I’ve always struggled with patience, but my tolerance level is generally fairly high.
But last week, my limits were tested by my six-year-old daughter. She decided that her toilet accommodations were not up to par and decided to stage a protest.
Her protest involved not using the litter box.
That’s why I spent my lunch buying kitty litter. Generally, that wouldn’t be significant. But, considering that I had started the day cleaning up cat poop, I wasn’t feeling particularly fond of my feline child. I was just feeling obligated.
So of course I got stuck with a grocery store cashier who was excited about my purchase because it provided her an opportunity to talk about her cat. Not only is she a cat lover, but apparently she is a cat trainer.
She has a cat who sits and comes on demand. I tried to change the direction of our conversation by telling her that I have a dog who does the same, but she was uninterested.
I started to feel like I was at an elementary school PTA meeting where another mother was carrying on about her child’s accomplishments and trying to convince me her child was going to be the next president of the United States. The whole time, I’m wondering why anyone would want that for his or her child.
I just want my human children to be happy and capable of supporting themselves. I just want my canine child to stop barking and jumping on people. And I just want my feline child to poop in the litter box.
Maybe my parenting expectations are fairly low, but I only have so many hours in the day. I don’t have the time or motivation to force my children to become something they’re not. Besides, I don’t want to break their spirit. I just want to help channel that spirit for beneficial purposes.
And that, in itself, is challenging enough for me.