Here’s the song reference.
Whether I woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday or had my peace disturbed by two wee girls whining at everyone before 7 a.m. I could not say, but we had an epidemic of crankiness around here yesterday. I really wanted to do some major housecleaning yesterday, but it did not happen because every time I stood for a moment to think about what needed to be done, one or another of our little blessings emitted a shriek of a pitch and volume that indicated a possible injury. This makes it hard for me to concentrate and to remain calm.
By around 9:30, I was snarking at all four of them. My usual fail-safe, sending them all into the backyard for a scavenger hunt or soccer game, didn’t work. Bugaboo stayed outside for roughly ninety seconds before returning to where I was trying to clean the kitchen counters while providing a standing support for Baby Guy, whining wretchedly that there were bugs in the yard, it was hot, there wasn’t a flat place where she could ride her scooter, it was humid, a bee had buzzed at her, and the dew on the grass had gotten her shoes wet.
I resorted to Netflix. We have about a dozen “vintage” animated series in our queue, and I declared a day of watching one episode of each show, then pretending to be someone from the show. The only flaw in my otherwise awesome plan for keeping the kids occupied and entertained was that Bugaboo was the only child who was even remotely interested in watching a video screen yesterday — and she wasn’t interested in doing anything but watching the video screen. Beanie, Mr. Man, and Baby Guy are more or less indifferent to television and movies, although Beanie likes to watch hockey, football, and judo. Ironically, she is the same child who loves Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, and all things pink.
Rather than describe the frustration of the day in minute detail, suffice it to say that very little cleaning got done, I spent entirely too much time and energy hollering at the tiny people, and they responded in kind. The alacrity with which they follow whatever example I set for them is a little chilling sometimes. It’s a rare day when not even storytime can settle us all down, but Bugaboo, Beanie, and Mr. Man whined and complained through each other’s chosen stories, which definitely takes the fun out of that pastime.
Near the end of the day, Bugaboo was curled up watching Dumbo, which was airing on one of the Disney channels last night, Beanie was happily playing with Polly Pockets in the girls’ room, Baby Guy was playing with Daddy in our room, and Mr. Man was bringing me his books to read, one after another, all his favorite rhythmic stories from Dr. Seuss and Bill Martin. I paused in the middle of Green Eggs and Ham, realizing that no one was complaining about anything, and smiled. Mr. Man looked up to see why I had stopped, patted my shoulder, and said, “Mama smile. Nice Mama.”
There’s really nothing quite like being convicted by a two year old.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for a home to clean, and for Your four blessings who help make the messes. Thank You for the moments when their quiet joy reminds me that I have allowed anger to take root where love should live. Please help me remember that I teach them in every moment, whether or not any school books are present, and that the lessons they learn may take Your own grace to undo. Please grant me a gentle tongue, and remind me to pause before I use it. Before I sharply send them away so that I can do something that seems important at the moment, please remind me that You Yourself instructed Your disciples to let the children come to you, and that the tenor of my rebuke can distance them from You. Grant me the grace of recalling Your words before I utter my own.