Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A day in the life of....

I am going to start this now at 7:12am and see if I can finish by the end of the day. The Crazy boys are all contained or distracted for the time being so here is my first attempt.

It's amazing the thoughts and stories that come to the surface when I have the chance to write them down. All of a sudden I am flooded with the kind of gratitude you feel all over your body and out through your eyeballs and fingertips. Therefore, many of the posts here end up feeling the same... "life is crazy but so thick and juicy...full of yummy but fleeting moments." What's ironic though and quite exposing is that every day doesn't always feel that way. 5 out of 7 days end with me recounting to my husband the 3 moments in that day that everything fell apart. Like fully fell apart. I treasure my authentic friendships the most so I am going to give you some doses of that reality today. {Sprinkled with precious smiles from the three as the perfect reminder of their sweet sides.}

1)Monday a new friend with three youngens as well invited our clan to a book fair benefitting her childrens' school and the very school that if money grew on the rosemary plant next to me we would send our children. The possibility isn't thrown out the window or atleast it wasn't until Monday. We pray (and beg) daily for this door to open but I think after Monday the door could have shut for us for real. (I'm being a little dramatic.)

Anyway, everything in me knew this was a very bad, no good, terrible idea. I had volunteered all morning in the 2 year old classroom as the teacher's helper. I had already dropped a 2 year old polly-pocket type of precious pig-tailed girl in the toilet (not knowing a thing about a girl when it comes to the potty) and my very own glasses-wearing, heart melting 2 year old had all but sent me into the corner in tears with his horrific "my mom is in the classroom" type of behavior. Yall, he literally clung to my leg 1/2 the morning and while I was assisting the teacher I drug him around like a vacuum. If he wasnt on my leg he was slithering down the hall like a snake and never once did I see him walk or be-bop as most two year olds do. I needed a toddy by 9:15am...put it that way. So, the baby was tired from his day away from any normal nap (because he was worn on me in the baby bjourn the whole time the two year old was attached to my left leg) and the two year old really just needed to be home in an empty room for awhile....alone. But against my inner instincts we ventured to the book fair where the melt downs began.

The boys have never been in a book store, only a library where books are allowed to be taken away, read, left on tables, and mostly touched. We got there way early on accident - like 25 minutes which in toddler time is like an hour and 45 minutes. I had used my 2 diapers on my 2 year old that morning because the child who the teacher says normally never goes #2 at school went #2 twice while his mama was there. I guess he is more comfortable when I am around?? So since I used both diapers of course law would tell you that the little stinker would go again and by go I mean GO! Enter the principal and admissions director for said school to pick out their books to read to the polite little children who just left their manners-heavy schooling, clad with ironed uniforms and happy smiles. Oh, and my two tired, hungry, never been in a book store, and now stinky toddlers. Do you see where this story is going?

Now I know boys will be boys and toddlers will be toddlers and I am just sure that this precious little school knows the difference in my fairly un-schooled toddlers and their well-mannered 5 year olds but got so bad, yall. My boys just had to be at the front of the story time in front of a slew of sweet boys and girls and what felt like gawking parents. They had to complain about the story being read. My stinky toddler nearly sat on the principals feet to get close enough to see the story and then threw the fit of the year when a little boy sat next to his older brother. Like any mother would do - I bribed him with his big brothers candy cane that I was holding for him and instead of staying next to me to eat it he went back to those high-heeled feet and drooled nice red drool down her leg, all the while older brother sees his candy cane being devoured and loses it. LOSES IT. This is about 8 pages into the 20 page book. HE LOSES IT! Do you feel me sweating. I was literally because I had the baby in the baby bookbag again and I had yet to have a second to take my coat off. It was hot in there yall and my insides were stirring and cringing at the scene before me. Could I walk away and look for the real mother of these two obviously badly parented children? Could I bribe them again to please come with me and get out of the middle of the circle..away from the spotlight?

Let's just say we got out of there with not a hair of my pride left intact and way too much money spent on books just to hopefully glaze over the scene that took place and distract the store and the benefitting school from the zoo that had just exited the building.

2) And then later that evening I ventured to the gym for a quick 30 minute run-all-of-my-angst-over-the-book-store-dissaster run. It was healing even if only 30 minutes. As we all piled back into the car on the first cold day and aptly, the first day I realized all of our winter coats are occupying someone's lost and found, I realized that it was the night my husband said he would be home after bed time for the boys kinda late. This called for a drive through dinner kinda night but as we drove past "the pancake place" aka the flying biscuit the boys squeals for special pancakes took over my logic. Luckily there wasn't another person wanting pancakes for dinner so we had the place to ourselves. Thus when the ornament bearing a candle crashed on the floor no one else heard it. Nor the 2nd one. And when the two year old poured the peppercorn balls all over his pancake thinking it was syrup no one was there to witness the defeat in my eyes. And luckily the scene that followed as I realized the boys had stuffed my credit cards in the couch at home that afternoon while I was feeding the baby and was just happy that they were entertained went unnoticed as well. "Umm, will you take a check for our dinner?" No, okay..."how about my Flex Spending Card?" "Can I wash a few dishes for you while you hold me three tired and sticky little boys?" Luckily, the manager was so ready for us to leave that he literally took an IOU and allowed me to call him later with my credit card info. I definitely spent more on the tip that night than I did on our 3 pancakes and eggs. My tummy just turned recalling that whole day. I'm just glad His mercies are new EVERY morning!So yesterday we awoke to a new day and we stayed inside the whole day! Lesson learned yet again the hard way.

3) Being a stay at home mom is certainly not all tennis matches and lululemon shopping trips after a coffee date at starbucks. Atleast it isnt for me. It's crazy mixed emotions all day long. Joy from seeing your children play with their plastic nativity set for the first time this season. To fear from then seeing your boy try to flush baby Jesus down the toilet. Gratitude while watching your boys, 14 months to separate them, play "Christmas" in the basement while you finally begin to unpack the 4th basket of cleaned and now wrinkled clothes. And then comes the defeated feelings when the same best of friends get into a pushing match on the stairs just to try to be first to the top. Didn't you just teach them that being first isn't always best and letting others go first is really the rewarding action to choose. Laughter fills our home each night as we watch these boys pretend and make up words for their little world. Its especially heart warming when they are all snug in their matching footie pajamas. But often in the very next moments tears can fill my weary eyes when the sweet bed time routine has turned into yet another drawn out battle of wills. This job is certainly not what I ever imagined it would be. It's not what my mom made it look like because let's be honest - from the eyes of the young child you never have true appreciation until you are actually in the drivers seat. Until you are actually the one awake at night thinking about the things you said during the day to the little ones still mendable heart. Or until you are the one actually seeing your child struggle to figure something out or rejoice when he has clearly amazed even himself. Goodness, if I could now years later truly give my mom thanks for the days and years spent at home, in a pony tail maybe having gone days with only conversation from the mouths of babes - it would feel so good. Now I finally really get it and all of the cards and presents I tried to gift to her over the years not fully knowing the gratitude they could represent would now carry so much weight. Thank you, mama!

So as you can see staying at home all day every day with your children can leave you feeling a little awkward when you finally get out into the real on-time, fully-dressed, paying jobs to tend to type of people. Saturday Brad graciously gave me the day to myself to get some things done. We have lived in our house 8 months and have yet to hang a curtain nor lay a rug. In the grand scheme of things - rugs and curtains are silly but when you have boys running around mostly nude most of the day a little privacy could be nice and a rug or two may help the immobile baby start to want to move. So, I headed out feeling a little silly. I had all this freedom and no real place to be, no one to be with and no budget or checklist to adhere to. I wound up at a fabric store in midtown. I spent the majority of my day away browsing the aisles full of color and pattern and with every rack my mind jumped from place to place in our home, which meant I really got nowhere. I couldn't focus nor did I have an inkling of an idea of what spoke to me. That very morning I couldn't even decide on the creamer I wanted in my coffee. Don't get me wrong - I think I know myself more than I have ever before but there is so little margin in my head to think about anything other than taking care of people so when I get the opportunity it's like my creative brain goes to sleep from overload. It certainly leaves me feeling like a cardboard box in a sea of freshly painted Van Goh's. Needless to say, I left 3 hours later a little defeated but certainly grateful for the time to just wander and dream. I went straight to the upholstery shop to turn the little swab of (plain) fabric I did find into some pillows. Sonny, the owner was a foreign petite little woman with about 50% accuracy in English. We had a 30 minute broken conversation about pillows and then out of nowhere the tears came. Seriously. I am crying on a Saturday in the pillow shop. There were Buckhead women waiting behind me to just pick up their treasures and all the while I am having a melt down with Sonny - my newest and dearest friend. As she could sense my frustration with attempting to decorating my house she goes into a half English version of her take on motherhood. I couldn't understand half of it but I understood all of it. Do you know what I mean? In a nutshell, she was assuring me that pillows don't matter. And bland walls and floors aren't important. All of this I know but yet it still tugs at my heart beckoning for me to pay it some attention on the rare occasion that my husband gives me a free day. Really, my free day should have been spent over coffee with a friend or hiking Kennesaw mountain...doing something that feeds me and allows me to feel like more than just a caregiver.

Pillows and rugs will have their day, Sonny says, but my children will be grown before I know it and they don't even care about pillows. I left the shop and my day away with not one take home but yet I did take away the best thing of all.....that grateful heart that I spoke about above. Yes, there is no time during the day - not any spare minute to be selfish. And yes, our house is a conglomeration of lousy art projects and pinterest fails. But there is so much goodness in my day. There is so many sweet things happening for the first time that everything else seems silly and useless.

I told Sonny she was hired as my pillow maker when I get around to doing it but in the mean time I would stop by for a pep talk every few weeks. It's amazing what a genuine conversation with an adult, albeit a stranger, can do for the soul. Much more than a boutique pillow I am sure.