My alarm went off at the normal time of 5:30 am – the only sound was the gentle hum of the ceiling fan & the sprinkler in the backyard. I woke with my typical hot flash and went to dabbing sweat and gave brief consideration to throwing myself violently into the sprinkler. George frowns upon such dramatic displays, so instead, I kicked my legs out from under the covers and decided to skip the morning workout and deny myself breakfast instead. Seems like a fair trade. Eventually, I rolled out, got in the shower and as treat to myself (and George) shaved my legs! I stopped at the knee because it’s Thursday and I didn’t want to get too carried away!
Fast forward about 20 minutes – Andrew is now awake and I hear cooing come from Landon’s room. I scurry to get him from the crib (there’s about 1 millisecond before cooing turns into screaming) with Andrew right at my heels begging for breakfast – seems these kids want breakfast EVERY.SINGLE.MORNING! So I quickly put 2 toaster strudels in the toaster grab 2 cups for milk only to be infromed by Andrew that he doesn’t want milk, he wants water. At least he is proficient at serving himself water. Andrew at table with iced strudel (& water); Landon in chair with cut up iced strudel (minus one piece I ate myself… to check for proper temperature, of course) & milk. Cartoons on… breakfast is served.
It was at this time that George walked into the kitchen. Here’s the thing about my beloved – he escapes the morning routine every day. He walks out of the house with clothes fitting perfectly, every hair in place and always looking perfectly rested. It is for this reason alone that I snickered to myself as I noticed he was walking out of the house with a wrinkled shirt, unaware! HAHAHA, revenge… that’ll teach him! He turned on his way to the door and gave a ‘ta-ta’ wave as he smiled, telling us how much he loved us all. We all 3 looked at him, returning the same wave & smile. He then proclaimed ‘I love those boys – they are just perfect’. I’m sure he meant me too. For that brief moment we really were the Cleavers and being as such, I should have known ‘The Beav’ was about to wreck havoc on the morning. Which one is ‘The Beav’ you ask? Both!
With the children eating breakfast, I went to blow dry my hair. Why I even bother, I don’t know. The end result is always a guessing game as to which animal my style represents today. While blow drying, I look around the corner into the kitchen to see a wide-eyed Andrew staring at me. Never good. I turn off the blow dryer and walk in the kitchen. Immediately he says “I didn’t do it… Landon did it”. I look over at Landon; he is happily watching TV about 3 feet in front of a puddle of water with Andrew’s cup floating in it. I could only see the back of Landon’s head (a shame really, if I had seen the front I would have known he was painting himself with the filling from his cherry strudel), and I knew Landon did not spill the water. Andrew lied… oh, BEAV!
I pull Andrew into the bedroom and explain to him that I am not mad about the water, but that he lied to me and must sit in timeout. Spanking Andrew really doesn’t work – good Lord, we’ve tried. But, he hates time out, so we use it. He cried & wailed as if I had beaten him within an inch of his life. I cleaned up the water (unaware the quiet one was still ‘painting’) and finished my hair. I then pulled Andrew in my lap to reinforce why he got in trouble and that lying was not acceptable. He says he understands. I feel like we’ll have this talk again soon.
We go into the kitchen and I tell him to get dressed while I dress Landon. It is at this point I realize there is cherry filling everywhere in Landon’s general vicinity and he thinks it is hysterical! Oh, BEAV! I go get a washcloth – seriously, bounty doesn’t stand a chance, and begin the process of bathing my kid. While cleaning up this mess, I notice that Andrew has grown increasingly frustrated with his shirt. It’s a Polo style with 2 buttons and he couldn’t get it over his head. So, he took the shirt, swung it around his head about 4 times (wearing nothing but his underwear, mind you), started screaming and then flung it into the kitchen. Then he picked up his shorts and repeated the process…oh, BEAV! I made him bring me his clothes and I scolded him for his behavior and told him that it was inappropriate. Do you know what happened in that VERY moment? I kid you not; God said to me “that is exactly what you do when you think your clothes don’t fit”. Seriously, Lord? While I know you are correct (and point well taken, I truly have been known to stand in my underwear swing my clothes over my head and fling them into the wild, blue yonder!), I don’t recall inviting down for this teachable moment!?
I help Andrew get dressed and give a graham cracker to satisfy his never ending hunger while I dress Landon. I make my way to Landon’s room and begin to dress him. This process alone is why I do not feel guilty over ignoring my workout. I sit him down; he immediately turns onto his stomach, plants his face and puts it butt in the air. I flip him over and we do this 3 times. By the time I get his diaper off, my heart is racing and I have broken a sweat. By the time his new diaper is on, I realize it not on straight and his left butt cheek is hanging out. I make a rational decision that if I hurry, I can drop him off at school before he poops and the crooked diaper becomes an issue. He is finally dressed and I put him down, taking a seat in the rocking chair to catch my breath.
Now, it’s time to finish Andrew… I really, truly hate this part. Teeth & hair. Again with the drama. I am killing him because the ‘toothpaste burns’. As he spits the toothpaste in the sink, Landon (standing on the stool admiring himself in the mirror), runs his hands through the spit. We make it through that, but before I can catch Andrew, he wipes his mouth on the towel before rinsing. Toothpaste all over the towel. I heard myself correct him in a very high pitched voice. At this point, the boys are ready for departure. I just needed about 5 more minutes to myself and I thought I could count on Mickey Mouse to help me out. So, I put them in front of the TV (gasp… yes, I use my TV as a baby sitter, who wants to know?) and head off to finish myself up.
While putting on my shoes, Andrew brings me a leaf from the Peace Lilly. “Look what Landon did…” Oh, BEAV! I walked out of my room and noticed about 10 more leaves in the middle of the floor and several more in Landon’s hand. The Peace Lily was feeling anything but Peace… ironic?! I cleaned up the leaves, turned off the TV (thanks for nothing, MICKEY!!). As I herded both boys towards the door (only 8 minutes late), I remembered Ward (umm, George) saying “Make sure to leave the house clean, my parents are coming tonight”. Umm… well maybe Mother Juarez can clean the kitchen for me, but I ‘gots ta go’!
Get Andrew in the car, toss laptop in, round Landon up, buckle him in, back inside to set the alarm, grab water, find keys (forgot sunglasses), and we’re off! Skid into daycare on 2 wheels and get out of car about 2 seconds before it was actually in ‘park’. Oops… Take Landon out, have Andrew search for the Sippy cup under the seat, brush graham cracker crumbs off his face and take a deep breath… I’m almost to the finish line! A polite smile to the front desk staff (they do not look like they had the same morning). Andrew will only go into his room without crying if I let him help me drop Landon off. I open Landon’s door and he literally clings to the door frame. As I try to pry him loose, Andrew is clinging to my legs and I cannot walk. Still smiling (ever the professional) I snatch Landon off the door and throw him at his teacher – bye dude! I then drop Andrew off in his room – a little less drama (thankfully).
As I walk back down the hall (15 minutes to coffee), I straighten my shirt, hope the cherry filling on my pants isn’t too noticeable and I actually feel like I look ok today. Well, right then I walked into the parking lot and passed a woman who blew my confidence to smithereens in what I swear was a slow motion passing. She had beautiful, wavy brunette hair (did NOT resemble an animal!), was VERY thin (I presume she adopted because there is no way that child came from her stomach!), and her heels matched her pencil skirt perfectly! I sat myself in the car and determined that she probably had matching lingerie on too. The only thing I had to offer was the JC Penny underwear I bought 3 years ago which were currently sitting 4 inches above the top of my pants. Face to hands, I moaned “I am so ordinary”… and not in a good way.
Do you ever feel like this? Ordinary? Maybe even less than ordinary? I think we all have our days, even the woman with gorgeous hair and nice shoes! But, am I ordinary? Who am I, really? This is who I am:
I am the salt of the earth…Matt. 5:13
I am the light of the world…Matt. 5:14
Out of my innermost being flows rivers of living water…John 7:38
I am loved by Jesus…John 15: 9
I belong to God, I am His…John l 7: 9
I am beloved of God, a saint... Rom. 1:7
I am an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ…Rom. 8:17
I am a sanctified saint in Jesus Christ…I Cor. 1:2
I am God’s fellow-worker, I am God’s field, God’s building…I Cor. 3:9
I am a temple of God in which the Spirit of God indwells…I Cor. 3:16
I am a fragrance of Christ to God among both the saved and the lost…2 Cor. 2:15
I am crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, and the life I live now I live by faith…Gal. 2:20
I am a child of God through Jesus Christ…Eph. 1:5
I have a power source within me which is able to do abundantly beyond all that I ask or think…Eph. 3:20
I am confident that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus…Phil. 1: 6
I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people 1 Pet 2:9
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works Eph 2:10.
The list goes on & on… This is just a small sample of who I am in Christ. I may be ordinary to the world, but to those 2 babies I just dropped off, I am anything but ordinary. More importantly, to Christ, well, he delights in me! He is cheering me on and equipping me with the wisdom to do this job well. THIS job of motherhood which is the hardest job I’ve ever done. To whom much is given, much is required. Yes, each day presents both new & familiar challenges and many times I wind up feeling rather worthless. I mess up and I get up. I’m sure you can relate. But there is nothing in scripture to back up that feeling. There is no truth to the lies of the enemy. I can rest in the truth of God’s word and know that every morning will begin with two things: That familiar hot flash & new mercies.
I pray you wake up tomorrow with only new mercies!