This morning, I was supermom. I was ready to take laziness by the horns. I vowed not to sit down unless it involved caring for the kids (reading, feeding, bleeding, that sort of thing) except for naptime. I was going to fold mountains of laundry in a single swoop, sort toys faster than kids could un-sort them, and catch a good attitude for the entire day, oh.. and get rid of the fake pine needles that were scattered over my carpet since we removed the Christmas Tree… yesterday.

I was ready to stick to a schedule, stay on a decent eating plan and keep my kids busy and in hand. I was going to know what they were supposed to be doing, where, how and with what. I was going to be proactive and avoid squabbles, tantrums, and general not-nice-ness. (In the kids, too!) In the meantime, I was going to accomplish much.

During my ‘scheduled’ time to play with the kids, knowing that I was in a tolerant mood and not knowing how long it would last, we quickly got out paints. I refused to try to teach them to be neat. I let them be kids and messy. Only when they started rolling the paint filled brushes to each other did I say anything. It’s a good thing I didn’t try to teach them not to contaminate other colors, because my son was absolutely thrilled when he created brown. I remembered a day when the thought of cleaning up the mess afterwards didn’t steal my joy.

We read the entire Old Testament half of what has become affectionately termed "Asa’s Bible", they begged me to finish the other half. I sent them off to play upstairs while I ate veggies for lunch and cooked their chicken nuggets for them so that I could stimulate their brains with a read aloud while they ate… hopefully forestalling the normal lunch irritations of spinning in our seats and generally being manner-less. That didn’t happen. We had a normal mealtime. I remember the days when I enjoyed the antics of little kids at a table and even participated in them.

We planned to make sugar cookies WITH frosting AND sprinkles after naptime… hey, if I’m going to have a good attitude and not be obsessive about messes, then we might as well spend the day messy, right? Unfortunately, I had the presence of mind (I usually don’t) to let the butter soften. I laid it on the stove. Then in a completely disconnected and separate thought I decided to turn the oven on so that it would be preheated and ready to go when they awoke. I remember days when I had as much anticipation as the kids about stuff like this.

Naptime did not go as anticipated… nevertheless, I summoned a smile when my two eldest urchins arose and tried to prepare myself mentally for the very fun and mess-filled time. I remember a time when shoring yourself up in preparation for fun activities wasn’t necessary.

My eldest urchin descended the stairs half-naked and whining that he couldn’t get his clothes back on? Do I need to adjust the thermostat, or am I missing something here. His sister has been stripping off her "jamma-jams" every evening for the last week and then screaming that she’s cold. What in the world? I remember a time when these kinds of things were funny and not troublesome.  Never mind. Who cares about random weirdness, we were about to make sweet and sticky memories! I had put everything we needed on the table during nap and all that was left was to get my wisely softened butter. As you certainly guessed, my butter was softened, all right. Melted, in fact. All over the stove. My supermom costume melted with it. I was toast. We had pre-made cookies and I told them we’d try again later, begging off with the idea that the butter in the fridge wasn’t soft and the recipe calls for soft butter. (We own a microwave, but I wasn’t telling.) I remember a day when I would have consdiered this a good time to teach the kids perseverance or patience or some other fruit. 

Despite the fact that I had truly done nothing visible all day (short of very visibly scattering… errrr.. sorting toys ALL OVER the previously picked up living room) and nothing really difficult or even demanding all day… I wanted nothing more than to hide from my kids and do nothing and be called, touched, asked for, and needed by no one. Yeah.  That’s going to happen.

The day hadn’t gone poorly. The butter is truly the only thing that had really ‘gone wrong’ up to that moment. Except that the weather isn’t warm like I want it to be.  The kids were happy and seemed to be perfectly oblivious to my struggles, so their behavior wasn’t the cause. To be honest, I think my supermom costume was ill-fitting quite a few hours before the butter melted. Maybe even the entire day.  The rest of this afternoon I’ve sat my children in front of the TV, they prefer it to interaction anway. I wonder if other moms are as wimpy as I am or if there is something wrong with me. I attempt to push through the rest of my goals, since the keeping kids in hand and on schedule has just gone up in smoke.

Introduce 5pm. So far, I’ve hung a few clothing items. I have several piles of toys to put away, stash, trash, and throw in our van for our next Goodwill run. These are currently being blended back together by my children. I have, indeed vacuumed up the pine needles… that debris has been replaced with fuzzies and dog hair and other miscellaneous debris from the toy box. We never did return to the sugar cookies… instead, we made a box mix brownie. They were happy. I felt like a cheater.

I have eaten several cookies, sugar cereal, a piece of brownie and almost nothing healthy since lunch. I wasn’t hungry for breakfast.  I’m not particularly hungry for supper, but will be ready for additional and even more excessive amounts of junk food as soon as the kids are in bed.

The worst part is… I know this is pitiful. Right now, I’m not even wishing that I were supermom. Right now I wish I was the mom everyone complains about. You know, the one who doesn’t take care of her kids if she can help it. The one that turns the TV on and sits in front of it all day, oblivious to what her kids are doing until someone’s injured or interrupting her respite. The one that then yells at the poor little dear and goes back to her show oblivious that anything wrong has just been done.  You know. The ones that just DON’T CARE! That’s the sad thing. Today, I just don’t want to care. Someday, maybe tomorrow, I’ll thank God that I can’t make myself not care.

On days like these, reading Matthew 7 about knowing them by their fruits is not particularly encouraging.

On days like these, I need that Psalm back on my mirror. The one I posted there before Asa was born, because I KNEW I was going to struggle with days like these even more after I had three to manage.

I can’t remember the reference. I thought it was Psalm 63 or 68 or something, but I don’t care enough to look it up. I do care just barely enough to remember it. It talks about envying the wicked. How their ways seem easy and how they seem to want for nothing. Then going to the house of the Lord and realizing their end. Being thankful that God spared him from that same end. Then I remember our Youth Pastor talking about living in the red, focused on the white (or something like that). Focusing on eternity to prevent our petty things from seeming bigger. I can’t do that today. My petty things are filling my entire vision.

But it does give me the hope that tomorrow, I’ll be able to envision eternity again. I’ll remember the "end" that I’m striving for and want it badly enough to do something about it.  "Maybe tomorrow. Come back tomorrow.  Try me tomorrow." 

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