Monday, February 23, 2015

In which I write about parenting and then lose 2 children

I just stumbled from my bed to the coffee pot. Along the way I accidentally kicked a few toys that had been strewn in my path...from my bed to the coffee pot. After the first sip of magical coffee brew, I realized that those toys had been not been strewn there...but rather artfully placed as the children's own little alarm clock. Sure enough, I heard Eli stir, mumble a few words, but then go back to bed. Crisis averted. (gotta keep a close eye on that one...)
So here I sit now with my coffee, computer, and morning silence...trying to sum something up for myself.

You see, I was asked to speak at our Preschool Mom's breakfast in March. I am not really a speaker, but I LOVE these breakfasts, and I figured I could just write it all out and then just read it. Right? And if somehow in the smallest way I could encourage other moms, I would be so grateful.

I've known about this speaking engagement for this entire school year, but I didn't start to actually write it until this past weekend. (I am a big believer in the "let it simmer" methodology.)

Let's see...I started to write it out Friday night. Feeling inspired, I knocked out a great introduction and the first few points. Writing about motherhood. Parenting! I love writing about such things!
Saturday? I woke up with plans for a lazy day when I suddenly realized that we had a 1. birthday party and a 2. baby shower that day. (Super Planner Mom...that's me!) So we scurried around dressing children and gulping the coffee super fast in an effort to still make it to all obligations. (Note: the children did NOT gulp coffee...who am I, a monster? They only got stolen sips...and then they poured the lukewarm mug all over the floor when they tired of the activity. NO gulps.)

Then, once we got to the party, one of my children (ahem Addison) "destroyed" a beautifully decorated table AS she was stealing the birthday girl's ice cream cone. (Obviously...I am the MODEL MOTHER.)

the status explanation:
Picture a beautifully decorated extra long table at a little girl's birthday party. Picture a perfect red tablecloth...a plate set at each place with bits of leftover cake...gorgeous name place cards...cups...and favor bags carefully placed with each plate. NOW picture a certain little girl‪#‎namedaddison‬ STEALING the birthday girl's cream cone from the head of the table...taking a hike down the side of the table (which the other kids had already left) on the chairs while licking her stolen cone and helping herself to random bites of cake along the way...miscalculating a step...tripping and FALLING...grabbing the tablecloth to regain her balance...pulling the ENTIRE TABLECLOTH OFF THE TABLE...landing on the floor covered in leftover cake and party bags and name cards and cups and the now dirty tablecloth with her stolen ice cream cone held high and instead breaking her fall with her head as to protect the TRULY IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE...the ice cream cone. Yes, she cried...but only because she thought she had lost her one true love...the cone.‪#‎noaddisonswereharmedinthemakingofthisstatus‬‪#‎mommyspridehowever‬...

While my burning cheeks were still cooling, I then lost her for a while at the party. LOST HER. I seriously could not find her at all. (She had located the bathroom, shut the door behind her, and was in the process of undressing so that she could go potty.) Several other moms helped me search.... I felt like my name tag should read: THE MOM WHO LOST HER ICE CREAM CONE STEALING DAUGHTER...(can't you tell? I'm an INSPIRATION!)
Sunday? One of my children had a potty accident at church (think peeing all over the nursery...ok maybe slightly exaggerated here...but it's been forever since he has had an accident so he had to come home in clothes that the nursery had on hand.), And then just as I was basking in the joy of potty training, I lost yet ANOTHER child (Carter) for a few minutes during the transition from church to car. I was holding Eli, spun around to get Carter's coat off of the hanger, turned around 10 seconds later and he was gone. (I found him OUTSIDE. Yes, you read that correctly. Turns out he was with Daddy...so he was safe, but it still got super scary there for a minute.) Picture me as the mom frantically gathering up a search team for MY LOST SON, rudely interrupting after church conversations and racing through church with the urgency of smoke looking for fire. (I know you are going to want to know ALL MY PARENTING SECRETS!)

Seriously, I am SO careful about keeping track of my children in within TWO days I lost TWO of them. (Eli gained favorite child status through the weekend by default)

I went home Sunday with a bit more time to work on my parenting speech, and I found that I had absolutely no words to contribute to the gorgeous introduction I had carefully crafted on Friday.
Parenting? Um....just survive. ONE DAY AT A TIME, PEOPLE. (and then let me know how you do it.)

Sorry for all the caps. I blame the coffee.

So here we are. I have about one week to finish writing this...but more importantly to pull my act together first and FIGURE PARENTING OUT.

But the more I think of it, I say, nah. I am going to write this from my extremely broken, uninspired state. I think some of my favorite talks at this breakfast are ones that are truly given from the heart...confessing freely that this is HARD and no one has it all figured out but that there is a source of strength that we can rest and depend on even though the worst days. So I am going to tuck my pride way below the surface, get my fingers clacking on my keyboard, and write in the honesty that has helped me through the last 5 years. Motherhood is tricky. I find the best approach is a "I know nothing but am constantly learning every day" approach. Here's hoping someone finds this encouraging (or at least makes them feel better about themselves! I am totally fine with that. That can be my gift to the world.)

It's a new week. A new day.

I'm keeping my expectations low. Today's goal: end the day with as many children as I started it with. Based on this weekend, this might be harder than it sounds...

p.s. if the person who asked me to speak at this breakfast reads this and realizes what a HUGE mistake that was...I will understand if there is a last minute change in the speaker... I suggest someone who drinks less coffee and who doesn't lose children by the handfuls...
Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.
 
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