Josh and I were both raised by single mothers. Josh eventually got the best stepfather of all time (the "step" was abandoned many, many years ago), but essentially our mothers were on their own for the tough times. And I swear to God, I don't know how they did it.
We have, by all accounts, a reasonably easy child. Teachers and other parents all comment on how lucky we are to have a kid who can just roll. He has an easy laugh and warms to people rather quickly. Dash has good manners and isn't a biter (I know I will be punished for putting this in writing). But today he almost broke us. I was crying by six p.m., and I'm pretty sure Josh was seriously questioning his choice of wife and child (I know you don't choose your child, but sometimes it feels like you chose wrong anyway).
I eventually--after walking into our bedroom and seeing a child and surrounding white carpet covered in body lotion; after trying to go up and then back down an escalator with an insane and tantrum-ing child in tow; after giving him a bit of bliss on the mechanical cars at the mall only to be rewarded with wailing and clawing when it was time to go; after making a special trip to the grocery store to pick up something delicious for his dinner following such a trying day, only to have it spit back out at me--gave up and closed myself in the office for a few minutes so I wouldn't beat him with a wire hanger. I knew it would be ok to take a breath because Josh was there to be rational and wait out my little fit. Our mothers didn't have that luxury and I just cannot fathom how they did it.
Thanks, Moms, for not beating us senseless, as I'm sure we deserved. Thanks for setting the example that we strive to match, despite the fact that we are two and you were just one. You shame us into being better parents.