Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An "In Real Life" Morning

This morning was of the self depreciating kind.  One where I go through the litany in my head of all the ways I am failing as a mother.

I wanted to clean upstairs today so I put the kids and baby on the porch.  And everything was merry.  But then I heard, from afar, William say, It's snowing! and I thought to myself, this cannot be good.  It wasn't.  He was pouring the remnants of a box of baby cereal over Katherine's head.  He knows better.  Oh boy does he know better.  And I made that quite clear.

At that very moment Brian's sister called.  She, also with three young kids at home plus a baby nephew that she watches five days a week.  Instead of my usual happy greeting the minute I hit the Talk button on the phone, I answered with a great big ARGH!

She laughed and said, yep, she's also wanted to throw her three-year-old out the window since eight that morning.

And that made me feel better. Because I know that my sister-in-law is a really, really good mom.  And if even a really, really good mom feels like she wants to throw her son out of the window every once in a while, then I was probably OK.

It was raining this morning as it has every other day for the past two weeks.  I might build an ark.  I know the constant gloominess just made everything feel worse than it really was.  My kids need a lot of fresh air and when they don't get it, they go crazy.

I made a deal with them.  If they cleaned up all their toys in the living and dining room, I would let them watch The Muppets.  It's their latest addiction.  They have all the songs and 80% of the lines memorized.

In true kid fashion, nothing motivates more than a treat or TV time so they picked up those toys in record time.  I turned on the movie and went upstairs to finish cleaning.

Cleaning soothes me.  Few people will understand this, I know.  It calms me and it allows my mind to collect its thoughts and evaluate.  But the problem with cleaning is that I hate being interrupted.  I get very irritated if this happens.  So the whole time I have this constant battle going on in my head.  On the one hand I'm a bad mom for resorting to the television to babysit my kids.  But on the other hand, to thine own self be true.

I was thisclose to being finished with the cleaning when the baby woke up from her morning nap.  I knew she was going to be hungry for real food because I didn't give her any for breakfast.  And when it comes to babies, well, they're the boss.  No TV will distract her when she's got a grumbling belly.

So I paused my cleaning to mash her up some bananas and feed her and this, of course, prompted the older kids to come into the kitchen and ask for their lunch.  So I put together their sandwiches and fruit and yogurt and after I served it to them in the dining room I came back into the kitchen and almost took a picture of it for you.  It was like a bomb had gone off in there.  And this made me laugh because while I was using every ounce of effort to dust and vacuum and mop and scrub the upstairs, my kitchen was going to hell in a hand basket.

It's the irony of the life I lead.

In the end, the cleaning got finished.  I got to eat lunch myself before 2:00 p.m; a rarity.  I even had time to tidy up that bomb of a kitchen.  And the real treat?  All three kids fell asleep during rest time.  I'm the luckiest mom in the world.

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