Sometimes it really is the little things that make my day. And sometimes I think I'm just an odd sort of girl. I walked into Walmart a couple of weeks ago and was doing my normal shopping when I noticed a mop display in the middle of the aisle. Now let me just tell you that I HATE mopping. Not sure why, but I do. That and laundry are my two least favorite chores. Maybe it's because neither of them stay done for more than about .03 seconds, I don't know, but I just don't like doing them. The laundry I do regularly because as much as I hate it, I do like wearing clothes. But the mopping, well, I'm not about to tell you how infrequently it gets done. So here I was minding my own business and came upon this mop. Not sure why it caught my eye other than the fact that it looked like another mop I had tried and loved, but couldn't justify because I had to purchase special mop pads and refill cleaner for it. You know the one. Well this one was just like it except it came with a washable pad and a refillable bottle that you could fill with whatever cleaner you wanted. I was sold! But, being the good little housewife that I aspire to be, I decided not to make an impulse purchase. However, now that I knew about it, I wasn't about to use the old mop and bucket method I had at home, so my floor just got dirtier and dirtier. I finally broke down and bought it this past weekend. And no, I am not selling this mop, but I do really like it. I guess it caters to the lazy side of me. No bucket to drag around after me and no mop ringing between each re-wetting. I like to tell myself that I'll mop more because of it. We'll see. But at least my job was made easier.
Most of this blog is dedicated to funny stories and sharing the happy times we have as a family. But sometimes there just isn't anything funny to write about and for some odd reason, I feel compelled to keep this silly blog going, so today's post might get a little real.
Living in a new (as an adult) city without close friends and missing that southern hospitality we encountered when we first moved to Texas is hard. Living here and having a sweet little boy in the midst of the very trying Threes is even harder. I have never seen the depths of my own selfishness as I have seen it in the past several weeks. I really want this parenting thing to be easy. I want to do what the parenting books say to do and have it work quickly. I want Benjamin to desire to obey. I want to not have to be inconvenienced by his lack of obedience. I want to sleep a whole night through instead of being awakened at 4am. I want to have a little peace and quiet. I I I I I. And yet when I look back on my life, I've never really had to give up that "I". Granted, I've dealt with a lot of circumstances that didn't go my way. Infertility and having to let go of a child we thought we were supposed to adopt taught me a lot about not being in control of my circumstances. But now I am finding myself facing the fact that I want to be in control of my son, and my reasons are often driven by selfishness. And when I find that I cannot control him, I find it difficult not to become frustrated with him.
Today, after almost a full week of Ben deciding to get up somewhere between 2am and 4am, we are both tired. After an attempted nap, I got up and decided I needed desperately to meet with the Lord while Ben was still sleeping. And wouldn't you know it, my study today was on patience. Not patience with circumstances, but patience with people. Not only that, but I was reminded that I cannot achieve that kind of patience on my own. It's a fruit of the Spirit and can only be attained through His power. On the one hand that's so freeing. On the other hand, I feel like my selfish ambitions so often keep me from being filled with the Spirit and bearing His fruit. Living Spirit filled is just not something that happens once and continues. I have to be surrendered every single minute of the day. And lately, I haven't been.
For the past several weeks, I have been seeing a chiropractor about a hip problem I've had for a couple of years. Ben always goes with me and usually we don't have to wait at all before going back to our room. Today however was a super busy day and we waited in a full waiting room. Benjamin does not have a shy bone in his body and usually thinks that if there is another person around, they are desperate to interact with him. I love this about him, but I'm usually cautious about encouraging him because he quickly gets out of control and starts doing crazy things to show off. One of the ladies sitting next to me kept staring at me and for some reason I just felt judged. She said something to me about how energetic Benjamin was and I said something jokingly about how amazing it was that he had that much energy since he'd been up since 4am. She quickly told me I should probably think about putting him to bed later. Right after that, the showing off escalated and after Ben threw magazines at two patients and was about to dump the contents of the trash can on another, I decided it was time to take him outside to settle down. As we walked out the door, Benjamin said "where'm I going?" That same lady said "sounds to me like you need a good paddling." It was all I could do to keep from losing it. I mean, in reality she was right, but did she really think I would just do it right there in the office, or in the front yard of the office? I stewed about it for quite some time before finally seeing myself and how often I've judged others around me without really knowing their circumstances. Before having kids, I was one of the first to look at a harried mother and her misbehaving child (ren) and think that if she would just give them a good spanking or be a better mom, they would be much better kids. Ha! So here I am getting lessons both in humility and in patience.
And that's enough rambling for today. Maybe next week will be funnier. :)
This summer I joined a mom's group here in town called Mothering as a Career Club. The group offers play dates and mom's nights and I thought it would be a good way to get to know some other moms with kids Ben's age. The first month I was a little shy about getting involved and we were also pretty busy with family stuff, so I didn't do much. But this month I was determined to go to some of the play dates. It's been really fun and has allowed Benjamin to be around some other kids and me to see what there is to do around here. Last week we got to see a fire truck and Benjamin got to spray the hose. We also checked out the local gymnastics place and they divided the kids up according to age. Benjamin had a great time jumping on the trampoline and jumping into a pit of foam blocks. Pretty sure tumbling will be in order as an activity when the yucky winter weather hits. Today we went and visited a local cheese farm and got to hear how they make cheese and even take a look at where they milk their cows. We got some yummy raw cheese and I also purchased some raw milk which I am excited about. I think Benjamin's favorite part was the homemade ice cream. He is definitely my son with his love of that sweet treat. ;-) I took my camera to the firetruck demo but forgot it for both the other activities. I really need to be better about that. But here are some fun pictures of Ben spraying the hose and sitting in the truck.
He was having a pretty serious discussion with the fireman
The last couple of weeks have been pretty stressful weeks when it comes to mommying. I'm pretty sure that whoever called the twos terrible hadn't even gotten to the threes yet. I know I'm not the first mother to wish for this, but some days I wish little man had come with a "here's what will get through to him" manual. I struggle to maintain consistency and lets not even talk about maintaining sanity. I so desperately desire for Benjamin to know and understand his need for a Savior, but some days I get so focused on behavior that I forget about the bigger picture and become a yucky angry mom. But despite the fact that I fail daily at being a Spirit filled mother, God's grace is so evident. He gives me reasons to laugh in the middle of it all and even lets those reasons for laughter come from the very source of my frustration. So, this past Sunday, we were getting ready for church and this is what Benjamin said he wanted to wear:
He came into my room sporting his tank top PJ shirt, along with an inside out long sleeved PJ shirt, topped by his inside out and backwards polo shirt. For the bottom, he decided to just wear plaid shorts. Underwear is way over rated. And in this house, that underwear can sometimes be found in the fridge anyway.