Friday, September 17, 2010

Just One Of Those Days

I don't know why some days it is all so effortless and other days it seems I have all I can do not to rip every hair from my head and peel the skin off my face.

Some days this mothering gig is filled with warm, golden light. Smiles and giggles and snuggles. And other days I look at these little creatures and wonder how I'm going to make it until 8:00.

Before I was a parent I had no idea of the things I would be dealing with.

Yesterday after Tommy was done using the bathroom I heard a shuffling behind me and when I turned around I saw him baby-stepping into the room with his pants and underwear around his ankles. Before I could ask him what was going on he turned around, bent over, put his hands on the floor, bootie in the air, and said, "Mom, I wiped my butt by myself! Could you look in there and make sure it is clean?" And the kicker? It wasn't clean. At all.

There are times when I see Ben licking the door handle and seriously question whether there is a brain cell in that head at all.

There are only so many times I can point to something in front of the boys' faces and say, "There! It is right THERE! Go get it! See it? Look where I am pointing! Right in FRONT OF YOU! Boy! Look THERE!!!!!!" without questioning if they have a serious mental deficiency. And I am actually proud of myself when I don't ask them, "Where is your brain?"

Sometimes I actually LIKE going to the bathroom without a screaming, whining person following me in. Not that I ever actually get to do it.

The boys ask me why I wait to eat until they go to school or go to bed, but sometimes I like to eat my food without stopping 800 times to wipe a butt, or stop a fight, or grab food for someone, or share my dinner, or refill a milk glass.

I've often heard people ask why no one ever told them parenting is this hard. I think people do tell you but you choose to ignore it. And, really, you can't even comprehend it. A person may try to tell you that parenting is tough but nothing they say can prepare you for it. It is like trying to explain labor. You can tell someone that it is the most pain they will ever feel but you can't make them feel it. You can tell someone how all consuming parenting is but you can't make them understand it. It is nonstop. All day long. Putting every single need of your own way on the back burner. Trying to teach them every single thing that they need to know to get through life. Trying to reason with someone who has zero reasoning skills. Trying to communicate with a little person that can not speak. Nevermind all the sleepless nights, running them to football practice, boy scouts, doing their homework, swimming classes, three (or five) meals a day, keeping them safe and clean. That is just the busy work. These littles just happen to be watching your every move to learn how to become either a wonderful, loving person or a complete psychopath. Awesome. No pressure.

There are so many days I wish I were better at this. Much more patient and loving and kind. But I guess I am just human. Just like everyone else. I do the best I can. There are days I am super awesome. And there are days I am a miserable failure.

And there are days like today where I am somewhere in between. Just trying to laugh it all off.

This morning as I was getting Grace's breakfast ready Ben came in the kitchen to watch what I was doing. I saw him bend over, lift up his shoe, pick something off the bottom of his shoe and put it in his mouth. I held back my vomit.

"Oh honey. Don't do that. Don't eat things off the bottom of your shoe." I tried to say gently.

"Why not?" He asked innocently.

"Because that is really dirty. And who knows what that was that you just put in your mouth. Icky." I answered.

"Well, it was pretty good. It definitely had honey in it!" Ben responded happily.

Some days I am just thankful for a laugh.

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Mom24 said...

I love this, and I relate to it completely. Yesterday was one of those days, there were moments I was definitely a miserable Fail. Ugh.

Good thing most of the time I do better than that, but it is hard.

dawn klinge said...

Oh my, you had me laughing so hard! I've been there. It's hard isn't it? And wonderful. You're right in the thick of it right now, with the ages of your kids, but I can tell you, it does get easier.

lime said...

oh my word...definitely had honey in it. do you gag or laugh. both i think.

hang in there, kat. even on the days you feel like a failure you are not. all of us who have children we let live to see adolescence and adulthood have been where you are. you're only a failure if you stop trying altogether. savor the good days and breathe deeply through the bad days.

Mel said...

Absolutley PERFECT post. Now *I* don't have to write it...I'll just send my readers here. a woman, a person, AND a mother. Don't ever forget it.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Thanks for saying what I was thinking...much more eloquently. Because I'm so in your same boat. During the summer, I waited to eat lunch after the girls went down.

And, nobody (myself included) will listen or understand when you try to describe any of those things!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Oh you summed up live in this post! awesome!!
I laughed until I cried!

Hattie said...

Baaahahaha! Sometimes we just have to laugh to keep from crying. Don't worry you're not alone in thinking that boys have no brain cells. I wonder about that daily w/ mine!!! Have a great weekend and hang in there!!!

Unknown said...

I'm laughing so hard over here at your comment about them not seeing things as you are pointing to them right in front of their face because my G is the same EXACT way and it frustrates me so bad!!!

And I you are SO right- Parenting is one of those things you have to DO before you can really KNOW.

That pic of Grace is perfect for this post.

Kat said...

Krystyn- It reminds me of that line in the movie A Christmas Story when he says his mom hasn't had a hot meal since 1942 (or pick a year). Boy do I get that now! ;)

Elaine- Thankfully, Joey has gotten better at it and can follow my pointing finger but I have NO CLUE as to why they younger boys are so lost. I'm pointing to it! RIGHT THERE!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!

tweetey30 said...

I know this all too well with my girls.. just too well.. I have the same problems and my oldest is nine and she hates looking when asked to get something just to get out of doing it.. I have the pointing finger too and my oldest just stands there.. YIKES!! Want to pull hair out right there and then.. Not sure whose hair though. Mine or hers..LOL..

Elizabeth Lyng said...

Yep, i can totally relate. Laughter is the best medicine though, and truly it is sometimes all you can because it's better than crying!

Emily said...

hahahahaha! I think that every mother can relate to those feeling 100%!!! I know I definitely can!

Tonya said...

You sound like me.

Anonymous said...

Oh this post made me laugh!! :-) And I think you are can tell someone till they are blue in the face (labor/parenting is like...) but until you actually go THROUGH it you just can't know!! LOL

Rima said...

That is absolutely priceless! And I'm glad to know that other peoples' kids are also unable to see things that are right in front of their face.

P.S. My kid ate part of a nerf ball once.

Mel said...

8:10 this morning...I actually heard myself say, "Claire! We don't lick doorknobs! EVER!!!" I had to come back and read this again. I may print it out and carry it in my pocket...

Anonymous said...

It is the hardest work. I don't miss wiping butts, but I still walk into SO many bathrooms where people didn't flush. Or aim. Ugh. And what's with the kids who lick everything? For the love of Pete!

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

This post is just so wonderful. I was laughing, nodding in agreement and gagging a little at the shoe thing. Definitely had honey in it...what a cutie.

Jill said...

Just to have a meal where we're all together EATING at the same time would be fine with me. If I'm not getting something for somebody, one of my kids is taking a poop in the bathroom, or falling off their chair and hurting themselves and I'm then off to do first aid ...

... never ending is it?

Jac said...

Today was definitely "one of those days" at my house!! (It's always nice to read a blog like this where I know I'm not alone!!)

Lindsay said...

Well I certainly know how you are feeling - along with every other mother around. You hear people say "it's the hardest job in the world" and you think, yeah, whatever, it can't be THAT hard.....and then WHAM!

I had to laugh when you said you were proud of yourself for NOT asking if they had a brain in there because I remember my dad always asking my brother "Were you BORN without a brain?" (joking....kind of...of course) - LOL. Still makes me laugh because it's totally true. Some days you just have to wonder!

Hang in there.

Kristen said...

Oh my gosh Kat this might be my most favorite post of yours. Seriously friend the best!! I agree I think we chose to ignore it. It is ridiculously hard. Crazy hard, and all along we are just trying not to fail.

Just so you know, I think you rock at being a mom. Totally! And your kids are going to be so thankful to you for the stories you can retell them when they are older. "Hey Benny remember the one about you eating things off the bottom of your shoe?" Family stories for years to come!

After an awful stress-filled day with house stuff (ugh!) I needed to hear that I am not alone on this mothering road. Thanks for being so honest and sharing the truth! :)

Hugs friend!

Lisa said...

You. Are. Awesome. You just summed up how we all feel at some point. Cuz it can be really great, but there are so many times that it's just like you described!

Hugs ~ hoping your day is as sweet as honey ;) (hee, hee!)

designHER Momma said...

dirty butts, when not at my home, make me laugh.

Sorry, I've been there.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Amen! I must have looked like I was in in a southern gospel church while reading this, nodding my head saying, "Oh yeah", "So true!", "Yep" (can I hear an "Amen?").

I have a feeling your floors are easily clean enough to eat off of anyway Kat ;-)
Your blog is really beautiful-- love this back ground!

maggie said...

Hahahaha, it had honey in it. Too funny. I actually laughed out loud, like not LOL, but for real.

Tammy said...

I really loved reading this. I have those days in my memories. The only things I seem to deal with these days is the constant arguing and teasing. I have an almost 14 year old, 11 and 8 year old. Your kids sound amazing.

Jackie K said...

This is a beautiful post. It is an honest and accurate picture of life with small children. Thank you for a wonderful piece, I loved it.
I'll visit again!

Karen Deborah said...

This post needs to be published in a parenting magazine. You hit it right on the head in your usual witty style. 4 kids is a tall order and you are a great mother. said...

It's the lack of honest breaks that make parenting so hard, isn't it?

To make you feel better: Today, at WalMart, Corinne bought 3 gumballs with her purse money for herself and her brothers. Awwwww, right? And then, when she dropped HERS on the floor and her heart about stopped because she wanted to eat it anyway? I avoided said tantrum by telling her to wash the gumball off in the water fountain and just eat it anyway.

Feel better about yourself, now?

Beck said...

My brother - a first-time parent - has been complaining about how hard parenting is, and he said "You know, everyone SAID it was hard, but I just thought we'd be better at it than they were."

Michelle Faith said...

I think God made us that way, cause if we really understood what being a parent was like before we had kids NO ONE would have kids and the world would come to an end.... Some days I envy the working moms. Great post...thanks for the laugh and giving me the feeling I'm not in this by myself!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson