Here I sit in a student computer lab on Middle Sister’s campus, typing a post. Not exactly what I was expecting for my day off, but not unpleasant. Today is “T minus 7 days to gall bladder surgery” for our middle child, and she woke up feeling too sick to drive but compelled to come to campus for a midterm. So I’m the chauffeur today, as I have been for over twenty years of being a mom. And that, in a nutshell, is what “Mom Goes On” is all about. I really don’t mind doing this duty today. It means I’m still a mom and still needed.
So…after all the hype (and by “all the hype” I mean one post a couple of days ago) it’s now time to start up my new post series, ABC’s of Parenting. I’m going all traditional on this, so we’ll begin with the letter “A.”
A is for Anarchy:
Anarchy can occur when there are more kids than parents in a house. Anarchy can also occur even when parents are not outnumbered, such as when parents are exhausted from a long day of work or ill with the latest bug. Any time a parent doesn’t have his or her “A” game going, anarchy is right around the corner.
A Small Anarchy Vignette:
Setting: After dinner
Two toddlers in bathtub, being bathed by one parent. Kindergartener playing in bedroom. Second parent doing dinner dishes in kitchen.
Younger toddler poops in tub. Both children immediately evacuated. Parent in bathroom busts out HAZMAT cleanup materials. While containing the contamination, older toddler pees on bath mat while younger, poopy toddler starts digging pantyliners out of the trash and asks what they are.
Second parent recruited for backup. As second parent rushes to the scene, a rumbling crash issues from the bedroom and kindergartener emits a sound not unlike an air raid siren. Kindergartener has knocked over a bookshelf upon herself. Second parent diverts to scene of the tragedy.
As parents provide emergency assistance, both toddlers run, shrieking, nude, and wet through the house. Older toddler notices open back door and lets self and younger brother out into the backyard. Neighbors are amused by streaking 2- and 3- year old.
Once chaos is defeated and children are strapped into bed (never having completed bath time), two outcomes are possible:
Good day: Parents see the absurdly funny side of the whole evening and have a good laugh as they finish the dinner dishes together..
Bad day: Parents collapse on sofa in a heap, only to wake abruptly at 1:18 am and stumble to bed for five hours of sleep before the anarchy begins again.
As insane as it was when our three were small, I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.
If you are experiencing anarchy in your home, help is available. One answer is to jettison one child, but I don’t recommend it. You’ll miss him/her eventually. My prescription for anarchy:
•Chocolate – the darker, the better
•Perspective – The anarchy era will not last forever. Really. Children actually do grow up, and way too quickly.
•Lowered Standards – Don’t get too worked up over the messy house, the piles of laundry, and the banged-up walls. These things are always with us. Similarly, don’t get too worked up over what any given child might be up to at any given time. You’ll deal with it eventually. A day with no bleeding ouchies is a successful day.
Anarchy – embrace it.