Tuesday, November 12, 2013

98% Clueless

No matter what all the books that adorn the shelves of Barnes & Noble say, when it comes to parenting, there are way more questions than there are answers.  Even after you've managed to keep one or two kids alive to the point where they can walk and talk with a relative degree of success and you think you just might have this gig all figured out....BAM!  Something happens that slams your right back into that "I have no clue what I'm doing" state of reality.

What's really hilarious is when people see you doing your thing and for some reason think you know what the heck you're doing.  I had a moment like this yesterday when we were leaving from our playdate.  We had gone to this incredibly cool indoor play zone thing where there are themed rooms for the kids to destroy play in like a grocery store room, a dino dig room, a construction room, a dress-up room, and even a room with a pirate ship.  To top it off, there's a huge play structure in the middle of the complex where the kids can climb and slide and smack each other with beanbags to their heart's content while the parents lounge on the over-sized sectional sofa nearby discussing what happened on the latest episode of The Walking Dead over their fourth cup of coffee.

It's pretty freaking awesome.

Anyway, it was time to head out and I rallied my two troops with frequent warnings of "10 minutes until we need to go home" followed by "5 minutes until it's time to go" and then the dreaded, "Ok boys! Time to get your coats on!"  I held my breath slightly, but I'll be darned if my boys didn't snap right to it and march to the coat rack to start suiting up for the trek home.

Meanwhile, my friend's baby was screaming bloody murder and her toddler was in a Stage 1 tantrum that was threatening to escalate quickly.  She looked at me incredulously and commented, "I'm so impressed that your boys listen so well to you! They're ready to go without even a word!"

Oh, honey.  If only you could have seen the code red mega-meltdown that took place the last time I tried to make them leave this joint.  It was epic, girlfriend.  In fact, I honestly have no clue what is making them act so.....normal right now. They're probably going to ask me for candy as soon as we get in the van.

The fact of the matter is that I don't know what I'm doing.  I just make this up as I go along and hope I'm not creating any kind of personality disorder along the way.

Every day I ask more questions than I get answers:

Why is there toothpaste on the clock? 

What is the appropriate punishment when your four year old tries to throw a chair at his teacher?

How long has this sippy cup of milk been buried in the toy bin? 

Should I really put him in Time Out for hitting his brother because he called the Star Wars character by the wrong name?  (I mean, this is stuff he needs to know.)  

Why do my son's hands smell like that?

How is it possible that the left shoe is always missing?

What's so great about playing with Legos naked?

Questions like this aren't answered in the parenting books.  It's just all part of the fun of flying by the seat of your pants. 

By the way, we made a friendly wager in our house the other day.  Micah was in our bedroom watching a movie and it had been quiet for a while.  Evan said to me, "What do you think are the odds his pants are off?"  I thought about it for a moment and replied, "50/50."  He agreed and cast his vote for "off," but I went with "on."  We went about our business, but I think it was maybe only two minutes later when we had to go see who won. 

For the record - pants were on. 

Yeah, I may not have much of a clue what I'm doing from one day to the next, but I do know the WHY.  I know that I have been entrusted with the stewardship of these kids.  For some reason that I will never understand for as long as I live, I have been given the privilege of parenthood.  If that's not proof that God has a sense of humor, I don't know what is. 

I'm going to keep fishing the remote out of the cracks between the couch cushions, keep crawling on my hands and knees to find that missing Lego Guy helmet, keep scrubbing the splatters off the bathroom walls.  I'm going to keep wiping the tears, keep breaking up the fights, keep cooking the dinners they probably won't eat.  I'm going to keep saying yes whenever possible, keep saying no when it's for their own good, and keep giving in to ice cream runs at bedtime every once in a while.

I'm going to keep going, keep loving the daylights out of those kids because He has trusted me with them.  They are precious to Him.

We were designed for one another, my kids and me.  And God definitely knew he had to make mine extra cute to keep me from tossing them out the window on the days when they decide to use their dirty underwear as weapons or the diaper cream as body paint.

I may not have much of a clue what I'm doing, but I'm sure glad I get to figure it out.   

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