“Oh, well, now that you have four you’ve probably got it all figured out.”
Someone said this to me at church Sunday. I laughed.
Things I have figured out:
- Sleep is my love language. My ideal romance novel would be the love story of a strong, handsome husband who sweeps his yoga pants wearing wife off her feet, carries her to bed, lays her down in the freshly laundered sheets, and whispers softly in her ear, “Sleep sweet, my love, and when you wake, the kids will be in bed, the house will be clean, and I will feed you cake. Oh, and you look sexy when you drool in your sleep.” <—romance writers, THIS IS GOLD for my demographic. In fact, as soon as I get some sleep I’m going to write this book and hire a housekeeper and chef for our mansion with all the money it makes.
- When I run out of time in the morning and end up taking our 1st grader to school in my pjs covered in spit up whilst sporting a drool goatee on my face, my car WILL run out of gas and the “pay at the pump” feature at the gas station will not be working, so I will have to go inside where I will definitely see a very put together mommy of another 1st grader in my son’s class. And she will want to have an adult conversation with me as I stand in my red pokadot pajamas and neon green socks and slippers. This will cause a part of me to die.
- Yelling only makes everyone more crazy. It inflames situations and hurts feelings. It only teaches yelling and poor communication skills. And some days, it is really, really hard to not yell. Days like today. Today started at 3:30 am with a hungry baby and a crick in my neck. It continued with a load of pee soaked bedding. Then dog number 1 threw up and number 2 ate it. So I cleaned the floors. Then I made breakfast for a bunch of face pullers who didn’t want “those eggs”. Then I got everyone in the car to take Zeke to school, and then the whole gas station thing happened. Then we came home and as I fed the baby again I heard Connor telling Amelia to stop playing with the vaseline. So I unlatched the baby, went in the bathroom and found Amelia covered from head to toe in vaseline and Connor sitting on the toilet. As I washed the vaseline from Amelia (an exercise in futility) I noticed I was standing in water. Only it was not water. Connor had sprayed the entire bathroom in pee. Walls, floors, cabinets, rug, toilet, step stool, a book(?), all soaked in little boy pee. ugh. must..walk..away. All of this before 10 am. This will test your resolve to parent gently.
- If I am on the phone, the conversation will go something like this:
Mom: “hi honey, did you..”
Me: “whoops, that was a productive burp.”
Mom: “aww, sweet baby. So did you get…”
(Amelia trips over brother’s shoes and collapses in tears. Climbs screaming into my lap)
Me: “You are fine. No need to scream. Do NOT push your sister. Sorry, mom. What were you saying?”
(Eva Tennessee noisily nurses while Amelia whimpers in my lap. Connor enters the room.)
Mom: “yes, did you get my…”
Connor: “Zeke doesn’t like my pjs! And can I have some milk??”
Me: “Connor, I need you to wait and stop picking your nose. Mom, I did get your message. I love your idea!…”
Zeke, hollering from the other side of the house: “I never said I didn’t like his pjs!! He was being weird and wearing Amelia’s shoes!!! And if Connor has some milk, can I??”
Me: “Sorry, mom, I…”
Mom: “I understand.”
We call this disease Parenting Tourette’s and it is very, very real thing, regardless of whether or not WebMD recognizes it.
5. My multi tasking skills have no bounds. From the primal: the nurse ‘n’ poop, to the advanced: cooking-nursing-pouring milk-helping with homework all while answering mind numbing toddler questions.
6. I know when a cough is fake and when “My tummy hurts” means “I don’t want to eat this.” I know that some of the curtains in our house look like giant tissues to a certain member of this house and have been used as such. I know that, “Is that smell our dinner??” means that child needs an extra helping, and by the same token if I try something I don’t like in front of my kids, it is my unfun duty to finish it with a good attitude. I know the things my kiddos do that drive me crazy the most are the things I also struggle with. (Well. That’s not entirely true. To the best of my knowledge, I have never peed all over a bathroom. Whoops. That’s not entirely true. But, I was super pregnant and that’s a whole other story.) I know that the child who is being the most rotten is the one who needs loving kindness the most. And I am blessed everyday to learn a little more about what I do not know. Thankful for the daily (and nightly) lessons in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. So honored to be the mommy to these rascals, even if I am learning lessons while standing in a puddle of pee.
Love is not a battlefield. It’s a minefield of micro machines, legos, and shoes.