Top “Few” Toddler Truths (as demonstrated in Disney!)

  • If it is on the ground and was at one point in time edible, then you might as well check to see if it is still indeed edible….including little pink wads of gum which are not only edible, but delicious as well.
  • If there is any opportunity to dash away from parental line of vision, you might as well chance it and see if you can temporarily hide behind the legs of people in a crowd…..just for the sport of it.
  • If the brothers look like they are having fun wrestling on the ground in the middle of the walkway, you might as well pile up on top and see how long you can hang on before being flung onto the pavement as from a bucking bronco!
  • If the surrounding atmosphere appears to be quiet and serene, you might as well try to liven up the mood with an ear-piercing scream….until the 5th or 6th time you are asked to stop and then a good whiny cry is the next strategy.
  • Although naps are definitely for babies, if you indeed find yourself sitting on someone’s lap in the middle of the afternoon (such as during a loud rendition of Beauty and the Beast), you might as well take the opportunity to lay lifelessly such that their leg will fall asleep and they become ineffective in pursuing you during your upcoming dart away.
  • If you see a toy that you once held (or thought you had once held….or even wished you had), you might as well grab it and proudly proclaim “mine!”….and see how long you can hold on to it before it is rudely snatched back.
  • You are the master of your own universe and control the space around you – which means you can walk in front of people, walk between their legs, circle around them, touch them, trip them up, whatever you need to do to impede their prior course of motion….even if you don’t know them. Adults seem to find this highly annoying …. especially when they have to practically leap over you to prevent a huge pile-up!

Ever weary of being an adult?

I was not really quite awake yet last Wednesday when a text beeped in on my phone. A dear friend wanted to let me know that apparently my email had been hacked and while I was asleep, all my contacts were being spammed.  Sigh. The week had already been a busy one and I was heading in to work to coordinate a “poverty simulation” and knew I wouldn’t be at a computer for hours.

I got out of bed to try to send a few emails out before others were tricked too and remember moving as if through mud and thinking to myself, “I am just so tired of all of this.” Weary. Worn out.   It’s different from exhaustion.  I get “exhausted” frequently enough (and experienced that nightly these past few nights while delighting my boys with fun and joy at Disney at the expense of aching feet, mental energy, and my pocketbook!). Exhaustion I know how to handle – as long as I don’t get into my second wind, I do great at catch-up sleep. Usually I can kick exhaustion by morning.

It’s the “weariness” that can be a problem. Last week, I was weary of being an adult. Weary of always being in the driver’s seat and never the passenger’s. Weary from the weight of finances preying upon me (med school loans, car payment to be able to accommodate three boys, day care, private school…..and on and on). Weary from changes at work and the need for new employment. Weary from “bumps” in the opening of a new non-profit that I am co-founding. Weary from the worries of parenting – am I doing it right? Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over? What’s going to happen to these dear ones?

My friend concluded his multiple texts that morning with “Let us not grow weary in doing good….” (Galations 6:9). I needed that. I needed the reminder that it is okay to feel the weary every once in a while, but I cannot stay there. I must not let myself grow weary – for there really is much good to do. And my boys can survive an exhausted mother. We can all press on until that magic hour upon which they fall asleep and I start to rejuvenate. We can make it through exhaustion.

But they cannot survive a weary parent whose soul is attacked. They need me to get back up again. To let the worries shift to the back and let joy shine through. They need me to model peace and joy and teach them how to find it for themselves. This is a high calling – an exhausting one, but a very important one to be sure.

And the combination of weariness, days of exhaustion, and a quick trip to Disney (and a temporarily malfunctioning WordPress site) led to me not posting last week. So I have had a burst of energy tonight after packing up and decided to get two posts up!

We just can’t sleep

This is a very strange post….but one that has been ruminating in my head for so long. The problem is, I just don’t know how to adequately capture the complicated sequence of sleep….or the lack thereof….on the third floor. So, although this probably took me a couple hours to create due to a significant inability to do animation (hence I turn down any Disney animator positions I see open!)… should only take you a minute to “read.”  Sigh….oh well….

The key – blue boxes are beds in the two bedrooms on the third floor (mine and the boys’ room).  Characters with a “body” are awakesleeping 8…..just heads indicates they are sleeping….or at least should be sleeping.

sleeping 1sleeping 2

sleeping 3

sleeping 5

sleeping 6

Okay, to be truthful, the 6:20am is below – because my sister is a saint and lets the Little Guy go downstairs with her once she’s awake!

sleeping 10

But wouldn’t it be delightful if some day this was me….11:00pm to 7:30 am!

sleeping 7

Instead of….

sleeping 9

(and I’m hoping I don’t need to elaborate on what that blue wet area symbolizes! Sigh…)

Ephiphany – Realizing the real Truth of the Holidays

Epiphany – this could become one of my new favorite words. The pastor explained the meaning of Epiphany this morning at church as “it is the realization of the truth that was already there.”

You see, last week I posted a very nice, albeit a bit mushy, post about how holidays can make one feel perfect. And that all happened solely because Super Tall Guy just happened to mention those words as he got ready for bed. I, on the other hand, had been much more ready to share the Truth, but alas, that has had to wait.

So, on this Epiphany Sunday, I thought I would share the Truth about Holidays so that you might also have an epiphany and realize the Truth that is already there.

Holidays stink. (I try to watch my language in posting….I have a wide (not really) audience of mostly family and friends….and who knows, maybe someday the boys will read these….)

But they really do stink (insert whatever).

Here are the Top Ten Reasons:

8. You are just too tired to care anymore.  You had to stay up into the wee hours of the morning for 3 nights before Christmas just to get ready. Then family arrives and you stay up visiting and playing games (so much fun!). Then New Years’ Eve arrives and you feel compelled to get the second wind to stay up again!! And by now, the sleep deprivation is so vast that I can only think of 8 things instead of 10 reasons that the Holidays stink….and I don’t actually care.

7. Your kids’ normal out-of-control behavior is even more out-of-control. The two-year-old and the three-year-old won’t nap, becoming wild hooligans in the evening twitching hours and sleep fitfully (likely due to exhaustion). The older boys have too much energyIMG_4647 due to insufficient gross motor play, such that the front room becomes a basketball court and the mothers don’t even flinch (praying for that chandelier!).

6. The kids start thinking that they are entitled to have soda with every meal and eat as much chocolate and candy canes that they want in-between meals. Any time I would enter a room and see The Little Guy scamper and attempt to hide, I knew to immediately bark, “Let me have it!” Sometimes I even caught him before the lines of liquified chocolate were streaming down his chin.

5. Churches trick you into attending “Family Service” which turns out to be a 50-minute long tortuous experience of trying to keep tired, excited, hyped-up little boys quiet for a sermon (really, a sermon?) followed by a 5-minute screaming battle for control of the burning candle –“Me hold it” vs “No, Mommy holds it” as the rest of the congregation tries to respectfully and quietly sing Silent Night.

4. You can’t decide if you don’t want to go to work because the thought of being “on holiday” and taking a break is just so delightful. Or you DO want to go into work because you realize that if the kids are home, you’re not actually “ON holiday” and it’s more tiring to be home than at the office!!

3. You have a constant nagging sense that you’ve forgotten something….and chances are about 100% that that feeling is true. So, if I somehow managed to get the Christmas cards out before Christmas, is it okay that the nieces and nephews gifts arrived on Epiphany Sunday?  You know, make them wait….till the Wise Men appear (or the aunt clicks the button!).

2. You can’t quite figure out how it could be January already and you wish you had checked your first-grader’s backpack….like when he was let out for the two-week holiday break, rather than a few days before he’s to return to school….and turn in all those “Practice over the Break” worksheets!

1. And the number one reason the Holidays stink is because they really are warm and wonderful, with family and friends, and twinkling Christmas lights and soft white bulbs decorating the staircase, and the good food – oh, the food….and everything seems wonderful and magical. I just love it. And then it ends…and you are left to face the short days, the dark nights, the slippery snow, and the cold, cold winds. And you would rather just climb back into pajamas, throw the covers over your head, and begin the count-down to next Christmas. (Mr. Ornery already wants to know how many “sleeps” there will be before then!)