Friday, September 19, 2008

A Few Ups and Downs of Parenting

A funny tidbit:
Last month, I was battling a small cold. After a sneezing attack, Ruby advised me to take a cough drop: “Mom, you can get that thing what Daddy does to make your throat smell better.”

My children aren’t synchronized on their nap schedules: a thing I find slightly vexing. Some days, I may have ½ hour where they are all asleep—uh—in bed. (Ruby doesn’t take a nap most of the time. She has never been a fan of sleep and has boycotted naptime most days for over a year now.)

Even so, I find that I am a much better mama if I have had a break. Therefore, Ruby is not required to sleep, just be quiet in her bed. So, in this break (Haley fussing in the bassinet—hope she’ll succumb to sleep soon, R & C nearly to the end of supposed “naptime”) I’ll quickly post.

This morning, Ruby was playing with her doll. She kept getting it in and out of the crib, rocking on her rocking chair and talking to it about how it needed to go to sleep. I inquired as to what she was doing. She very calmly replied, “I have a baby and she’s 20 months old and she drives me nuts.”

When I watch my girls play “Mommy,” I am often amazed that they are so patient and kind to their dolls, and I wonder where they get that. Their babies are almost always naughty (what fun is it when your baby isn’t?), and I’ve overheard Claire sweetly say, “If you get out of your crib again, you will lose a privilege.”

It really convicts me to see them play with their dolls and set expectations, boundaries and consequences with their “children,” without getting riled up or short of temper. I’m sure I don’t look like that most of the time. Sometimes I watch them mimic me—cringing, one eye closed—afraid of what I look or sound like to them throughout the day. And when they do this with their dolls, I am almost certain that they don’t get it from watching me.

Yes, this parenting role has been challenging, to say the least. Like my dear friend E. and I were discussing a few weeks ago, sanctification is not an elective. I think one of the verses that I find most comforting at this time of extreme testing is Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God saves to sanctify—and eventually perfect—His children. Even though some days I see so much sin in my life that upon reflecting on the day I would almost swear I am more sinful than I was 10...5…2 years ago, I can know from God’s Word that if I am His child, the truth is that He is exposing more of my sin and working out His promise to finish what He started. From God’s perspective, I’m not getting worse; I’ve always been this sinful, and am more sinful than I can imagine—I’m glad I don’t know all He knows. I’m so grateful He doesn’t expose all my sin at once!

My friend Josanna was able to stay with us last night, on her way from CA to TX. My girls have such fun with her. I remember when I used to be fun with children, too.

Okay. Naptime’s over. Let the good times begin

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Might be a Mom to Three Short People If. . .

You are grateful for six hours of uninterrupted sleep.

You finish a phone conversation, take off your glasses, then realize you meant to hang up the phone.

There are days that you consider yourself successful if, at the end of the day, everyone is still alive and you got a shower to boot.

Your showers are accompanied by at least one other person, unless you take one at 6 a.m., 3 p.m. or 9 p.m.

Grocery shopping by yourself refreshes and renews you.

Despite your couch looking like this most of the week:

or at best, this:

your husband is just grateful to have something clean to wear to work.

A date with your husband consists of putting the children to bed and zoning out to a movie in the next room.

When someone at the store snidely jokes that you need to figure out "what causes that," you think to yourself: "I'm not sure I can remember."

You marvel at the thought that some people actually need to use birth control at this stage to keep from getting pregnant again.

You congratulate your children for doing things like this:

When pulling into a parking lot, your first objective is no longer to find the space closest to the store, but the cart corral.

A suggestion from your husband that you go to a coffee shop and blog for an hour makes you giddy with excitement.

You can't remember the last time you had both a warm meal AND two free hands.

Upon your infant's cry of hunger, two non-lactating short people offer--and attempt--to breastfeed her.

You let them.

You consider it "a break" to go anywhere with only one or two of your children.

You have found yourself in a public bathroom stall with all three children, holding 2 of them.

Throughout the day, you periodically burst into melodramatic and sarcastic renditions of theme songs from Little Einstein or Super Readers.

You wonder if your brain cells will ever regenerate enough for you to have an intellegent conversation.

You don't remember if or when you've ever had one.

You can tell what time of day it is, based on the cleanliness of your shirt

At bedtime, you can easily identify a half-dozen stains and/or bodily fluids on said shirt.

Almost none of said bodily fluids belong to you.

You are grateful for this.

You lose your train of thought mid-sentence.

It takes a few minutes for either you or your husband to notice. . .

and . . .

It really isn't worth the effort to figure out what you were saying .