Friday, April 24, 2015

Mama Bear Claws

I tend to use a Grizzly bear analogy when talking about motherly instincts. We give great big hugs and love on our cubs fiercely, but when someone or something looks imposing or dangerous, we must stand tall and fight.

Read the description from Wikipedia:
Grizzlies are considered by experts to be more aggressive than black bears when defending themselves and their offspring.. . . Unlike the smaller black bears, adult grizzlies are too large to escape danger by climbing trees, so they respond to danger by standing their ground and warding off their attackers. Increased aggressiveness also assists female grizzlies in better ensuring the survival of their young to reproductive age. Mothers defending their cubs are the most prone to attacking, being responsible for 70% of fatal injuries to humans.
This morning I laid William down for his nap (he's in the midst of dropping one, but we're never sure which one on any given day so we still aim for two) and went to work in the dining room like every other morning. I pray he sleeps for two hours so I can get a good handle on the day's workload.

At the 90 minute mark I hear a noise. It sounds like it's coming from outside, possibly the garage downstairs. William starts to stir and I can hear him waking up through the baby monitor. I cringe. Should I go tell them to keep quiet? Is it too late?

As I walk toward the door, I realize how loud the noise really is. It is not coming from the garage below, it is coming from right outside my apartment door -- right outside William's bedroom window. I open the door (which makes the noise even louder) and catch myself staring at my landlord power-washing the window and wall of the bedroom! The floor is vibrating and water is blasting the walls, the noise is unbelievably loud. I'm astounded and a little shocked. I'm beyond angry. I can't stay quiet. Here comes Mama-bear.

"My baby is sleeping right beyond that wall and you are waking him up! You can't do that right now!" I scream. I hear William respond louder to my voice than he did the washer -- shoot. My landlord looks at me and says "Can't you move him to the other room? I came all the way out here to take care of this today." I glare at him. I close the door and hope William goes back to sleep.

He doesn't. I pick him up and try to comfort him. I tell the landlord he may as well hurry up and finish. The baby is awake now. My day clearly ruined. "A day's notice would have been nice. This is completely disruptive!" I shout. Mama bear still not happy. William watches the water crashing down on his window for the next 10 minutes--at least he's entertained. I try to get my heart to slow down and let my anger subside. I can't.

This guy didn't tell me he was going to do it much less ask when a preferable time of day would have been. I'm glad he wants to keep the building in good shape, although this is the first time in five years I've seen him put much work into it. (This is also the first time in five years I've been home all day every day and the fist time in who knows how many years he's had tenants with children.)

I start to calm down. I start to regret my harsh words. I picture how crazy I must have looked. Surely a 70+ year old man doesn't remember/never realized how important naps are to children. He's not trying to be mean, right? 

This isn't the first time these bear like instincts have kicked in. And I know it won't be the last. But after today, I see that I need to find a way to control it. I can't attack people for disrupting my son's nap (this does to be the greatest offensive), or not going out of their way to make my life easier (you'd be surprised to hear how often I think this).

Okay, I've laid my selfishness before you. Now it's your turn! Have your mama-bear claws come out? Tell the story in the comment section!

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