Thursday, August 2, 2012

one step forward, two steps back?

Anyone else out there ever feel like life, or hell, I’ll just say it…motherhood, is one step forward two steps back?  I don’t mean to be a downer but lately this has been the theme of my days.
As soon as I feel good about the accomplishments I’ve made, I look up and not only have the kids gotten into something, they have now created such a mess that, truly, it’s up to me to deal with. I know, I know. I should teach them responsibility and make them clean it themselves….but let me elaborate.

When my niece was here a few weeks ago I was feeling pretty good about various projects and progress we’d made in the home. Only to walk downstairs one morning and discover the kids had completely shredded the Styrofoam packaging that came with our new IKEA furniture. Luckily (ha!) it was the type that when broken down is in large balls. Large, as in slightly less than ¼ inch size. I walked down the steps, turned the corner, still patting myself on the back for whatever great advancement in home decorating or aunt/niece relationship building that I had made (I don’t even remember) when I turned my eyes and discovered all three of my precious gifts from above covered in little white floaty balls. I gasped, they all pointed…at each other. It was not any of them who had done it of course. I’m talking shredded people. There was no evidence of previous packaging left to be discovered. None.

So, I did what any mom would do and told them to clean it up. That was a joke. After a couple hours of listening to them bicker (not my first choice of words) and moan about whose fault it was and who should pick it up, I gave in. “Just go to your rooms”. Truly there was no way those crazy kids could have ever been able to tackle such a disaster zone. (This was not one of those occasions when your kids get into something and it’s kinda funny so you say ‘hold on’, and grab the camera before you yell…I was mad.)

 It was up to me to correct the situation. It was up to me to get those darned kids out of the way so I could get this issue resolved today. Or who knows how many weeks it could have taken for them to clean it up. It was up to me to put all my mommy/aunt/homemaker/ duties aside and clean up someone else’s mess.

 Have you ever tried to clean up Styrofoam balls? It is no easy task. The junk flies when you try to sweep it. Just what I needed, a day of chasing little white balls around my basement. But I did it anyway. Was there any real option? Leave it for dad to see? No, I like my kids too much for that. So a whole afternoon was lost to the great Styrofoam sweep of 2012.

Two steps back.

Two days later a precious angel dumps her lemonade in the car…my fault again. Why give them lemonade in the car? I could bore you with the details of us being in another town shopping all day and they finally got to have a $1 store drink but that really doesn’t matter…what mattered was the 3 hours I spent after our one-step-forward shopping trip, taking two-steps-back to clean the aftermath. Another afternoon not spent with my niece. (I could also bore you with the details that we have ants in the driveway so it was imperative that I get any sugary sweetness out of my car pronto!)

 Here’s a good one…. (this is just within a few weeks mind you) after busting our butts in the yard for a few days, the honey and I are chilling in our room one night (I’m doing more itching than chilling but I’ll get to that in a minute) when the little Love of ours needs something and Alan goes down stairs to get it for her. Only to discover that while we were chilling and we thought the kids were all also relaxing watching a movie together, Miss Love had actually gone into the office, got a sharpie and continued to draw sweet images all over the door, walls, washer, dryer, ironing board, laundry baskets and who knows what else.

Alan came up to tell me and in my already out-of-my-mind state I decided not to beat (I exagerate) the child. I would wait and take a look at it the next day. Only...the next day found some early drawings on the brother’s carpet, and later Alan’s nightstand and computer. You can imagine his delight. I guess the “lets wait to discipline” wasn’t the right approach. Strike three for Mom.

 To top off all of the sharpie sweetness and to get back to my original complaint point…after two days of sweating our tushys off making progress in the yard I started to notice some itching sensations on my upper body. I can’t even go back and tell you the when and how, (I really had spent more time outside), but come Tuesday an allergic reaction I thought I was having to a cosmetic, in fact, turned out to be poison ivy. Yea! So I type this with arms and hands covered in the lovely pink goo that accompanies the blistering reminders of a hard days work. My face has also taken a beating from the leaves of three. Oh and did I mention I managed to also strategically place the back of my hand on a wasp nest resulting in the, not one, but two, wasp stings that have made my hand swell up and look like one of those hospital gloves you blow up to entertain kids in the emergency room…oh yea, we did that this last couple of days also….

So while I’m a mess trying to take care of three kids, while not busting a ripe blister and making arrangements for all four of us to head to the dr. (Poison ivy on your face isn’t pretty people.
Imagine one eye swollen and my saying “HEY YOU GUYS!”…. that’s what I felt like),

my dear hubby calls me and says “don’t freak out, but I’m having chest pains and going to the emergency room”…cool. Why not?

So my pity party of itchy, red loveliness went out the window and into prayer mode. The prayer requests went out (and were answered) and my whole mind became devoted to him. I even managed to suck up my pride and go into public to meet him at the hospital.

Alan spent the night at the hospital, underwent stress tests, poking, prodding and the ripping off of chest hair (he was attached to all kinds of medical stuff I don’t understand) to discover that he was, in fact, fine. We still don’t know what happened but his risk factors don’t leave any room for error.  I however spent the night pacing as I suffered from insomnia due to the meds I was prescribed, tried not to itch myself, took a number of oatmeal baths and prayed for sweet relief.  

To catch up to the present moment…he’s home, I’m itchy, the kids are alive and healthy (and hopefully not doodling as I type), the basement is still covered in black squiggles, and life continues to be good. Why good?

Tonight, while waiting for Alan to return home, which seemed like forever, I caught the Artist drawing in her brother’s notebook. A bit peeved, I asked her what she was doing, she showed me she was writing a letter to Jesus. “Yea, cause I love him”

Now I don’t know if it was due to the prayers we were sending up, or the praise. But my little girl had decided, on her own, to write a letter to Jesus. I can only imagine what her little heart was trying to articulate.

In all this junk life has thrown at us in the past couple of weeks…I type with a still swollen hand, itchy skin, serious need for wine and full heart...all of my family is home, safe, and with me.

So, after taking quite a few steps backwards…I’d like to say, we’ve made it out ahead.


  1. Oh my goodness, what a sweet girl. Kids have such a way of driving us crazy and then putting it all back into perspective, huh?!

    PS, My Gabby is almost 10 and I STILL catch her tagging things in our house. Sometimes I want to strangle her!

    1. Yes Michelle!! They drive us crazy and keep us grounded at the same time!


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