Friday, April 25, 2014

When Life Gives You Poopy Diapers...

   My parents taught me to give one hundred percent at everything I do. College taught me I can squeeze by with eighty. You simply make up for the rest with improvisation. I think when Charlotte was a baby I gave this whole motherhood thing 100% and probably more, but I’m on kid #3 (what’s his name again?) and just don’t have time or energy to be an over-achiever. Once you have multiple children, each day is really just a battle for survival, and improvising is your greatest weapon.

   I wish that I were always calm and relaxed, but my husband will certainly attest to the fact that I am neither of those things after a long day of crazy. I have, however, learned how to just go with the flow. Kids have this uncanny ability to ruin any set plan you may have, testing your flexibility and creativity on a daily basis. They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And that is what I (try to) do. Except…life doesn’t give me lemons—instead I get poopy diapers, temper tantrums, and more vomit than I care to think about. When Charlotte was running a fever the other night, I was fumbling around the kitchen at 3am for a medicine cup. Of course I couldn’t find one. Eventually giving up, I poured her Tylenol into a shot glass instead, and tried not to laugh as I watched her shoot it down. Not my proudest moment, but I had to improvise. I was making lemonade. Or the other day after Michael pooped in his diaper and I realized I didn’t bring any backups…I had to use Oliver’s diapers instead. If there is an award for squeezing a 2-year old into 6-month diapers, I win. It wasn’t pretty, and I was praying to the good Lord above that he didn’t poop again because it would’ve ended up in his shoes, but we survived to tell the tale. 

   In the end, these “stories of survival” make for the biggest laughs. With no sleep, no shower, and usually half of a cold meal eaten, I consider it a parenting win if I make it through the day with my shoes on the right feet. But I live for the laughter. I live for the craziness. These days are flying by too quickly and I don’t want to waste a second of it stressing out about things that are beyond my control. Instead, I’m going to make lemonade.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


          We were at the playground a couple weeks ago when I heard my 2-year old whining. Now, I consider it a gift being able to tune out the incessant nasal-whimper that inevitably comes with turning 2, but when we’re out in public I generally try to look like a concerned, doting mother. So I glanced up to find out what was ailing Michael. My blood immediately started to boil when I saw some punk kid push him down the slide. While I try not to make a habit of yelling at other people’s kids, I was willing to make an exception that day. I didn’t make it two steps, however, before Charlotte was giving that kid the biggest tongue-lashing a 4-year old could muster. No one hurts her little brother!! (Except her). I stood nearby but didn’t intervene. I was so proud in that moment. I’m only sorry I didn’t have a bowl of popcorn so I could enjoy the show. She finished her tirade and I was about to sit back down when I see her cock her arm back, fist clenched. I don’t know why my first thought was She wouldn’t dare, because she is her mother’s daughter, and I wouldn’t expect anything less.
            Before I could get there, however, her tiny little fist of fury flew into that unsuspecting kid’s eye. Of course I made her apologize to the little boy, but I was just so proud of her for protecting her little brother. We did sit down and have a little chat immediately following the incident, and when I asked her why she hit him, she said, “I was just using my superpowers!” I couldn’t help but smile. The mind of a 4-year old is a funny thing. In the end we came up with a new plan should this situation present itself again—maybe use a different superpower? I was really thinking: How do you say, “You shouldn’t hit people, but way to go, girl!” to a 4 year old? What a conflicting message. I guess I’m just going to apologize in advance to any kids Charlotte may harm in the future, because if I have to choose which is more important: standing up for family or playing nice with other kids, family will win every time. I assume this is just the first of many tough conversations to come...