Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Finding Beauty in the Chaos

“I don’t suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it,” was Edgar Allen Poe describing my sentiments exactly.

So this is how my morning started a few days ago: I sent Michael off to the bathroom, and he came barreling back at full speed with a texas-sized grin on his face. Using the potty is a really big deal You’ve got to be kidding me!* I know he never washes his hands without me reminding him a dozen times, so it couldn’t be clean, soapy water all over my lips. This is the conversation that followed:
when you’re three. I tried to give him a kiss, but he was already running off and all I could grab was his hand. I planted one right on his arm only to find out it was dripping wet. *

Me: Gross! Michael, why is your arm wet?
Michael: Because my toothbrush was wet!
Me: (Huge sigh of relief) Oh! Thank goodness. Your toothbrush.
Michael: Yeah, I dropped my toothbrush in the toilet.
Me: (NOOOOOOO!!!!)

Just another manic Monday. Did I imagine this is where I would be at 27 years old? Scrubbing toilet water off my face? Absolutely not. My life is complete chaos. And I love it. Okay, I don’t always love when they decide to simultaneously melt down in the middle of aisle 3 as I’m pushing a cart full of groceries. But I DO try to find the beauty in that chaos. Like, if I just keep my chin up and soldier on, I know I can make it to aisle 4…and that’s where the wine is!

A lot of people think I’m crazy when they hear I’ve got (almost) four kids, and my response to them: Yes, I am. Anyone who decides to have kids—whether it be 1 or 10—has to be a little bit nuts, don’t you think? Giving up the life you’re used to so you can cater to someone else’s needs 24/7 doesn’t seem like a totally rational decision. I used to be completely sane (I think!). Now I find myself in heated debates with my 2-year old over which Paw Patrol pup is the coolest. He always wins, by the way. Have you ever tried arguing with a toddler? It’s kind of of like trying to reason with a brick wall…if that brick wall could grunt, throw things, and repeatedly use the word “poopy” while spitting milk bubbles out of his nose. But, gosh it’s fun!

Yes, I know every word to every word to Frozen; yes, I stay in most Friday and Saturday nights playing Pretty Pretty Princess or Poopy Heads (that’s a real game!); yes, I spend more money on diapers than designer clothes; So yes, I may be completely crazy to have all these kids, but the joy this constant state of chaos brings me is indescribable and unparalleled.  

I often think that the days drag on and on and I find myself eagerly anticipating 8 o’clock so I can throw them in their beds and enjoy some much-needed time with my long-lost husband. Then a year flies by and I’m left wondering where the time went. A great friend of mine recently reminded me how important it is to stop and enjoy the mundane moments, to appreciate the beauty in the chaos. Tonight after dinner, I sat holding the boys on my lap with Charli breathing down my neck as we crowded around my computer watching the “Alphabutt” song. Yes, that’s a real thing and is exactly what is sounds like. (Click the link if you’re looking to channel your inner 3-year old!) Even though we replayed that dumb song 57 times, hearing their belly laughs never gets old. And when I have to go back into their rooms time and time again because they want more bedtime kisses…that never gets old either. Before I know it, I’ll be the one begging for those kisses, so I want to soak it all up now—preferably without the toilet water.