Maritza Ruiz-Kim

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know

 

… we just don’t feel very good. That would be Zee right now. His asthma is coming back. He’s coughing. And he has a little cold.

He just gets moody when he feels Yuck.

Can I blame him?

But I do sometimes. I’m sorry about it. I’m driving with him to do an errand and thinking- Why does he have to have TWO binkies in his hands to stop being fussy? Why does he have to purposely drop them and then get mad and want me to pick them up, while I am driving? Why does he have to scream almost the entire time we are at the store? Why can’t I understand him? Sometimes I feel like he’s just playing me, and I just have to plow through this errand and I’m thinking Deal with it, Zee. I’m thinking Come on, I think the only reason you are having a fit is because I won’t let you run around, and NO, I will not let you do that. You will not win. And I have to steel myself through this errand that seems to be taking too long just because the entire thing is with him falling apart on me. And I am talking to him as we go through the store. And I am pretty sure my tone shows, my irritation. “No, I will NOT let you get out of the cart!” And he’s still bawling big fat tears. But really, I am thinking he’s just trying to get his way. At the time, that’s what I think. And I keep asking him, also, “What’s going on? Why are you crying? Does something hurt?” (But I’m also thinking- come on! Do you have to fall apart right now?) He told me he had to pee, then I had to drag him across the store to the potty, then he refuses when we get there, I don’t know what’s going on in his head. This is where I am thinking he’s trying to pull a fast one on me. “What is it, Zee? What hurts? Are you hurting?” But nothing. He’s too upset to tell me anything, and even if he wasn’t, he doesn’t have a huge mastery of language to tell me much. All I can do is try my best. I have snacks, I give him snacks. He spills them all over the floor. I hold him. I hug him.

I still don’t know why he was so upset exactly. We ate lunch. He was fine at lunch, but he didn’t have a “finally, food!” kind of manner. It didn’t seem to be about the food (and usually that one is obvious.) We made our way home. He fell asleep. Was he just tired? He was by then. It was 60 minutes later.

I guess there are just some things I don’t get to know. But I know he’s not 100%. And that’s OK. It happens to all of us. I should know!

Sometimes, you just need people to cut you a little slack.

I hope I get better at that for him.

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