Welcome to the balancing act.
It's the thing I like to call, Life.
Original, aren't I?
We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant for supper the other night. Remember that place?
Well, it turns out the restaurant is cursed.
See, I do not claim to have the best behaved children, not even close.
I also don't say that I'm a perfect mother, far from it.
But in all actuality, we eat out fairly often and we generally enjoy it. The kids are mostly aware of what is expected of them. As in, we prefer that they don't embarrass us so bad we don't ever want to go back or destroy things in a way that the owners say we can never return.
That's not asking too much is it?
So there we were enjoying our supper and T-boy spilled his entire drink all over me and himself. He yelled,
"You shouldna did dat! Now we dotta do home and det me tean pants!"
If everyone wasn't staring then, a little later we got them looking when I made a comic-worthy effort to catch Bee's ice cream cone as it went flying through the air. I did catch it but it still made a mess all over.
Only a minute passed before Pip stuck his hand in Bee's plate, got General Tso's chicken sauce in his eye and started screaming.
The poor patrons were getting whiplash from swiveling around suddenly to check out what was happening at our table.
Cursed, I tell you, cursed.
Too bad their crab Rangoon is too die for.
Maybe worth dying of embarrassment for?
I dont' know if I count as a friend but he complained about scooping snow so much that I 'surprised' him and sent him out to buy something special, a snow blower. He brought home the mother of all snow blowers. He never was in to doing things by halves, that's part of his charm.
Or maybe the 'surprise' was the 'special' phone call he got from his son the other day. The one that I desperately made in order to calm down the child who was screaming (at the top of his lungs),
"I will not dit in my tarseat etuz you did not dit dat airplane for me!!!"
I still don't know what Mr. Loggerhead said. But it worked. T-boy calmed down the second Daddy was on the phone and climbed right in his seat like a snake charmed back into his basket.
This was Dee's.
"I [munch] must [crunch] eat [crunch] this [slurp] cereal [snap] before [crunch] it [sip] get's [gurgle] soggy. Ahhhhhh, success!"
I don't think eating "the breakfast of champions" is really working toward your long-term goal, but whatever keeps you focused, honey.
And here's mine.
Dee says it's a conspiracy.
All the cookies have really nice fortunes in them because they know if you leave with a good feeling you will be more likely to come back....
That might be true but there is some subtle thing that makes me think we won't be back...
Maybe it's the Sumu-wrestler-sized guy at the door, holding a list of banned customers with our names near the top... That does spoils the possibilities slightly.
Ah-well, for the record, Mr. Loggerhead could take 'im.
About this fortune, I'm a goal oriented person. I make lists. I enjoy crossing things off. So much so, that sometimes, I add things to the list as I do them just so I can cross them off. I probably shouldn't have told you that. It's freaky, I know.
So despite that little type-A part, I HAVE to have creativity.
No really, I NEED it.
One day, shortly after Pip was born, I called my mom in tears. I'd had it. I was ready to toss Bee into public school. I was overwhelmed not to mention severely under-slept and over-milked.
She talked to me for about two hours while I vented, dumped, boo-hoo-ed and generally carried-on. She said all the right things and when it was over I pulled myself together, went and nursed the baby and felt better.
One thing she said got stuck in my craw.
It was this,
"Teach your children about Life. Make living your goal. Do it every day."
So my friends, When there are Indians in your cupboard,
Bodyguards in your bathtub,
And all kinds of other strange, kid-inspired, things around your house, be glad there are signs of Life. Tell yourself, "Children live here."
And when you notice that there are three foot drifts across most of the sidewalks in your neighborhood and the poor mailman is tramping through them to bring the mail. And you suddenly realize that mail-people deserve some gratitude and Christmas cheer. 'After all,' you think, 'He has to put up with all the mailman jokes and his kids have to go to school and say their father really is the mailman.'
So you run to your stash and scramble together a little something to say "Thanks" and "Merry Christmas". All the while, you are yelling at your children to watch for him and not to let him go by, un-gifted. You get it together just in time to realize that the person delivering your mail is not your friendly mailman at all, it is a surly sub', that you will probably never see again.
You are tempted to think,
'So much for being nice, huh?'
Don't. Shake it off, or better yet, Laugh it off.
And tell yourself,
'That's Life. I think I'll try to live it today.'
And lastly, maybe you are thinking everything you try to do goes right down the drain and you try your best, you hope for the best, but it feels like all you get for it is smelly noodles. Smile, my friend, and flip the switch. When you are frustrated and you look at your list for the day and you are amazed at how little you got done, add two words and then cross them off, boldly.
Because sometimes, that is all you do. And sometimes you have to let that be enough.