Yesterday, something magical, magnificent, and wholly confusing occurred.
We had just returned from a hike in a nearby forest. Matt was the first to settle down with his book. Because I was not ABOUT to let him kick up his feet and relax without me, I followed quickly behind. But here’s where it got insane. Our kids also followed suit. They sat and read with us. Silently. For an extended length of time. Everyone except Elizabeth, that is, who heard the quiet and came running to document this oddly wonderful event. Because even our four year old understands that things like this just don’t happen in our home.
Between chapters, Matt and I would glance over at each other and mouth the words “WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?”. Obviously, we weren’t about to ruin a good thing with audible expressions of shock and glee.
So, dear Mama of Littles,
This picture is my offering to you this Monday morning. As you mentally prep yourself for another week- for the exhaustion of newborn cryfests and potty training and chasing wobbly toddlers everywhere because if you don’t THEY WILL SURELY DIE- just know that it gets easier.
One day, they WILL sleep through the night. (At least, for the sake of your sanity and the sanity of everyone around you, I really hope they do.) And you’ll be able to send them outside alone, mostly confident that they will not surely die. And, I know this is a tough one to fully grasp, but just hear me out: one day, your child will walk on their own legs to a REAL TOILET and will do their business by. their. own. selves. Just let that sink in for a minute.
So, Mama of Littles, be encouraged. You got this. And even if you don’t- even if all youknowwhat is breaking loose by 9am and you’re convinced there is zero chance you will survive until bedtime- well, I have a few words of wisdom for your weary soul:
1. Chocolate chips.
Take items one through two into #3 stat. Oh, and you’re going in alone. Just for a few minutes. Let them yell your name (HEADPHONES, people) and stick their grimy little fingers under the crack of the door all they want. Lock it. If concerned for the safety of your children, utilize Disney Junior. Just do it. It will not rot their brains. I work in PEDIATRICS, y’all. This is what I DO. Take my word for it. (Even if it does, I claim no medical responsibility.) (But I will accepts treats when you finally grasp how glorious it feels to have a few minutes of sanity and chocolate interspersed in your day of chaos and toddlers.)
When you emerge, take a few cleansing breaths (ideally not in the same vicinity as your Diaper Genie) and take hope. Yes, hope that there will come a glorious day in which you will find yourself reading independently, silently, with the same children whose bottoms you were just wiping, like, yesterday. But also hope in Christ and his new mercies and sustaining grace and God’s ability to keep our children alive when we are D.O.N.E. by 10am.
Catherine, Mother of Three Self-Toileting Children*
*In a spirit of full-disclosure, they still wipe boogers on the walls.**
**I just can’t with this. Dear Parents of Teens, please send encouragement that this, too, shall pass.