Yesterday was difficult. And when I say difficult, I mean depressing. The entire week had me in my feelings. As hard as I tried to keep myself from being upset about the fact that my children and I are not speaking, I failed. I wasn’t in a overeating, snot faced, out-and-out spiral of grief. I was, however, very, very sad. I was feeling like a total parental failure. Looking at Instagram and Facebook can do that sometimes, and while I was genuinely happy for other people, I was sad for me, despite having gained a great mother-daughter relationship. I was simply feeling the loss of the mother-child relationships with my children. I was missing their weirdness.
To top it off, my husband had to work, so I did not get the luxury of sleeping in or pampering. I got a 4 year old in my face bright ‘n early demanding Pop-Tarts on top of the oatmeal he had already finished. I was still trying not to dread the day ahead of me, and still had the evening prior in my mind.
What happened the evening prior you say?
Me & Six went to visit my mom and left the house around 11ish. It had been a little bit cool, so I had turned off the A/C and fans, let the breeze go through the house up until it was time to leave to visit Mom. He was very excited to go, so we made sure he was well fed, used the bathroom, and had his backpack full of his favorite items. I closed the windows to the house and off we went. I also had to serve at church, so we didn’t get home until around 7ish.
When I got home, I was assaulted by the smell of poop. I don’t like that smell. I opened the windows, turned on the air and sprayed. I asked Six, “Did you poop before we left to see Granny?”
He said, “Yes.”
I asked, “Did you wipe?”
He said, “Yes.”
I began the hunt for any poopy items. After washing every article of his clothing and bedding, going through his toys and a rampant search for the offending item or items, I finally asked, “Did you poop?”
He said: “Yes.”
I said, “Do you know where this poopy smell is coming from?”
“Yes”, he said slowly, eyes looking at the floor and not mine.
I said, “Please tell me where it is. Your room is poopy and it will make you sick if we can’t find it.”
He said nothing.
I was beginning to get mad because I just kept smelling it. I finally said, “If you can’t tell me where it is, just show me where it is.”
He went to his bed, reaches underneath. I’m expecting some nasty Star Wars undies. You know what this little person pulls out from under his bed???? An old Halloween candy bucket.
That’s right. A bucket full of crap. His. Crap. A nearly half full bucket of crap. And while I am quite amazed at how much he filled the bucket, I was more baffled at why there was a bucket o’ crap under his bed.
We both stood there looking at each other. Him with shame and fear. Me with utter amazement and bewilderment.
Well, according to the mind of my 4 year old, it was far more important to play with his guitar (for the Almighty God he said) and watch his 30 minutes of cartoons than walking five feet to the bathroom to poop. So he did what any creative kid would do. He improvised with an old Halloween candy bucket. Yeah. And like the logic of a 4 year old, he put it somewhere it wouldn’t be an inconvenience to him or me. He shoved it…under his bed. However, he did go to the bathroom to wipe his butt and wash his hands. He just didn’t feel the need to interrupt quality guitar playing and his few minutes of tablet time by physically going to the actual bathroom. Why use the commode when a bucket will do? I should be happy he just remembered to wipe his butt AND wash his hands.
I was so outdone, I made him put it back under the bed, and waited for 30 minutes for his dad to get home to do whatever he thought was best to remedy the situation.
This sent me into a crying fit. It was just the chocolate icing on top of a nasty cake.
Sunday morning, when the same creative kid decided to wake me for Pop-Tarts, I felt like giving up. I felt like a total failure, and after the events of the night before, I was beating myself up because my kid expressed his creativity in a rather odd way. And I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Come meet me at church”. I didn’t want to. But I went because the thought of being at home was too much. I was SO glad I did. The sermon was just too good to have stayed at home for. And it spoke to the aching parts of me.
This morning, I needed another pep talk and I was privileged to watch this:
It got me right out of my funk. I started thinking about all the good things about being a parent: the kind of kid Six is becoming, which is nothing like the others. I’m not bashing them. The truth is he can’t help but be different because his environment is different, and the example he sees is much different. He also doesn’t have opposing influences inside the home shaping him. His dad lets me know that we’re putting good things into him, not conflicting messages.
The moral of the story is, I’m not who I was a year ago when I let go. I’m not done growing yet. And there’s a cost to the life I get to live. It isn’t a curse. I can lay down and die or I can get up, course correct and move on just like the others before me.
I chose to get up, and I’m going to keep getting up.