“I like you not jetzt!”

This, in Taz talk, means, “I don’t like you right now!” And sometimes I don’t blame him. I consider myself to be a rather even-keeled and patient person. I find that not too much ruffles my feathers. This is not to say things don’t grind my gears every once in a while, but I think I am tolerant and it takes quite a bit to upset me. This job, however, has pushed me to limits that I haven’t seen in some time; let’s just say anger isn’t my best look.

Yesterday I had the kids from 7-5 by myself. Usually on Mondays Mémé comes and I don’t have to do much–I know I’ve mentioned how I can turn cleaning my room into a two hour affair. But on this particular Monday she was unable to come so I worked overtime (and earned a cool extra Fr.100, which I will put toward my holiday this weekend). I had to pick up Rapunzel from school with the other two kiddos in tow. She has what we call a “wandering eye” in that EVERYTHING has the ability to distract her. This happens to be a problem on her walk home, which can turn into a lengthy ordeal. Yesterday she was 30 minutes late. The Mom told me to turn the oven on before we left to get her, that way I could pop the pizzas in right when we got home. So after 20 minutes of waiting I am convinced the house is going to explode at any minute. When she’s 25 minutes late, I have two kids that are quickly dissolving in tears because they are so hungry and restless; we are approaching meltdown. Finally I see her cresting the hill 30 minutes late. I holler, “Rapunzel, come on! Shake a leg!” Taz and Little Bean chime in with their own, “Shake a leg!” and we wait for her to get to us so we can head home. Right when she gets to us I lay into her about how I asked her to hurry home since I had to bring the other two and I am disappointed that she is so late today. She pulls a basket out from behind her back and shows me a huge collection of wildflowers. “I’m sorry,” she says, “I was just picking these for you. I thought you could put them in your room.” Commence me feeling like the biggest jerk of all time. I’m frustrated at myself for immediately wanting to snap at her rather than inquire why she was so tardy. I leaned down to hug and thank her for the beautiful gift.

Today I was trying to get Taz and Little Bean out of the house in time to make the 9:40 train to Wädenswil. We have all been feeling pretty stir-crazy in the house as it’s been raining non-stop. I tried to keep track of how many days in a row it has rained but I lost track at 19, and that was a while ago. So I thought I could make up a few things I needed to pick up at the Coop in order to get us outdoors. I was scrambling around trying to get shoes and jackets, find the contents of my purse, and locate both children. All the sudden I hear Taz say, “Uh, KrisTIna (he always accents that part of my name), Little Bean is one the stairs…by herself…really high.” I run over to find her at the top of these Death Trap stairs they have. It is a tightly wound spiral staircase and one slip and that girl is in for a world of hurt. I climb up and grab her and start to go off on how she is not to be on the stairs by herself. Of course, this is completely futile on my part as she doesn’t understand most of what I’m saying and it’s my fault she was there in the first place. I was the one who forgot to close the gate and wasn’t keeping an eye on her. She begins to cry and scream because I am basically yelling at her. I had to set her down and walk away for a minute so I could berate myself for punishing a child when it wasn’t her fault.

These little incidents bother me as they are not characteristic of who I am. There were several times last semester when I was in the classroom and I couldn’t help but think I didn’t even like who I was when I was around the kids. I found I was short on patience and quick to snap. These examples, and other more legitimate reasons, are leading me to believe I am not meant to pursue a profession working with little humans. And I mean this with all seriousness. I can’t stand the thought of embarking on a career when I come home from this year that I am not fully committed to. I’m not totally sure but maybe it’s time to start thinking about other avenues to explore. Any suggestions??