Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nature or Nurture?

Well, this has been quite a week. I am a creature of habit; when something upsets my routine, I tend to flounder.

Pythagorus left for Georgia Monday afternoon, leaving Belle in the care of my mother. My mom is on our cell phone plan, so we brought her new cell phone to her on Sunday afternoon. Sometime between then and Monday morning, her new phone stopped working. She flipped out and, as is her wont, became enraged about everything else (when I got home from work on Monday, for example, she went off on me about my dirty refrigerator--it was really pretty disgusting, I admit that, but it had been a long day and it was not the first thing I needed to hear about). I finally took my old cell phone down to the Verizon Wireless store, had her number switched over to it, and returned home. I showed her how to use it (well, I tried), and then she was fine. The repulsive refrigerator (and everything else) ceased to bother her as soon as the phone fiasco was fixed.

It's funny because I'm exactly the same way. I get a bee in my bonnet about something, and I'm pissed off at the world. As soon as that particular bee is eliminated, I'm fine. Ah, Mom ... is it nature or nurture? The world may never know.

Anyway, things settled down nicely after that. I cleaned the refrigerator as soon as I got home from work on Tuesday, my mom has been a tremendous help (she's been dropping Belle off at day care, which doesn't open until half an hour after I have to leave for work), and it's been a lot of fun to relax with my mom and the girls.

I had my own meltdown moment yesterday when I went to pick up Addie's friend Cassidy and bring them to play rehearsal. As I was backing up to turn around in Cassidy's driveway, my car got stuck in the infamous New Hampshire spring mud. It was horrible; the more I tried to move the car, the further mired it got. Cassidy got a shovel from her garage and we tried digging and pushing to no avail. Addie and Cassidy went to get the high school boy who lives across the street, and he came down and did what he could, but the car just seemed to move deeper and deeper. At about that point, Addie called my mom, who graciously agreed to come help out. Fortunately, before she could get there, Cassidy's parents arrived. Her father chained his tractor to my car and pulled it out, my mother got there and brought Addie and Cassidy to their rehearsal, and Belle and I went home with the mud drying onto the wheels making the car shake like crazy.

When my mother called for help in locating Cassidy's house, I just started crying. When Addie whined about being late for rehearsal, I was pretty short with her. And Belle ... oh, I couldn't even respond when she kept asking, "Why aren't we moving, Mommy? Why aren't you driving? Why is the mud flying? I want to go home. Why can't we go home? Why aren't we moving, Mommy?" in an incessant monologue because I was scared of what I would say.

It reminded me, of course, of my mother's fit over the broken cell phone making her so upset about everything else. My mother is a fabulous person, but this trait of hers is something I walked in fear of my entire childhood. It bothers me that I seem to have the same trait.

And, of course, it makes me wonder whether the same will be true for Addie and Belle.