• Justin McLennan

Reeling in the Bass


It started off too good to be true, but I knew it would not last. It was the first night in awhile that my three-month-year-old daughter and I were home alone. It was Mommy's night out to see Jack Johnson and my night to be super dad. Mom left with kisses and daddy, daughter night started. The evening began with playing, smiling, giggling and cuddling together. An hour later, infamous hunger decided to crash the party. Feeding Aaylah without Mommy would be our first test of the night.


I heated the bottle from the fridge, explained the process to Aaylah, and slowly brought the nipple of the bottle to her mouth. I imagine the feeling inside of me at that time, was similar to that of a fisherman on the bank of a river, with his rod in the water, watching the bobber dip up and down as he hoped for lady luck to be on his side. A couple of nibbles followed, and it was time to jerk the rod back and hook the bass, only it was time for me to push the bottle a little further inside her mouth. Success!

Maybe, parenting is not as hard as they make it out to be. Feeling proud as I reeled in the large bass, I forgot the golden rule. It was as if I had reeled the bass in, removed the hook and laid it back down too close to the water. Too caught up on the success of my daughter feeding on the bottle, it was too late before I remembered it was time to burp her. She had gone through the bottle, and it was now a waiting game. My bobber was back in the water dipping up and down. Thirty minutes passed by and before I knew it, my relaxed Saturday night turned upside down. Filled with gas, my daughter demonstrated just how strong her lungs are. I tried every trick that had worked in the past. We bounced; we listened to the sound of running water and even sought to splash in the tub. After almost forty minutes of screaming crying with no end in sight, I started to feel the anger build inside of me. How could you feed her an entire bottle at once? How can you be so stupid? My sidekick had arrived, and he was not here to help. My patience started to wear, and I could feel myself wanting to aim my anger towards Aaylah for not stopping.

Fortunately, I was aware of my feelings and controlled my emotions. It was not until another thirty minutes of bouncing that the gas had finally passed. With sore arms and a painful lower back, I found myself lying in bed, staring at my peaceful sleeping daughter. My Saturday night may not have been relaxing, but it sure was worth it.

Looking back at that moment when my anger almost got the best of me, I realized that a valuable lesson I had recently learned is what allowed me to control my emotions and come back from a place of love. While my anger was building and my back aching, I took a moment to see the problem she was having and view it from her standpoint. I needed to find out if there was anything for me to learn before I assumed what was happening. It was after I did this, that I was able to feel the pain she was in from having gas and learned that crying was the only way she knew how to handle it.

Next time you are around someone who makes you irritated, take a moment to see the problems they are having and try to view them from their standpoint. Do this to find out what there is to learn before assuming what is happening. Too often, we make judgments of people without understanding what they are experiencing. When someone is not acting in a way you would wish he or she would, before making judgments, put yourself in his or her shoes. Find out what else there is to learn. Just maybe, your irritation or anger will turn into compassion like mine had.

#Mindfulness #Sidekick #LivingHealthy #Awareness

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