Coulda Woulda Shoulda

What’s the main ingredient in hand sanitizer?
Ahhhh…..the ‘coulda woulda shoulda’ revelation. That feeling, while examining scenarios, circumstances, predicaments, when one feels that another course of action, or even better, REACTION, would have been more suited to the situation. It leads you to mull. Re-examine. Go around and around, dissecting your words, the words of others, pondering, why? How? What could have been better?
It has everything to do with one of my most serious New Years resolutions to date, of which I’m committing to for 2015. A conscious decision to really make my choices in life count, for real this time. Mostly because being a mom of two littles, I have very very little time for anything. So therefore, logically, let’s put a real effort into making the time that you do have really count. Translation? Choosing the best words. The best reactions. The best people. The best path. Most of all, choosing happiness.
For example: don’t PVR that extra show. Because then you’ll feel obliged to watch it. And the pressure to watch it will inevitably take away from the effort that you are putting into making funny (and let’s not forget consistent) character voices for your daughter’s story time. You absolutely have to have continuity in the voices. Your kid WILL notice if one week, the gingerbread girl’s voice is squeaky, and the next week, it’s husky. And she will call you out on it. Trust me.
Anyway, I’m really trying to commit to this state of mind. So far it seems to be going well.
Truthfully, what inspired this post was an event that occurred almost 4 years ago. I was at the hospital, just having birthed my first child. To say that I was shocked and in awe of this is the understatement of the year. I remember looking at my new baby girl, totally rattled on adrenaline and remnants of laughing gas, looking around in disbelief that the hospital was actually going to let me take this little human home with me. I felt like I had cheated on an exam and had taken home a congratulatory A+.
We were waiting nervously for the go ahead to leave, and also waiting for that one test that they do, the PKU test (I believe?), that checks your kid for some nearly eradicated blood disease (which they had conveniently forgotten about, and subsequently, left us sitting waiting for 3 hours in a room). 
So I hid in the bathroom while the nurse took the blood.
Which is really weird in itself, because I don’t usually hide from anything. I remember standing there in that hospital washroom, staring in the mirror, not fully recognizing myself – only knowing that some little human that I didn’t even know yet had succeeded in really stressing me out already. I wasn’t so much upset about it….I just felt very….peculiar. It was like I was trying on a new costume, that sort of fit, but didn’t quite feel right yet. Peculiar.
When I finally came out of the bathroom, I felt sheepish that I wasn’t there for my baby’s first needle. I felt guilt, already, less than 24 hours in.
So I made a joke, made light of it. Told the nurse with a giggle “I hid in the bathroom cuz I hate needles”
You know what the *%# said to me?
“Paranoia will destroy ya” all snarky and stone faced.
I remember looking at my husband, puzzled. Not sure if this was a joke. Not sure if she was trying t be funny, or trite, or if she was just plain insensitive. Maybe I was missing the point? Never mind that I had just laboured for 10 hours, been sliced and diced, cried and lost all dignity, and I was the one who felt responsible to lighten the mood about my little hiding in the bathroom joke? Only to be sarcastically shot down by this nurse that clearly needed a coffee break, or a hug, or something.
So coulda woulda shoulda? I’ve gone over the situation so many times. What I should,have said to her, instead of just staring at her, wide mouthed, until she left out hospital room. In one scenario I call her a name. In another, I cry and return to the bathroom, sulking over the prospect of a paranoia ridden life that will inevitably ruin my and my child’s future, in another scenario, I just give her a hug. Because that’s probably what she needed most.
But in all seriousness, what am I going to tell my kids about people like this? That feel the need to kick you while you’re down, or that simply just don’t know their timing when it comes to offering their opinions.
All I know is that when one of my kids is having a meltdown, even though I want to scream at them, I find the most effective thing is to just get down and hug them. It takes them down a notch, and decompresses the situation.
Coulda woulda shoulda. Teach kindness. Try harder to make that moment count. Don’t look back on the coulda woulda shoulda situations, because they’re everywhere. Just make it count in the present. That’s all.

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