One for the baby books


I’m not sure how to describe this day other than to say that I haven’t had a day like it since the kids were four and under (when I had this day over and over).

I am torn between two theories:

1. there was some actual nefarious netherworld activity going on

2. God just wanted to remind me how very good I have it lately despite my complaining.

Not sure which one.

It was one of those days where you *so* can’t believe how many things are going so dreadfully wrong all at once that you actually sort of detach from the situation and start keeping a mental tally in disbelief, but the list gets too long to keep in your head.  I’ve been writing this blog post in my head for about 10 hours now – and the hits just kept on coming. I’ll be lucky to remember half.

So let’s start with how I woke up. My husband bid me goodbye around 7, so when I heard the clank of a dish I knew that it was not he in the kitchen. Perked up my ears and then heard someone say “chocolate chips!” so I bounced up and ran to see. Sure enough, Agnes had climbed and combed through the baking cupboard. The clink was a bunch of chocolate chips falling onto a dirty dish on the counter.

Took care of that and thought I’d jump in the shower. Hadn’t even gotten my hair wet when I heard a commotion. Agnes had gotten badly hurt and needed attention. I realized I was out of arnica so I called a friend who kindly dropped everything to run to the store for me and bring it over. Breakfast, blah blah, coffee, all’s well, ok I’m going to run to the bathroom for a second. Shut the door and heard a thump, baby crying, brother crying “I tripped! I didn’t mean to!” Yup.

The odd thing about today is that actually in between all the incidents I was pretty genial and involved with the kids. It wasn’t as though I was grumpy or goofing off on facebook. I really wasn’t. All the things they got into were during times when I was doing something totally legitimate.

Anyway I was pretty shaken from having two hurt babies in a row, so I stepped outside to make a phone call and take a breather and I saw a long, definitely not-garter snake slithering near the driveway. Then it backtracked and went back up the rain gutter. Aah!

So I went back inside and started collecting library books because we’ve had way too many fines lately so I’m taking a break from the books. I walk around getting them and putting them in a box. Walked into the family room to see Christina over by the mirror GIVING HERSELF A MULLET. I don’t know why but I actually thought we were sort of past the whole hair cutting thing. Whence the renewed interest? I don’t know. I dropped to my knees and started praying and crying and Christina was quite upset and started apologizing over and over. Oh dear. “You’re lucky I love you even when you’re ugly,” I told her.

Lunch, blah blah blah.

I thought, maybe they are bored and need more mommy time. Let’s all stay in the same room and do a project. So I got them all together and we started making tortillas for dinner tonight. Mostly they had fun but Miriam decided to be a perfectionist about it (though I was clear it didn’t matter what they looked like) and stormed off eventually. They are rolling out the tortillas and I am cooking them as they’re ready. Suddenly I hear a cry from the bathroom. Agnes had gone in there to wash up from the flour and she got soap in her eyes. So I doused her eyes with water for a few minutes, gave her a towel, she was fine. Then I came out and realized I’d forgotten a tortilla on the pan and it was quite… crispy and… blackened. The house was all smoky.

So now there’s a mess of flour everywhere and I have six half finished projects going in the kitchen so I’m trying to take care of that, and I think after we got it mostly cleaned up (or at least effort made – like Agnes walking around on her knees with a washcloth “sweeping” the floor) we had an hour or so of quiet. Kids played nicely on the porch, or read on the couch. I looked up snakes to try to identify the one I saw (leaning toward king snake).

Soren came to tell me that I left the hose on from watering the garden, so I told him to please turn it off. Next thing I know, four kids are outside spraying each other with water, getting drenched and having a good old time. I figured, whatever, at least they’re happy, burning energy and leaving me alone. So I went to straighten up the family room. As I’m walking around I realize that the magazine holders I had just bought and filled with sorted magazines, coloring books and paper last week, were taken off the shelf, dumped out and disassembled. I started seeing red… Come ON!! I decided to go ahead and confiscate most of their books and toys (something I do repeatedly as they stop cleaning up after themselves).

I had gotten everything sorted into boxes – our books, library books, toys, and dolls to be removed, etc. Walked out to see why Soren was screaming in pain (he was fine, for once) and decided to let them come in for the day. They were getting naked in the front yard, by the way. Wet clothes in a pile and everyone into the house. Got the laundry together, took care of the next few kids, kept the baby from escaping out the front door, done. Then I went back into the family room to finish what I was working on and SCREAMED at the sight of all my boxes dumped out on the floor so that Soren could climb into one of them. So as I’m lecturing/disciplining/yelling at him for this nonsense and also for the magazine box mess I’d found before, I’m sitting down hugging him and I look over and the little girls were doing the SAME THING with the box of books I’d set aside.

At that point there was an hour before Dave was going to get home so I literally sat them all on the couch and just sat there staring at them, holding the baby and making them stay in their seat. It was actually kind of funny because they literally couldn’t do nothing. I think I’ve said before, my kids are nothing if not busy. And they were finding all kinds of things to do like play with her bellybutton, try to use that flap in his briefs as a pocket, find a toy in the couch cushion, and just being really creative in finding their own fun. Even through all the gritting my teeth I had to do I really did notice and appreciate their cleverness and creativity. Soren got ahold of a pad and a sheet of stickers with the letters O through Z and he started writing words by ripping pieces of the letters to create other letters.

So we sat there for an entire hour until Dave got home. We had dinner, Dave had a long talk with the kids and he’s now putting them to bed. As promised I did forget about many of the antics from today by time I sat down to type this, and it’s possible they aren’t over. I mean, somehow between dinner and the writing of this post, someone ate about a cup of raw flour out of a bowl that was still on the counter from the tortilla experiment.

Anyway. I don’t know if anyone is even going to read all this, but I had to put it in writing, if only for myself. Because I’ll probably remember even less of it tomorrow. Isn’t there some kind of hormone that makes a mother forget how rough she has it from one day to the next? 🙂 I think if there is, the hormone must be activated when looking at the faces of one’s sleeping children. I’m pretty sure God knew exactly what he was doing when He made them look like angels asleep. ‘Cause when they’re quiet and still and you finally have them where you want them, you look at those schweet wittle fayshes and just can’t imagine they have any guile. So you sigh, get back on the internet and cancel the order you placed earlier to that company that makes cattle prods.

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15 Responses to One for the baby books

  1. Lilabell says:

    Ohhh, days like those. And he definitely knew what he was doing. When they’re sleeping, it’s the prettiest sight in the world. But yeah, days like those….

  2. rebeccah Brann says:

    wincing the whole read. Sorry hon.

  3. Erin says:

    This was one post that kept me thinking, what could top that?! And the next item did. I truly believe parents have some hormone that makes us completely forget the bad days once we’ve laid eyes on our sleeping, angelic looking children. I hope tomorrow goes better for you!

  4. elaine says:

    oooo that’s a rough day. Sympathies!

  5. shelly says:

    read it all through, too 🙂 That is a tough day – and you are a better mom for it 😉

    I think I agree with Bill Cosby about kids-n-brain damage! I dont understand half of what they do – they *know* they are going to get in trouble for it!

  6. Lisa says:

    We recently had one of those days too! I also had to blog about it. As the day went on it started to become ridiculous how many things can go wrong in one day!!
    Hope your day tomorrow is better!

  7. ann kraeger says:

    I know that you are going to find this hard to believe, now, but at some point you will miss days like that. I actually look back and wish my oldest would feed blue food coloring to my second son again. I would relish a day when they all suck magic markers dry when I am trying to pack to go on a trip. I would love to have the neighbor pull in the driveway (the one who is against homeschooling) when my son is running to the house yelling “Mary-Kate doesn’t have any undies on!” while she is sitting in the sandbox in a dress. All those days come back to me with amusement and I have forgotten the annoyance.

  8. Katherine Lauer says:

    Thank you for sharing! We mommies not as far down the path as you are need to know that we’re not just big, fat failures. Days like this happen to the best of them! Plus it made for a very funny read!

  9. Oh, I laughed with sympathetic (not laughter) tears in my eyes as I read. Thank you so much! This is worth sharing. Your worst days sound a lot like mine. 🙂 It’s so comforting to know I’m not alone! And LOL, I loved the part about cancelling the cattle prod order!!

  10. Shasta Daggett says:

    I LOVE this!! I am identifying with you on so many things. I also spied a few things in this blog that I do and thought I was the only person who did this (confiscating toys and books repeatedly, etc). In fact, I confiscated my 4-yr-old’s Christmas presents ON CHRISTMAS MORNING because she wasn’t taking good enough care of her stuff. These are definite “pick up the broom” days. =)

    • Sarah says:

      It’s nice to know we’re not alone in our mean mom-ness! 🙂
      (We didn’t even DO Christmas presents this past year! or I might have done the same! lol)

  11. Aunt Carol says:

    Having thought about it for a bit, I would posit a third theory as to why your day went as it did: Perhaps you had been getting quite sure that you could be “Supermom” by relying on your own strength, rather than on the grace our Lord gives each day. I speak from experience in this regard, having done this, to my own “destruction” many times when the kids were little. I can’t count the number of times I had to wipe egg off my face and admit that yes, I was too cock-sure once again and needed to be more humble and less know-it-all. I think it’s a common problem with oldest daughters….

  12. Sheila says:

    Will we be seeing any pictures of the mullet? ha ha
    This post made me glad my kids are grown but at the same time longing for grandchildren….sigh…..

  13. Stacy says:

    Sar, posts like these remind me that I’m not alone. There are days where I just feel like everything is going wrong and I start to doubt myself, my kids, everything… and I only have 2… and I sometimes find myself fantasizing about an escape to a spa vacation alone! Then they go to sleep and I have the sudden urge to snuggle up against them, and actually look forward to the next day, their smiling and unintentionally-mischievous faces and the challenges ahead. 🙂

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