Do you ever sit down after cleaning house, look around, and think to yourself, “I’ve got it. My life is under control.”
Beware of that. It’s one of the most dangerous things you can possibly do.
This morning I made that fatal mistake. With the help of the boys, I cleaned the house. By 10:00 AM, even dinner was steadily cooking in the crock pot. I put Baby W down for his nap, finished the last few chapters of my book, and as I closed the back cover, I glanced around thinking “I’ve got it. My life is under control.”
Immediately I recognized the mistake. It’s an open door, an invitation to chaos and madness; but in the moment of content joy, I tried to convince myself that this time was going to be different. I was wrong.
Now it’s 1:05 PM. Let me recount what has happened.
- Baby D, in a rush to leave the house to play with his friends said, “Is my lunch ready yet?” I know, that sounds innocent enough, but I heard it as a hot splash of his lunch splattered on my shirt. I glared at him, slouched on the couch yet ready to dash out the door. No one volunteered to set the table, or to calm Baby W.
- Baby W, wearing fresh underwear since his recent wet (and too short) nap, was dragging his high chair between the kitchen and the living room while yelling, “Mamma! Up!”
- Baby G, in his own world playing Destiny on the PS4. I say this as if I recognized the game. Truth is I hate video games. He knows it so he plays them with the sound off in an attempt to ward off my negativity. He does not, however, refrain from making frustrated comments toward the poor fellow on the TV who apparently was just shot or bombed or devoured by an alien – I have no idea what happens in the game. There are floating bad guys that shoot lasers or something. If you ever see PoisonIvy463, that’s me. Only it’s not me, it’s Baby G playing under the disguise of me.
- Lunch itself was good.
- Baby D ran out the door before I was even half done with my food.
- Baby G ran back to his alien world before I was even half done with my food.
- Baby W threw his food on the dog’s back.
- I threw the dog out the back door.
Break in list. You must understand that while all this was happening, I didn’t actually disconnect from the virtual world. I received Facebook notifications, text messages… asking how are you? -how’s the potty training going? -what’s up? Want the answers? The real answers? I’m screaming like mad at kids for not being helpful and then scream even more when I see Baby W’s high chair is soaked. He is soaked. So, the answers in order are: losing my mind, God awful, and my blood pressure.
But let’s proceed with the list:
9. Baby W is throwing a potato (currently) at the cat. Yes, you read correctly, a potato. He found it when he was trying to squeeze past me in the laundry room as I started another washer full of toddler underwear, blankets, and now a high chair cover.
10. The dog is soaked because in the time it took to start the washer, the skies opened up and it poured. It poured for no more than 45 seconds, but it was enough for the dog to run like he’d never seen rain before, and get soaked.
11. The food that Baby W threw on the dog’s back (a wrap) is now laying drenched in the grass being eaten by a turtle.
12. I just yelled, “No more snacks!” and now Baby W is racing toward his brother in attack mode because he knows he can’t attack me. Casualties of war, you see. Even the cat is trying to hide.
I know, I know. It isn’t all that bad. It’s a little unsettling, a little unnerving. We look at Facebook and believe we see the realities of other people’s lives. Moms who take the time to make personalized first day of school gifts for teachers, moms who make scrapbooks of their summers spent at the pool with smiling and visibly loving children. I’m not even going to deny it, I’ve been guilty of plastering social media with images of a perfect house. And maybe potatoes as toys, dreaded potty training, and kids who can’t seem to clean without being clearly instructed to do so is actually a perfect house. Or as close to it as you get. I just wanted to remind you of the chaos behind those pretty smiles.