We had a bit of a tough weekend. Now, I’m sure you did too, regardless of whether you were at the beach or your house was struck by lightning and was consumed by flames while you helplessly watched.

See, that’s the thing. No matter what we have or where we are, we always want more. And I’m not sure why.

I know I’m a bit obsessed about what attitudes we’re actually born with, but I think this may be one of them. My little Yaakov used to love playing with his brother’s animals. The toys we bought him lay neglected and the plastic giraffe was prized. His brother screamed and shouted and pulled them away. But at four months old, he knew they were exciting. Now his brother decided he’s okay with sharing them. So we say here you go Yaak, the giraffe, the zebra, the leopard, all yours. And guess what? Yaakov has completely lost interest in them. Chewing on diapers, fun. Giraffes, no interest.

Today he decided he wanted my phone. I gently dislodged it from his grip and replaced it with something more age appropriate. He had a complete meltdown. I tried again, another meltdown. Given his current almost constant state of teething agony, I decided I’d take the risk and let him chew on it for a minute. Then I decided to snap a shot of it. And guess what? He went wild for the camera. I tried distracting him with the phone and you’d think I’d offered the kid a teddy bear or rattle. He went ballistic. The phone thing was so over, he NEEDED the camera.


Are we really hardwired to focus on what we want instead of what we have? Why does it take so much effort to just be where you are and be okay thrilled?

But enough of my philosophical wanderings and back to my weekend.

It was exhausting. And not in the usual woken-twice-a-night-by-baby-entertaining-two-tiny-beings-all-day kind of exhausting. A whole different kind. The kind where every time you drift off into a blessed sleep  near drunken stupor, you are awakened to the shrill earsplitting heartbreaking cries of a baby in agony.

I don’t remember teething being like this two years ago. But my mother told me the Talmud says if mothers could feel the agony of a teething baby, they would run to the streets screaming. And it was not talking about scream in the streets kind of women.

So I tried to feel pity instead of annoyance by the sweet little being who kept punctuating my sleep with his piercing screams. Which were often only an inch or two from my ears since he refused to sleep anywhere but wedged so close to me I couldn’t tell where he ended and I began.

We tried Orajel. And Tylenol. Cold watermelon. Frozen banana. When none of those worked, I resorted to rubbing his gums with alcohol, which I’m not sure he’ll every forgive me for. The ensuing cries lasted longer than my two year old can count, and trust me, he can count.

Deep down, I don’t really want to complain. I know I’m lucky. I’m blessed. But I’m still back to wondering why wherever we are, we’re wanting more. If you were at the beach this weekend I bet the water was too cold, the sand too gritty, and the crowds too noisy. If you were in fact unlucky enough for your house to burn down, I bet you thought that sucked too.

So I guess that leaves us trying to figure out how to be happy with what we have. How to embrace where we are and stop wishing we were somewhere else. Or that the day was over, the kids asleep, the sandy grit washed out of the towels, and the next vacation being planned.

How to somehow always have a smile playing with the corners of our mouths.

But for right now, my husband took the rest of that alcohol and crafted it into a frozen mojito.

I’m gonna go have a drink.


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