About 2 weeks ago I had a perfect day. I was off of work and by noon I had straightened the basement, fed all three kids, gotten them dressed and ready for the day, swept and mopped the kitchen and the living room, dusted, and cleaned the windows.
I don’t say this to brag…wait, yes I do.
I was a rock star.
It was the morning of all mornings: no television (not even Max & Ruby!), happy children, and a clean house.
Be envious—I would be. It was that awesome.
As I sat on the couch, sipping my coffee, which is mostly creamer with a dash of coffee, I felt really good about myself.
Now, as any student of literature should know, I was committing hubris, the sin of excessive pride, and I was about to be put in my place.
Yesterday was the day.
Zoe was exhausted from a night of playing “how many times can I get mom and dad up in an 8 hour period?” So, as any parent of a strong-willed two-year-old could tell you—she was a toddler terrorist. Running from room to room, crying then laughing, screeching then babbling and finally collapsing in a heap of tears and sweat in the middle of the floor.
Meanwhile Sophie was wandering around screaming “Me baby! Me baby!” Looking for her special baby (thanks mom for the troll looking doll she now carries everywhere)—which was all the while tucked neatly under her arm. Don’t try telling her that, it results is louder screaming and running in place of a slow wander.
And then there was Layla, my beautiful, stubborn, strong-willed rebel, still sitting at the table from breakfast, which had ended for the rest of the family nearly an hour before. She was continuing to fuss about how she would love to eat her pancakes, they simply had too many “bubbles” on the edges, so it simply wasn’t going to happen (albeit in a slightly less formal vernacular that included twisting her body in such a way that her feet were more often on the table than her hands).
No big deal, I thought. I can handle this, just stay calm. You see, my rock star days were still fresh in my mind; I was sure I could handle this just as easily.
I was wrong.
And I realized it 30 seconds later when domesticity smacked me in the face. You see, it happened like this: I was calmly putting the ironing board away, congratulating myself on my stellar patience with all the chaos around me when whack, the leg of the ironing board popped out of its fastener and smacked me in the lip.
I won’t get into the sordid details of what followed—let’s just say it wasn’t quite the day I had experienced a few weeks earlier.
Parenthood is full of dark days. Sometimes they overwhelm you; they climb out of the shadows and swallow you whole and you wonder why did I give up my previous self for parenthood? Domesticity smacked me in the face—literally. But you know what, it smacks us all sometimes, and I don’t mind a bit.
Because the day is coming when the chubby little fingers that cling so tightly to mine will let go and make their own way in the world.
The day is coming when Layla will be crying over much more than bubbles in her pancakes.
Sophie will be searching and I won’t be there to show her what she can’t see because she’s too close.
One day my babies will grow up, and they’ll leave, and I’ll miss the times that they threw fits and made my life crazy—it’s that simple.
So domesticity, give me everything you’ve got; I can handle it—with a little help from Max and Ruby that is! People With No Kids Don’t Know