I am no longer familiar with how to live simply. Children, without intention, drastically complicate everything. The other day, we were going about our business and out of no where one of my daughters got hit with a 103.5-degree fever. While I was patting her down with a wash cloth because, to her, a bath sounded “too wet”, my oldest was sobbing uncontrollably over never being able to grow a mermaid tail, which initially was hilarious and then stopped being so at about the 7-minute mark. This was just a Tuesday.
On Mother’s Day I decided to take a bath in our jacuzzi tub for the first time ever, since we moved in 2 years ago. Our bathtub is about 2 feet from where I keep our laundry, and so I managed to just sit for about 20 minutes before I noticed that the last of the baby swaddles was dirty. My husband, having read my previous blog, followed it so completely, he stood guard at the top of our locked stairs, so no tiny humans could sneak past into our bedroom. Because for me to just take a bath, he needed to be the troll at the drawbridge and I needed to teleport our tub to a place free from laundry. This is the point I am trying to make, with kids there is no just. Just taking a bath, just quieting your to-do list; let alone your mind. You’ve become one of those circus performers that is riding a unicycle, twirling a plate, and the kids keep tossing you flaming bowling pins in the form of: fevers, vegetable aversions, and tiny fists of each other’s hair.
See, your children aren’t trying to overwhelm or knock you off balance, because they aren’t even aware that you even exist outside of them. Why would you possible need to use the bathroom if that’s the exact moment they need a sandwich? Just make a sandwich. Except right when you place the plate before them, they have already decided they no longer like bread. Every day of motherhood is one long metaphor for the premise of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Don’t get out the finger paints unless you are looking to mop the kitchen and give them a bath.
But if we see the glass as half-full--the opposite can also be said, that there is never a dull moment. A trip to Target is an opportunity to: sing carpool karaoke, run into friends, and strengthen their immune system when they eat unwashed produce off the floor. I no longer mourn the loss of the just; in this season of life I cannot just put on my shoes and go. See, after one child, let alone three, moments are no longer simple they are full, and that’s just fine with me.