Raising kids is an endless journey filled with valleys where you can’t see the sun below all the cloud cover, and mountaintops where you feel like you were born to be a parent and God himself has kissed your family and put his blessing on each one of you.
Most of the filling though, is the stuff in between, the gooey, crunchy, sticky and smelly stuff. The stuff that makes you feel like you will lose your mind, and the stuff that you assume only plagues your family and children. The stuff we try to hide when friends come over for a visit, and the stuff we often laugh about after the kids are in bed, or in front of their faces, there is that too.
The other day, I told my sons’ to clean their room. Later they emerged and started playing a video game, so naturally I assumed that the room got clean. This was my first mistake.
Upon entering their room, it appeared in order, dresser drawers weren’t hanging open, no clothes were falling out of the bookshelf (which is really, quite a win on my part as that battle has been long fought), and there wasn’t a terrible stench coming from the bathroom. This is where I began to mentally pat myself on the back and think, “I am a pretty good mom, my kids listened the first time, and I didn’t yell” Hooray!
But just as soon as the thought entered my head, another, more sinister thought took hold. Look in the closet, it said.
So against my better judgement (why can’t I just be the mom that really doesn’t care if there is or isn’t crap shoved into the closet with abandon), I open the door, but it catches. Not. Good. I shove the door open against a HUGE pile of CLOTHES and SHOES, COSTUMES, TOYS and TRASH. And then, as I was hit with a distinct smell of cat pee at the back of the closet (from an unfortunate incident where one of our cats got shut in the closet “accidentally”), my incredible mom senses picked up on something soft, and fluffy, yet crunchy sounding, barely audible, but there. I peeked behind the door, and found no less than 50 candy wrappers- sans candy of course-wadded up in and placed so far behind the door that one could have only been trying to hide them.
The whole incident made me realize that I often have an idea in my head of what is an acceptable way to behave, and my children have another idea entirely!
So this, my friends, is my plea to my kids- For goodness sakes, don’t make me actually say these phrases aloud!
- Cleaning your room doesn’t mean throwing everything into your closet (only in circumstances when company is coming over shortly is this OK)
- Yes, you must put on clothes to go to the store
- Yes you have to change out of your grimy sweatshirt that you’ve worn for 3 days and nights to go to church
- Please don’t eat spoonfuls of ranch dressing
- If you’re going to pee off the porch, don’t aim for the dog
- No, Mount Everst probably isn’t made out of hot dogs
- Do not try to lick my toe
- Don’t wipe your buggers on the wall of the bathroom when you’re on the toilet
- Your trash can is for trash- not for peeing in when your don’t feel like walking to the bathroom- this incident actually happened to my sister in the midst of raising 4 boys
- Do not check to see if you need toilet paper after a making a poop by swiping your finger across your butthole!
I truly hope that this list gave you a good laugh, and I mostly hope that you can relate with some crazy parenting tales of your own, because that will make me feel way less crazy!
Holding strong together as moms,