Aaaaahhh, Saturday. Where one can sleep in, brew some coffee and savor it while it’s still hot, get lost in some good reading, and enjoy a slow, leisurely breakfast. Then maybe upon getting sufficiently “caffeined up” one would have the energy to tackle a couple projects around the house that have been put off. Maybe something that takes a couple hours of uninterrupted time, and that can finally be completed because it’s the weekend! Oh glorious productivity. Oh, shoot. I was daydreaming again. What I meant was….uh, Saturday. Where I can sleep in until 7:15, put the coffee on while multi-tasking in the kitchen, cleaning up and putting away some dishes. Where I can send my kids (guilt-free because…Saturday!) to the basement with pop-tarts and say the powerful, coveted words: “yes, you can watch a show while you wait for us to be awake”. Yeah, my kids know what’s up. Momma ain’t had her coffee, momma ain’t no good for anything. Where I can read a few pages and drink some of my coffee in peace, and only have to rewarm part of it in the microwave after minimal interruptions (thank you, Octonauts!!). And then I can snuggle my precious girls and look lovingly into their tiny faces and tell them how happy I am to see them.
…and then that magical moment is interrupted….”Mom! I have a GREAT idea. I wanna make my cousin’s present NOW! I wanna do art! Can you get out the craft stuff?”
The 2 year old chimes in: “Mom! Awt toooooo!”
“Remember, you said I could make her present today!!! And I wanna paint! Can we PLEEEEEASE paint?!”
“YEAH!!! Paint, toooooooo!”
Whooooooo. Deep breaths. Yes, yes I did say that. So why do I feel like I’m being ambushed? BEFORE my breakfast, for crying out loud. WHY?! Ok. Calm. Love. Patience.
I didn’t say any of the things that were going through my head (yes, I’m bragging. Please notice me being all self-controlled), but instead smiled and said, “sure.” To the closet I went, and began pulling down the paint and craft boxes and spreading out the newspaper on the table. Painting with a two year old can be, um, interesting. Little booger has yet to comprehend the phrase “less is more”.
Now, let me make a disclaimer before I continue on. Lest you all think I’m a horrendous parent, I really do enjoy my kids. They are hilarious and fun and they fill up my bucket like no other. I love spending time with them. I love snuggling them, reading to them, playing games with them, and blasting music and dancing with them. I just do NOT enjoy crafting with them. Ok, I’ll resume now.
Painting with two children under the age of six is like purgatory for me. I honestly have NO idea how preschool teachers do it—you are all my heroes. It’s like a heart attack every two seconds for me, where disaster is around every corner. The only thing that makes me crazier than crafting with children is the fact that crafting with children makes me crazy. I hate that I hate this. I sit there and get all stressed out inside, and then start loathing myself because I’m stressed out inside. I really, really wanna be that cool, laid back, easy breezy mom who just doesn’t care about mess. Like, an-honest-to-goodness FUN mom. I picture myself wearing tie-dyed T-shirts that I made with my kids and wearing the beaded necklace we also made together, and my kids think I’m the coolest person in the world. …..And then paint almost gets knocked to the floor and I snap back to reality. I’m just not gonna be the tie-dyed mom. Forget it.
I might as well face facts, the sight of that ties my stomach in knots. In between bites of my now-soggy Cheerios, I gently guide chubby hands back to the paper instead of the table, chair, her sister’s hair, and on and on. “Yeah, honey, that looks awesome,” as I grab the cup of grey paint-water that is precariously teetering on the edge of the table. I silently curse the person who decided to put white carpet under a DINING ROOM TABLE as I take a few more soggy bites. IhatethisIhatethisIhatethisIhatethisIhatethis. Arewedoneyetarewedoneyetarewedoneyetarewedoneyet???? And then this….
Yeah, apparently my daughter thinks I’m a dog. Fun game. And you know what? It totally worked, because I fetched them. Little booger. No more pom poms for Willa.
And as if that wasn’t enough self-punishment, after the crafting Ben and I actually attempted to do “family chore time”. Oh, the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. You’d have thought we were asking them to build the pyramids, not pick up their own toys and put them away. I’ll just say it wasn’t the most relaxing Saturday morning I’ve ever spent. But you know what, I spent it with my family, so I’m calling it a win.
After getting them in bed tonight, I walked through a quiet house to the kitchen. I picked up my tall cup of cold water and took a long, refreshing drink. And then, unfortunately, I looked down.
Welp. There are two ways to look at this: 1) The “glass half-empty” view…disgusting dead-fly water. 2) The glass half-full view…protein enhanced water!
Similarly, the events of this morning could be described with the words I chose above, or they could be summed up like this: I spent the morning with my two beautiful, healthy kids who are creative and vivacious and overflowing with personality. Crafting is not my specialty, but my kids love it so I tried to fill up their bucket with a morning of glitter and glue, paint and pom poms, scissors and stickers. I said yes when I could've said no. (Some wise veteran parents I know used to say, "say yes every time you can".) I could’ve spent the morning attempting to work alone, or trying to relax amidst chaos (which usually just ends in frustration), but me and my incredible partner-in-parenting chose to work on raising responsible, thankful kids. This morning, that was the right choice. I’m not a tie-dye mom, but I’m me. I'm the mom God gave them. I’m flawed, and finicky, and fiercely in love with those babies.
Both descriptions are accurate, but I think I’m going to choose to focus on the latter one.