You know how whenever you crack open a fortune cookie or skip over the real news to the horoscope section, that fortune or ‘scope just knows you?
How, for example, even if you’ve never truly done a creative thing in your entire life, if it says “Let your creativity flow today,” you gasp thinking about how, just five minutes ago, you remembered that hand-turkey art project from third grade you never finished, that’s still lying around your mother’s attic? Obviously this psychic piece of paper must be guiding you to go back and complete it, because you just know it would be amazing if you did. (It won’t, don’t do it.)
Well, I experienced something similar with DOVE® Chocolate’s inspirational messages. And by similar I mean the exact opposite.
I had a pretty rough weekend, what with my Eeyore Syndrome and Jack being sick and all. So on Sunday when Holden decided to jump into the terrible-twos with the same force he summoned while entering the world (my mom says he “shot out like a rocket” — story for another day), it took everything I had to keep sane.
It was one of those times when parenthood felt like the toughest job in the world (even though it’s not, but I digress). It was that lightbulb moment when I realized I am so not cut out for single-parenting.
I broke out all the tricks. Dancing and threats and bribes. And finally, chocolate. Chocolate keeps us both quiet for a moment. Until that moment is interrupted by Holden asking for more or rubbing his chocolate face and fingers all over the couch and me, or the dog barking at us and Holden barking back, or Holden becoming displeased with the already-in-his-mouth chocolate and wanting to trade his slobbery piece for mine.
But the few seconds before the new mayhem starts are worth it, so I kept the handy bag of heaven on my person at all times.
As any chocolate lover is probably aware, on every wrapper of the individual DOVE® pieces is an inspirational message of sorts (called “promises”). Some are chocolate-related, telling you that indulgence (in their chocolate) is never a bad thing. Some are mini-pep-talks, saying you can do anything. Some are just words of wisdom, like you would expect to see on the memes that one Facebook friend always posts. (You know, the one who shares “The friendships in your heart are worth more than the things in your closet,” immediately followed by a picture of the new shoes your boyfriend just bought her.)
Ever since I was little, I loved reading (and sometimes saving in neat little piles) these messages. Just as with fortune cookies and horoscopes, they just got me. So of course, on this hellish day, they had to be the answer to get Holden, Jack, and myself out of this whiny/sick/frustrated funk.
I sat on the couch after engaging in a 15-minute all-out war with Holden while trying to change his diaper, and unwrapped my first savory piece of the day:
“Lose yourself in a moment.”
Okay, maybe I can take just a mo– BAM! My toddler came crashing into me. I think he may have actually been flying. The chocolate almost choked me and came flying out of my mouth at the same time. I’m about to lose something, that’s for sure.
Screw it. The boy and I will just binge on chocolate for a few “moments”. I took out six pieces, three for each of us:
His: “It’s OK to slow down.”
Okay, while I can admit that these messages aren’t catered to children, there was no sign of slowing down in sight. In fact, as I handed Holden’s chocolate over, he started stomping and whining and flinging his toys all over the place. I think he wanted the juice that was right in front of his face, or something.
Mine: “Give yourself a relaxation break.”
Oh, come on.
His: “Clear your mind, and enjoy this moment.”
There’s that “moment” word again. You’re welcome to come over, DOVE®, and clear my two-year-old’s mind of sugar and ponies and OUTSIDE and MORE MORE and NO NO NO.
Mine: “Shut out the world for just one moment.”
WHAT IS IT WITH YOU AND MOMENTS, DOVE®?! HOW ABOUT I SHUT YOU.. oh wait, my son is trying to drown the dog in the toilet. Yeah, good call, DOVE®.
His: “It’s definitely a bubble bath day.”
A BUBBLE BATH DAY? You mean the bubble bath Holden has been begging for, the one I cannot give him because we HAVE NO BUBBLES?! You’re here, right now, watching me . . . aren’t you?
Mine: “Draw yourself a bath.”
First, what’s up with the common theme? It’s creepy. Second, are you trying to imply that I am a filthy mess who hasn’t showered in weeks? Because I already know that. THANKS FOR RUBBING IT IN.
Okay, as my temper-tantrum and yelling at chocolate wrappers coupled with my son running around naked drawing on the TV proved, this approach was not working. No more chocolate for him! Me, however, well I have that addict mentality that tells me to keep indulging in the thing causing me harm. So I hid chocolate, and snuck it while Holden wasn’t looking:
“Have no limits today.”
My limits were over-passed long ago, you good-for-nothing . . . SHIT WHAT WAS THAT?
“Love what you do.”
As I’m cleaning poop from under my son’s fingernails.
“Happiness is contagious.”
NOT when it’s my son’s happiness over smacking me in the face with a metal toy truck.
“Remind yourself to relax.”
RELAX?! While I was scrubbing soup out of the carpet, my neighbor brought home my “daughter” (read about my SON’s long hair here) who had escaped and made it to the end of the block.
“Steal 5 minutes for yourself today.”
I’M GOING TO STEAL YOUR FRICKIN SOUL, DOVE®!!!
And I was done. I ate more, but I refused to pay attention to the messages. I spent the rest of the day in a DOVE®-induced rage, chasing my son who was in a toddler-induced spasm.
Finally, long after bedtime since Holden decided to come out of his room every five minutes, I laid in bed. It was around 2am. One last message, just in case:
“Get a good night’s sleep.”
I will find you, and I will hurt you.
But that’s not all! Jack asked for a piece. I obliged:
“There is a time for compromise. It’s called ‘later’.”
(I added this post to the weekly challenges Manic Monday on Perfection Pending — owner of the button above — and Weekend Funny Challenge on Unload and Unwind. Go on over and check out their own posts and the other bloggers who have participated in the challenges!)