After five years and three children, there are days when I think, “I’ve got this whole parenting thing pretty much figured out.” Then almost immediately, I fall right on my butt. Sometimes literally.
Earlier this week, we went to the pool with friends and were getting ready to leave – dangerously close to naptime – and Peach, my three year old daughter, decided she wasn’t going to “come here” when I called her, so I ended up chasing her around the baby pool – my first mistake. I was just going to grab her up and dry her off so we could get going, but it gets slippery around there, and I ended up on my butt with several other moms asking if I was okay and saying how awful that looked. Great. Come on, Peach.
After the whole falling-on-butt thing, I was just ready to go home, then of course V. did a #2 in her swim diaper. Is there really anything more gross? Probably, but nothing that I could think of at that moment.
Friends are a good thing, especially those that understand the frustration that can sometimes accompany wrangling several small children. Mandy swooped down, handed me a baggie to put the swim diaper in, and said with a smile, “Wow, that was a pretty intense five minutes, huh?” Through the frustration, I remembered right then – they are just kids, and I am the adult, and this is all kind of funny in a way…
Then there are days like today, when everything my kids say is hilarious and I can’t stop quoting them… Does this have to do with the fact that my kids are miraculously perfectly-behaved today, or is their mother taking things more lightly? Makes me wonder.
The quality of life my kids have on a day to day basis depends on MY attitude. Yikes. I recently read (on Pinterest, of course) a quote that jarred my world.
I know it’s true because I can still hear my mom’s voice when I’m making tough decisions or daydreaming or whatever. Sometimes quotes from her just randomly pop in my head without even trying.
As summer winds down, I’ve been spending some extra time snuggling my soon-to-be kindergartener just a little tighter and trying – always trying at least – to be patient with all three of my maniacs. If I can’t be patient and loving, how will they learn to be patient and loving of others?
I’m realizing that these years go by much, much too quickly. Soon these littles will all be in school all day, then in high school, college and out of my reach. In the blink of an eye they’ll be out of the house. I’m going to miss this.
Today I’m going to take a deep breath, pray for patience, and realize that what I’m looking at RIGHT NOW will be one of my favorite memories when I’m eighty.