back to sleep. The second night in the hospital was the worst. Since I was breastfeeding, this can be a very long process – especially in the early days. We’re talking five plus hours. From about nine pm to three am she was feeding off and on and every time I thought she was finished and went to put her back in her bassinet, she started screaming bloody murder. To make matters worse, I must have had the worse nurse on the face of the planet who didn’t seem to give a crap that I was breastfeeding and I did not want to give my daughter formula or a pacifier. So, she was crying and I was crying and by the time she finally went to sleep, I looked like I had been punched in the face. My eyes were practically swollen shut.
Good news, though, after all of that everything seems so much easier. Sure there are times when I want to scream. She’s crying and crying and I’ve done everything I can think of to make her feel better. Is she dry? Is she fed? Is she burped? What the hell else do I need to do? But then there are times when I have reached a completely zen like state and no matter what, I will do everything in my power to make my daughter happy.
The first of many lessons that she will teach me: Patience.