Monday, October 22, 2012

Not My Morning

I was a terrible mother that Thursday morning.  I got up late (for me), forced my children to listen to me hit the five-minute snooze button for over half an hour (so counting the initial alarm, that's seven separate still-dark-outside rings), pulled my children out of bed (early for them), forced them both to complete the homework that they hadn't finished the night before, and shoved rice (that their blessed father--Thank you, HEAVENLY Father, for getting earthly father up that morning since earthly mother seemed so un-earthly) into their waiting mouths at breakfast.  I was not patient.  I was not kind.  I forgot to pack carrots in their lunch boxes but remembered the junk food.  They didn't get their daily jokes either. 

But, perhaps because I was late, I did it all with them. 

That was different.  I rubbed the big one's back, bounced the little one on my knee.  I sat at the table with them and looked into their eyes as they talked to me.

"Mom," the little one said.  "You smell so good."

"Awww.  How sweet.  Thank you."

"Yep.  Just like the swimming pool."  Sigh.  That's from the last minute attempt to clean the gross sink before they got ready in the morning.

That's unusual because I'm usually running back and forth.  That's how I remember my mother as well.  On her feet, running back and forth, too busy to sit down.  I talked to her back for years and years and years, until she told me her ears were tired.

Now that certainly isn't always the case.  I don't spend all my time cut off from the children.  My children have some interesting issues, which you can read and laugh about here, that mean that I do, in fact, spend a great deal of time engaged with them.  But, sadly, that time seems to be enforcer time when Mommy must wear her "That is not funny" face and dole out discipline.  And while I know why I need to do it, this Mommy does not like that role very much.

And so, even though it was not my morning, even though my head was pounding, my eyes were running, and my nose was clogged, and even though I was a pretty terrible mother, I think I enjoyed being a mother much more that Thursday, so much more that I decided to make a wish list--no, not a wish list--an action plan.

Action Plan for Being Less Perfect and More Real:
  1. When the little one decides to squirm naked on his bed instead of putting his underwear on, I will resist the urge to count down seconds until the bus comes and give in to the impulse to laugh.
  2. When the big one waxes eloquent over his morning meal instead of actually eating it, I will consider listening to what he's saying instead of shoving the spoon into his mouth when he takes a breath.
  3. When they dirty their clothes on the way to the bus stop by tackling one another over and over again or when they become a little overactive trying to deal with the small cruelties of other kids (and occasionally dishing some of those wicked little habits out as well), I will remember that growing up is hard and Shout can take all those stains out.  I will give extra squeezes to them all
  4. When I return home to find my African violet dotted with toothpaste specks, I will not sigh because of the toothbrushes and toothpaste strewn around the sink I just cleaned while they were still sleeping.  Instead, I will be thankful that they water the violet with their gargle cup and so it hasn't died yet.
When I got that plant, the oldest said, "Seriously, Mom?  Someone's trusting you with a plant?" 

I'm thankful he's decided to pick up my slack.

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