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.