Friday, September 13, 2013

The Toddler Mother Prayer

It's Friday night. I never post on a Friday night because I know all too well that that is blogger stats suicide. No one reads blogs on a Friday night. And yet here I sit. Fingers tapping out a rhythm to the thoughts that are tumbling around in my head because its the only way I can think to properly end out this week.

I am tired. Beyond tired. I have a three year old with special needs, a two year old, and I am 30 weeks pregnant. That sentence alone is enough to give sympathetic shivers to the coldest of hearts. Or at least remind everyone to double up on birth control.

My emotions are rollercoastering from the the highs and lows of this week. The high? Earlier today I finished dressing Addison, looked her in the eye, told her how grown up she looked- when Carter sidled up beside me, lay his head on my arm, carefully looked at his sister, and sincerely said "pretty." The low? A trip to the grocery store (after a three hour no-nap time when I placed Carter back in his toddler bed a million times) in which both kids were super whiny with random bursts of crying (no nap), Addison spanked an old lady on the bum as we passed by, Addison left large teeth marks on all of the yogurts trying to lick up the yogurt through the holes, and Carter reached out and grabbed every blessed thing he could off of the shelves...when he wasn't trying to climb back and join Addison in the back of the cart and screaming in rage when I stopped him. Or maybe it was: High- their insistence on helping me make pumpkin bread Low- their decision to take off all their clothes and diapers, steal the bread off the counter, and eat it finger full by finger full - naked- on my white couch and all over the living room while watching Elmo.
Their achievements are exploding every day into new territory. I can't keep up. Their behavior rockets from super polite to devil children within mere seconds. Sometimes I get whiplash just trying to keep up with their moods. Today's shopping trip out was enough to put me on the couch with my feet up for the last hour of the day while begging hubs to pretty please feed the children some food so I could just not move for a while. After all, this is why the happy meal was invented. No?

I was ready for bed tonight at 7pm.

I know that this is a season. And honestly I spend moments overwhelmed with how blessed I am- right before I have moments of extreme frustration- and then moments of thankfulness again. It's like a sandwich. A toddler mom emotional sandwich. I would prefer a little avocado and tomato with a pickle on the side. But I hold onto the thankfulness wherever I can. When the moments are good? They are really, really good. But when they are bad? Well, I'll let you finish that thought.
When I am out and about with my crew- belly swollen past the point of noticeable and into the territory of extreme pity, two toddlers exactly the same size taking turns flinging their shoes towards strangers (bonus points to lose the ones with the super expensive orthotics in them), and a creaky red wagon that already looks maxed out with its passengers- I see the looks. I get the comments.They range anywhere from "WOW oh my word you are pregnant again" to "Congratulations!" and then the standard question "are they twins?"and then perhaps a tacked on "bless your heart" or "I will pray for you." Occasionally I hear the "what's your magic number" or "going for a big family, eh?"

I don't care what they say. If it's not "Hey, I don't care that your kids hit me with that shoe and stole a bag of chips from my shopping cart when you passed by- here is some free chocolate"- I mostly tune them out.

But I got to thinking about all the people who say that they will pray for me. I wondered if they needed specifics or if the look of exhausted stress on my face was enough to clue them in to my needs. Just in case- I decided to come up with a little cheat sheet.
How to pray for a mother who is 30 weeks pregnant with a 3 year old and a 2 year old (AKA me):

May she have the calmness to last through the temper tantrums
And the sanity left to appreciate the quiet that will hopefully follow.

May she have the physical flexibility to bend over and pick up all of those toys
And the hope that someday the "middle of the night broken foot due to matchbox cars" won't be a threat

May she give herself grace when she loses her patience
And the resilience to try again
May she have peace about her children's safety and future
Even when she catches them dancing naked on the bathtub edge while throwing toilet paper into the water

May she have the strength to clean up that diaper mess
And the courage to enter that room barefoot ever again

May she have the wisdom to plate that dinner she worked so hard on in a toddler-approved way
And the ability to forgive when it is thrown back in her face with a scream for COOKIES
May she have the energy to finish out that last hour before bedtime
Especially when her body is shutting down but her tots just caught a second wind

May she be able to teach and praise her children with a heart of love
And lecture through the painfully adorable naughty moments with a straight face

May she be granted the ability to laugh harder than she is crying
In those moments that uniquely combine toddler mess and impish creativity

May the good moments shine brighter than the bad moments
And may m&ms always be in endless supply
May the tiny people in her life never to be taken for granted
And her hope for a diaperless future stand stronger than her exhaustion

May she forever cherish the sticky hugs, wet kisses, belly laughs, and pounding of tiny feet around her house
Even when it seems like life will never move to the next stage

May she be granted superhuman strength to not throw the closest canned good at whoever next asks her if she knows how babies are made
And accuracy in throwing if the spirit so leads

Amen

Perhaps I will take a printed out copy to the grocery store with me next time. Will save me the energy of a conversation...

Happy Friday night to you all.


Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

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