January 4th: How can I embrace the chaos?

I awoke this morning with feet in my face and a fist in my spleen. And yet, I kept my eyes closed. Too bad for me, my husband plays ‘possum better than I do!

I tried in vain to convince my footie pajama-clad attackers to go check out how much snow had fallen…to go wake up their little sister…to go pick out a favorite book–anything, so I could catch a few more minutes of sleep. And as I did so, a nagging voice in the back of my head reminded me that suffering is caused by desire…

This is one noble truth I’ve never been able to accept before breakfast.

If only I could embrace the chaos in my household, would my frustration, stress, and anxiety melt into contentment? There’s probably more than one award-winning parent out there right now tsk-tsk-ing my lack of control. I get it. And I should probably do whatever it is they’ve done that works. But I must believe that that ship has sailed, otherwise today’s question would be, “How can I channel Mary Poppins?”

But it isn’t, so back to the chaos we go.

Which moment should I pick to illustrate today’s theme? Would it be the moment that my daughter knocked a lamp over, sending a glass lamp shade shattering into shards all over my living room carpet? Was it the moment when I got the laundry folded, only to have my son switch into demo mode all over my tidy piles? Or was it when I finally coaxed my middle child into picking up and sorting all of her puzzle pieces into their four separate bins, only to watch her celebrate by dumping them out once again?

No, it would have to be the stickers. My brother in-law and his wife sent several sheets of finger nail-sized stickers across the ocean to my children, because clearly they care about their fine motor development. And apparently they don’t like me very much. So for days now, I’ve been peeling tiny, impossibly sticky stickers off of everything. I thought I’d gotten a handle on the situation earlier today, when I had my twins putting itty-bitty stickers on large pieces of chart paper. But then after dinner this evening it got quiet. Too quiet. I found my three children under the dining room table creating a sticker mosaic on the walnut flooring. And it will remain there until the glass splinters work their way out of my fingers. Ouch.

My kids are in bed now, and I’m left to reflect on, and accept the chaos that was. And because I’m not a complete idiot, the remaining stickers, thankfully, are in the trash.

[Incidentally, my niece and nephew are nine and four. Got an idea for a suitable gift that I can send in retribution return? Leave me a comment!]

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