Zoe and I were discussing her piggies in the bath last night when I suddenly remembered an incident from the dark times – last winter, when she wasn’t sleeping and I wasn’t sleeping and I had too many commitments and just kept getting dumber and dumber.

My mother was visiting, and started on Zoe’s toes. “This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home…”

“Oh, she knows that one,” I hastened to announce. In front of my mother I felt guiltily as though I wasn’t teaching the baby enough. I wanted to sing to her and read to her and talk to her but there just wasn’t enough time to do everything. We did the piggy rhyme, though, and no one was going to say we didn’t.

“She likes the WEE WEE WEE part best,” I bragged.

“They all do,” agreed my mother, and instantly I was enraged. How dare she suggest that my six-month old was like other babies! Zoe was unusually brilliant and it was amazing that she responded to the end of the verse by looking up slightly and smiling!

Of course, now I can see that I was crazy. Even a dumb baby would prefer WEE WEE WEE to “this little piggy had roast beef,” and no one was judging me. Or Zoe.

I know that my reactions were about hormones, sleeplessness, and my own personal history with my mother, who can push my buttons like no other. In general I try not to take things personally. But I wonder how often I overreact like that and DON’T remember to laugh at myself later?

Today in our first orchestra rehearsal I was not pleased with my reeds or my playing. I was struggling with the different dynamic scale and sound that a chamber orchestra requires. I had not been on such a live stage in a while. I felt exposed and judged. But I know that I can pull it together, and I suspect no one else was as critical of me as I was. I’m still looking forward to tomorrow’s concert. And I’ll say WEE WEE WEE all the way home.

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