It all started when I slept through my alarm this morning.
Correction, it all started when I stayed up too late last night. And then I slept through my alarm this morning.
Which made it all the more difficult to get all of us out the door by 8:40 am.
Correction: “…which provided an opportunity for us to work together in accomplishing the family common goal of leaving the house by 8:40.”
Except 2 of the children did not share this family common goal and were strongly opposed to leaving the house. Or in working together. Or wearing clothes.
Anyway, Scene I ends with a little girl taking off her cute, clean, stylish Fall dress and putting on her beloved (dirty) Snow White costume. Because sometimes you just gotta prioritize your wars and, this morning, neatly groomed children wearing stylish clothing was NOT a priority. Nor was brushing teeth, apparently, since I’m just now realizing we didn’t do that, either. Good thing they get grown-up teeth later!
*tangent: …and it’s really not even about wars. It’s about goals. I don’t think parenthood is about waging war on our children and their wills so that they fall in line with our (omniscient) wills. That’s how we all end up in therapy.
So Momma, Snow White, 2 Grumpy Boys and a Bubbly, Bouncing Baby finally arrive at our destination, which offers childcare. So I drop them off in the ‘kid room’ and take a deep breath and a seat in the ‘grown up room’.
Phew. We pulled it off.
Speaking of pulled it off…that’s apparently what Caramia did to her pull-up before leaving the house. I didn’t learn this fact, however, until after I had just taken my deep breath and a seat. That’s when the angelic chid care volunteer came down to tell me that Caramia had an accident. A barrier-free, no-means-of-absorption accident. Oh, and that Judah crawled through it.
And just like that, Snow White turned into a nudist, bummin’ clothes off of other kids’ parents. And Judah turned into a pants-free, diaper-clad crawler. Which is more our style anyway.
And I turned into….someone with more experience than I had 4 hours ago. Someone with more experience in crisis management, asking for and accepting help, creative problem-solving, responding moderately vs. melting down or heating up. Someone with more compassion for others dealing with crisis or children. Wait, that was redundant. Someone with fresh observations (which are different from judgements) about myself, my treasured children, and areas of growth for all of us.
Snow White/the nudist, Grumpy #1 and the Pantless Baby are now taking much-needed naps. Grumpy #2 is happily playing at a friend’s house, and Momma Bear is taking a deep breath and a seat, enjoying a cup of tea and quiet until the next opportunity for growth.
*This post was made possible by the generous contributions of the Hero Hubs, whose presence and patience and practical help this morning kept me from completely throwing in the towel on ever trying to leave the house with 4 kids again. Ever. Thank you!