If, Then

If you see me in few weeks, and it looks like my right arm is way buffer than my left arm, then you are probably right.  Our jogging stroller is waaaay out of alignment, and the only way to keep it from constantly veering left is to bear down on the right.  Ugh.

If you see Bubba and me out and about, and he doesn’t have any shoes on, then know that he had them on when we left the house.  He insists on going barefoot these days, and he can get there in about 5.2 seconds.

If I pass on your homemade dessert or that third piece of pizza, then assume that I’m still sticking with the diet I’ve been attempting since Sunday.  The last time I stuck to any sort of plan, I was still nursing….it’s amazing how many more calories that affords you!

If I can’t figure out a way to get Chica to stop picking her nose and eating her boogers (AHHH!) soon, then she will most definitely become THAT KID.  An extreme amount of shame hasn’t really done any good….I need a new tactic.  How did we get here?!?!?!?

If both (or even just one) of my kids manage to become well-adjusted adults in spite of me plastering TMI all over the internets, then I’ll be amazed.

If you lay down next to Bubba to try to get him to fall asleep, then expect to be kissed on the mouth at least 20 times.  I pity his future wife.

If it takes an hour to get both kids to fall asleep, then it becomes really obvious what to spend my last 150 calories on before bed…wine and chocolate.

If I write a really random if-then post, then I hope my friends will leave me a comment with their best if-then of the day!

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A Few Moments

That moment (6:45 a.m., to be exact) when you start looking for your kid’s shoes and remember where they are.  On the porch.  In the rain.  And he only owns one pair.  Major mommy fail.

In that moment, my brain goes to two places:  1)  Who to blame and 2) How to fix it.  I can’t say for sure which came first today, but most of the time the thoughts come in that order, so let’s go with the blame first.  I could blame Bubba for them being out there in the first place.  Or I could blame Jay for not seeing them when he left the house earlier this morning.  But the truth is that I knew they were out there “drying” and had also commented that it looked like a storm was coming last night…I should have put two and two together.  So amidst my back and forth blaming and pity partying, I moved on to a solution.

Send him barefoot?  His class plays outside now.  Socks only?  Same thing.  Make him wear them wet?  They were literally dripping, so that might be considered torture.  Throw them in the dryer?  Not enough time.  Dig in the hand-me-down clothes in the attic on the off chance that there is something there that would fit now?  The probability is slim.  It seems  there was only one viable option:  get everyone to Wal-mart.  And fast.

Even while I was driving there, I was still riding that merry-go-round of blame and pity.  I actually called Jay and my mom to invite them both to my party.  But every few passes I tried to grab hold of at least the tiniest bit of thankfulness.  Maybe it was a good thing after all that we all got up at 6:00 and not 6:30 because we never would have had time for this trip.  Thank you, God, that I live less than 15 minutes from a new pair of shoes.  Thank you, Wal-mart, for having Bubba’s size in a pinch…and a belt for me because I couldn’t find mine this morning. 

I’m hoping these kinds of moments in the future (because I am sure there will be many, many more mommy fails) will be filled with more grace and thankfulness and less blame and pity.

That moment (7:15 a.m., to be exact) when you know exactly what your kid is getting ready to say, and you can’t stop it.  Your best evil eye and distraction conversation and silently willing her, “Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it,” are all lost.  “MOM, WHY DOES THAT MAN HAVE NO LEGS?”  Too late.

So you do the only thing you know to do.  You grab her by the chin, get in real close, talk real low, and try to explain right there in the middle of the Wal-mart entrance why her innocent question (at 115 decibels) is wrong.  And you pray that he sees you.  That he doesn’t think you are that mom who lets her kid get away with it.  “When you see people that are different, you do NOT point it out.  This can hurt their feelings.  If you have to ask mommy about it, you can ask me way later, when they can’t hear you.  That was very rude.”

It seems we have lots of these chin-grabbing, low conversations these days….about calling people fat, and private parts, and telling the truth, and not giving up.  If even a few get through, I’ll be glad.

Maybe today’s got through, because when he rang up Bubba’s shoes and my belt, she kept her mouth shut.  Or maybe she just didn’t realize it was the same guy.  Either way, he made a joke with us about the belt being “for the kids,” so I assume he had forgiven us.  And I forgave her too.

And finally, that moment (7:35 p.m., to be exact) when you suck it up and just play with your kid.  All you really want to do is check the day’s Facebook posts, or sit on the porch in silence, or maybe even wash some dishes.  (Ok, never mind on the last one.)  But she’s begging you, and you have no real excuse to say no, and worse, a friend who reminded you this very same day about the very same moment.  So you do it.  And it’s not so bad.

And you find yourself dancing on the sidewalk to the music in her head, dramatically passing a bunch of fake flowers back and forth.  Or pretending to be a monster and a little girl from the Brave Human World forming a new friendship.  Then she “reads” you a book in which she makes up every single word.  And you end the night by sniffing the skunk and stinkbug she has drawn on the Magna Doodle, clarifying which one is smellier.

Thanks, friend, for the reminder that I’m not the only one who would rather do anything but the thing that will bring me the most joy.  May we both have eyes to see those things and courage to do them.

“Don’t have a great day, just grab a couple great moments.”  —Momastery.com  

A Few Letters I’ve Been Meaning to Write

Dear New Mommy Friend,

I thought about you and your first week back to work when I was loading the dishwasher last night.  I had this memory of trying to squeeze 37 pump parts and bottle parts into the dishwasher every evening….and then trying to find a place for the real dishes.  This too shall pass, and I’m pretty sure you won’t miss it.  I’m guessing there were tears shed this week.  Those are tears well spent, my dear.

Dear Students,

I couldn’t be prouder of you this week.  When you decided as a group, without my help, to include that little guy (who is very hard to include) in your kickball game, I just stood there in amazement.  And you even let him take a turn as roller, the most coveted of positions.  You made his day, his teacher’s day, and my day.  You rock.

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Dear Neighbor Kid,

Bubba adores you.  And I don’t think it’s just because you wear sunglasses, but that’s at least one of the reasons.  He wants to be just like you.

Dear Weather,

I like you.  Do you like me?  Check yes or no.  You would think I would have learned my lesson with a very similar (and humiliating) note I passed in my sixth grade English class.  Guess not.

Dear Person Who Eyed My Belly and Asked If I Was Expecting,

I thought of you as I grabbed my third cheddar biscuit at church dinner tonight.  The only thing I’m expecting is a little self-control to show up one of these days.

Dear Bubba,

This evening when you hurled on my new shoes, your only shoes, and my Bible, at least you missed Daddy’s computer.  Thanks, and good aim.

Dear Jay,

Tonight when I was hosing the puke off the porch, I overheard your conversation with Bubba.  You told him that what I was doing separated the good mommies from the great mommies.  I thought the same thing about you (except good daddies/great daddies, of course) later as you calmly talked Chica down from her crazy fear of bugs for the umpteenth time.  Thanks for protecting all of us from the scary things.  I love you.

A Fraction of a Story

Dear Ruth,

Tell your sixth graders that this is why they have to learn how to convert improper fractions into mixed numbers.  Otherwise this will happen.

Sincerely,

Your Fourth Grade Math Teacher Friend

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Me:  What do you want for breakfast?

Chica:  Mmmmm……cinnamon toast?  (Said with a question mark because this is a meal reserved for special days.)

Me:  Ok.  (It’s the last day of Spring Break.  What the hey?)  How many pieces do you want?

Chica:  (Thinks….)  Five.

Me:  Five?  No way.  Mommy couldn’t even eat five!  (Actually, I probably could, but I would totally regret it.)

Chica:  I can eat five.  I’m sure.

Me:  You’re not having five pieces of cinnamon toast.  How about two?

Chica:  Five.

Me:  The most I will fix you is three.  You can have three, two, one, or zero.

Chica:  But Daddy fixed me five before!

Me:  What?!?

Chica:  He did.

Me:  (The light bulb comes on!)  Ohhhhh…..you mean he fixed you five half pieces of cinnamon toast?

Chica:  Well, yeah.

Me:  Then sure, you can have five.

So we fix three.

three wholes

And she has five.

five halves

Best part about this math?

one half

I get one!  : )