1. On Monday, I’ll officially enter my late twenties and turn 28. Remembering the new number to indicate my actual age will surely require concentration considering I already often forget my age as it has little consequence on my day-to-day life. Often, when I do reveal my age, its telling is met with concern for my child spacing, a reminder that I have at least 15 more years of potential child rearing, or the ever confusing comment, “at least you are getting the baby stage out of the way why you are still young so that you still have the energy to return to your career.” 27 for me marked my first complete year of being a mom to three kids, and was indubitably, the year I laughed the most. I probably also cried the most, but such is young motherhood. And this weekend, the Guinness will be flowing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, in mom moderation, of course.
2. Sweet Josie revealed career aspirations of her own. It was a public display met with the unrivaled enthusiasm of an innocent toddler. At noonish on Tuesday, our Target trip ended with a rather exhausted mom and hungry cart full of three children. The Starbucks inside of the Target seemed to have all of the overpriced treats for my needs and a picnic at the park. As I ordered my drink and their snacks I began to notice her acute attention to detail, eyes widening, breath stalling, amazement in every sense of the word. She began to speak. “When, when, when…” The studder increased in volume with every repeated word. Confined by sitting, she decided to stand and wave her arms with a few claps in between more studdering. Several more “whens” were spoken, each one growing closer to a piercing shout. She managed to unbuckle her seat and its broken chains seemed to give her the freedom she needed to finish her shouting sentence. Most, if not all, of the store had her full attention, which sounds like a mom exaggeration, but the girl was LOUD and people notice loud. Finally, she announced, “WHEN I GROW UP, I’M GONNA MAKE SOMETHIN IN DHERE!.” Her announcement was met with thorough enjoyment from several adults most especially me, and it was abundantly clear that the girl meant what she said and won’t be forgetting it. So, it is with my full parental approval that I say, although I prefer my coffee black, I’ll let you make me a vanilla latte, extra shot 1/4 syrup, anytime you like, sweet baby barista Josephine.
3. Today for the first time in months, all three of my children are napping. We are traveling later and I threatened each of them with the “we cannot go unless you nap,” and somehow, my joke of a disciplinarian voice worked. Though I felt that I appreciated nap time when it was almost guaranteed to me, I wish I would have taken Billy Madison’s advice to “cherish it,” just a bit more seriously. And since vacation threatening seems to work, there may very well be a few pretend safaris planned around here in the future.
4. In an effort to encourage a Lenten spirit of sacrifice, even among the youngest in the household, I did my best to put on the ever rare in this household craft spirit. First we baked expired pie crust and as it was baking I explained that we would be making a “crown of thorns,” for Jesus out of dough and toothpicks and everytime we do something nice we can pull out a toothpick and “make his head feel better.” As Josie tried stabbing James and James tried stabbing Josie, I did my best to explain the rules again. “We undertand” they said and stopped stabbing for the moment. With high hopes I took the crust out of the oven and we began putting in the toothpicks. Next year, I will remember to explain “this is not for eating,” a bit more clearly.
5. Thinking we were well and done with the flu, Jim and I gave a talk on “Rules for Fair Fighting and Conflict Resolution,” to engaged couples in our diocese over the weekend. With Rita’s snot on the back of my pants, we arrived with a relatively solid message about dialogue and the importance of expressing in I statements and echoing with empathy. Yet, minutes into the talk, distraction and sickness began to take over once again and though I think we sort of made it through, we basically taught them nothing about good communication and I shared a lot of gross stories about cleaning vomit and the perils of momdom. When I made it back to the car we looked at each other and said, “what did we just say to those poor people?” My apologies to all of you, and I promise, though similar to a frat house in some ways (puke, no sleep, lots of bottles) marriage and parenthood is wonderful and not nearly as gross as I made it out to sound.
6. But actually, sometimes parenthood is really gross. Like when your naked baby runs away from you as you are taking care of another child’s bathroom business and also trying to talk to your sister-in- law on the phone and she climbs on the table, steals the fruit smoothie, spills it and then does the deed that fruit smoothies make babies do at record digesting speed. But this little detail in no way belongs in a marital communication talk, so again, I’m sorry.
We are off to enjoy a few days as a family, recharge, and maybe mom will find a few minutes to catch up on blogging too. The happiest of days to all of you.