Parenting is messy. It’s stressful. There are days when you just want to leave the kids and run off to Timbuktu.
And parenting has its moments of joy. Of fun. Of perspective.
You will look back on crazy moments and laugh. I guarantee you. I know it seems like the moment has no humor when you’re in it. Absolutely no humor whatsoever. You’re so focused on why your kids got it into their brains to do whatever crazy thing they did like Poop ball that you think this day will live in infamy.
How many kids can fit under my desk?
This day will be remembered, and you’ll laugh about it. You’ll share it with other parents, and they’ll have their share of war stories.
Seeing a video a dad shot of his 2 young sons covered in paint in the bathtub on Facebook this week brought back memories of my own kids and their crazy messes. I’ve repainted over “poop ball.” I’ve got green paint all over a white kitchen towel that I refuse to throw out. I’ve walked into the kitchen to find water all over both counters and on the floor. I’ve also got green nail polish on a bathroom towel and dotted on the bathroom counter. The offending child blamed her younger brother. It’s common enough occurrence with this child that we have a running joke “hashtag Lizzie’s world.” #truth
These examples pale next to a memorable one from the summer of 2008. Child #5 had just been born in April, and I had my hands full with 4 kids 5 and under and a 12 year old boy feeling his oats. I was going through my second bout of post partum depression.
For the longest time, we had a digging area in the yard. The kids could dig, run their outside toys through the area, whatever they wanted. Since our yard is fenced in, I never worried about the kids playing in the digging area.
Trouble with a capitol T
One day, my middle son and his younger sister decided to play in the dirt area. I don’t remember if it had been raining or how they had access to water, but they decided to introduce water to their dirt play.
Yeah. Mud. And bits of grass. And small rocks.
All over their bodies. In their hair. Just one big mess.
Fortunately, I stopped long enough to grab a picture of my daughter, but I didn’t take one of the rascals together or the mess they made in the bathroom while being cleaned up by me.
The story doesn’t end there.
After cleaning up these 2 partners in crime, I sent them up to their rooms to prevent any more trouble and cleaned the bathroom. When I started hearing thuds in the grass on the other side of the house, I freaked out, of course. The 2nd floor windows were very low to the ground, and still not secured to my satisfaction. I still have nightmares of children falling out of windows.
Investigating the sounds, I discovered the 2 children in trouble throwing board books out an open window in one of the bedrooms. I freaked out more. Banished them to separate bedrooms, and closed the doors. I finished the bathroom, and went off to do something else. Like call my sister-in-law and tell her what her niece and nephew did. We weren’t sharing on Facebook in those days. I desperately needed someone to vent to.
The next morning as I was walking around the house, I discovered a pile of board books underneath the other bedroom window. And a few stuffed animals. All wet from the rain the previous night.
My mom told that story for years. Just like I tell the story of poop ball with the names withheld to protect their identity until they bring home a girl friend.