Thursday, October 15, 2009

5 Minutes is More Than Enough

Over at Mama Kat's place they are talking about mothers, and it got me thinking. I'm not going to write about my own mother-she's a big ball of crazy, and I haven't spoken to her in four years. If I ever talk to her again it will be too soon. When I was small, my Nana (Dad's mom) was my mother. She did all of the Mommy things, better than I ever could have asked for, but she died when I was only 7. I do my best to emulate her, but unfortunately there have been many situations where her guidance was unavailable and sorely missed. I do have a step mom, a wonderful lady for whom I am very grateful, but I didn't get much time with her either. We only lived together a little more than 3 years and-while she is a terrific lady-we still don't understand much about each other and she always gave all parenting over to my dad.

And so, despite having had three female mother figures, I somehow ended up essentially motherless-and sometimes that makes me really nervous about my own parenting. Can you be a good mother if you don't really have a mother? I like to think so. Still, on days like today I wonder....

This afternoon I made a big mistake-I used the bathroom. I know, I know-I swear I'm not a rookie, but I'd been holding it for like five hours and it was an emergency. [Hey, after three kids your bladder just isn't the same.] I thought I'd be safe. Monkey appeared to be engrossed in coloring, Baby Bug was drinking her milk securely fastened into her high chair, and The Bean was asleep in her swing so I ran upstairs to enjoy the rare opportunity to pee by myself. I wasn't gone a full five minutes, but when I came downstairs it was anarchy.

As I walk into the living room, my feet slosh on the carpet. Yes, slosh. The carpet is drenched-not just a spot either-I'd say probably 6 sq feet or more of carpet, entirely soaked. It seems that Monkey had decided he was going to press the automatic water button on the fridge.....and hold it down....until there was standing water in the kitchen/living room.

This is not all he managed to do in five minutes either. He also acted as an accomplice to Baby Bug, who in this same time had managed to unfasten her safety belt (how "safe" is that?), rip off her diaper and stand up butt naked in her high chair squealing with delight. The diaper itself was no where in sight, because Monkey had decided to hide the poopy diaper under the sink in the downstairs bathroom.

While this was all happening, The Bean-presumably awakened by Baby Bug's squeals of delight-had somehow managed to put one leg over the top of her swing's tray and get stuck. She's five months old...just old enough to get herself into these positions, but not big enough to get herself out of them.

So when I come downstairs after my only solitary pee of the day I am standing in the lake that is now my living room, watching Monkey throw a poopy diaper (aka the evidence) under the bathroom sink while Baby Bug shrieks and attempts to throw her naked body out of her high chair and The Bean thrashes back and forth in her swing and cries like she means it.

And for a split second my only thought was

WHO IS RAISING THESE HOOLIGANS?!
My House-It's Where the Wild Things Are
[Picture from Max and the Wild Things, by Maurice Sendak]

Oh yeah-that would be me....and Hubby of course; my conspirator in raising this roving band of destructive monkeys. As I spring into action to get the girls safe and clothed and start sopping up the water on the floor (with Monkey's help of course) I can't help but wonder to myself-did anything like this ever happen to my Nana? Does this mean my children are out of control? Will they end up in jail/in therapy/in the circus because of this? Am I really a good mother?

As I always do when pondering these things, I came to the conclusion that I can only do my best and pray for God to give my children sense enough to overcome the flaws in my guidance. I wish there was some kind of clear cut sign, some kind of step by step check list of good mothering that I could tick off one at a time (I'm pretty sure "allow children to flood the house and dance around naked" would not be on that list).....but I guess I'll have to settle for loving my kids the best I can in the way I think is best.

I think I'm going to need to look into water proofing the house.

89 comments:

DysFUNctional Mom said...

LOL! I know that my kids and most kids I know have done similar things. Let's hope they all don't end up in prison, what with the overcrowding & stuff.
I love your Where the Wild Things Are pics!
I came over from SITS.

bluecottonmemory said...

Going to the bathroom in peace and quiet is a scary, irritating thing. I swear I cannot go without someone knocking on my door. I even announce that I am going to the bathroom. If there are any needs please let me know before I go. Nope. Then the knocking comes.

Kirsty said...

Oh my word. My kids probably would not have survived me coming upon a scene like that (namely the oldest instigator) you are a far more patient (therefore superior) mother then I.

It makes for a great story though :D

Mama B said...

Isn't it amazing how much a kid can do in the time it takes you to pee?

pk said...

Oh my. I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I was laughing so hard when I read your description of the chaos. Hopefully things have calmed down a bit. :-) Visiting from SITS. Hope you have a great day!
pk @ Room Remix

S Club Mama said...

I may have had a mom, but I still have the same insecurities. I think you said it best that we can only do the best we can and ask God for guidance. :) Sounds like you have good kids! Mischievous...but aren't they all?

Dee said...

Wow! At least monkey didn't announce that the house peed.

Your blog is beautiful. You should enter my 250 free business cards giveaway and use them to promote this lovely blog.

Visiting from SITS>

The Blue Zoo said...

LOL That was hilarious! Glad to know my kids arent the only ones.....

AngieB said...

Don't you wish you could accomplish that much in five minutes? Your children are obviously brilliant and hard-working (due, of course, to your superior parenting skills). See, it's all in how you look at it!!

Misty M. said...

LOL! This is why on the rare occasions that I take a shower when alone at home with the kids, I spend the entire 5 minutes imagining the worse possible senarios that could be going on with my 3 yr old son and 1 year old daughter in the other rooms.
At least once I have convinced myself that they were in mortal danger and jumped out with a towel to go check and ran back to finish my shower after.
With another on the way, I think I will just get used to waiting for hubby to get home.

As for when I am in the bathroom, no worries.. they like to follow me and watch. lol

Jenny said...

LOL, sorry to laugh, but that must have been quite a sight! I can only imagine what kind of trouble 3 kids could get into in 5 minutes!

Samantha said...

I can have a spotless house. Spend hours cleaning it. And then when Bree wakes in the morning, or up from her nap...it takes her 2 seconds flat to completely destroy the house. I'm talking stuff EVERYWHERE! How do they work so fast?

karen said...

I think the fact that you did not fall on the floor laughing hysterically like a hyena, or eat your children, is proof enough of what a good mother you are. You're doing fine!

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

a wonderful cautionary tale.

for the record, based on everything i know of you, i think you are a terrific mother...

Erin said...

Why is it the minute you get on the phone or God forbid try to pee they act up! haha
Great story!

Lora said...

oh my!
I hope your next solitary moment is less eventful...

cat said...

Oh gosh, I know! Imagine two two year old boys - really hectic at our place at times.

Melissa aka Equidae said...

LOL - life like that is fun ya know :) just look at the bright side and think how much fun they are having and so why not!

Fruitful Vine2 said...

OMGoodness! You sure handled that with grace. My boys can do their fair share in under 2 minutes. They would be sent to tidy their room and do an excellent job but as soon as they are done, they make an even bigger mess 'pretending'. LOL! Oh the joys of parenting.

Mindi - B.A. Bookworm said...

Oh yes, that was a great read!
Thanks for starting my day off with a smile SITSta.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Love the picture and your caption! Judging by this post, it sounds like your house really is where the wild things are! Very clever!!

This sounds like something I'd see on that Super Nanny show. That is amazing how much chaos monkey created in just 5 minutes!

Congrats on your SITS day!

Elizabeth said...

Yikes. I'm afraid of these moments, because I know they're coming! My munchkin's going on 21 months old, and I'm quite certain this kind of mischief is coming all too soon. I'm sorry it was such a mess, but I'm glad you shared it with us - I really needed this laugh this morning! :)

Christina said...

Every great childhood has those stories -- don't see this as flawed parenting. I see it as a mom who is raising enthusiastic, creative, independent people.

It's just that those people start off as house-flooding kids...

Annie@A View On Design said...

I don't know what is worse, having them come with you to the loo (and try and unravel toilet paper, crawl around under the bowl & start fighting just out of your reach whilst on the loo!) OR trusting them to behave whilst you aren't able to supervise - case-in-point... your example! It's a win/win isn't it!! great story tho... (sits)

Cara and Jenn said...

Lesson learned? Never pee...lol

You are definitely NOT alone.

Cara

The Mommyologist said...

Hysterical! I don't know how you do it with three!

Michelle said...

I think anyone with three small children can agree that their house looks the same some days.

Cairo Typ0 said...

Here from SITS! :)

Kids are so very talented. It's just too bad that many of their skills are centered around destruction. LOL

A Fist Full of Dandelions said...

This post cracked me up. It's funny how fast they can get into stuff.

sweetjeanette said...

ROFL!!! Invest in vinyl! Everywhere! * giggle * You can only love them with all your heart and do what your heart tells you and then you have been the best mother.
Enjoy day in SITS land!

sweetjeanette.blogspot.com

{leah} said...

It's amazing what kids can manage in such a short time... I wish I had that type of determination... my house would be spotless!

Happy SITS day!

Kim said...

I wish I had a blog when my kids were little! I have said, I didn't go to the bathroom by myself for 15 yrs.! (I have 5 children.) Thanks for reminder.

@cheapchichome

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

It's amazing what can happen in the blink of an eye. So much for bathroom trips alone, huh?

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

I am glad to know that things like you described happen to people other than me too!
:)

Mighty M said...

Oh no!! 5 minutes, really?? That is my worst fear!! :)

Jacky said...

Oh my. It's amazing what children can accomplish...=)

happy SITS day!

Christine said...

I love it! I pretty much couldn't read any further than...will they end up in the circus? ROFLMAO

allycupe said...

Nice to know I"m not the only one who can see the similarities between my kids and Where the Wild Things Are!

Jessica said...

Honestly that made me feel a little better because my 3 hooligans can get into ANYTHING! However as to weather or not they will need therapy? I think the more you let kids be kids the less therapy they will need!
now to go find out who is in the kitchen sink

www.atlmomguide.com

Kelly said...

HILARIOUS!!

Grandma Cat said...

I came from SITS to visit. I raised 3 children on my own very close in age and I honestly can't pinpoint any real disasters, though I am sure there were many. My 3 kids are now well adjusted adults with careers and children of their own. My message to you is enjoy every drop of water, every hidden diaper, every bit of spilled cereal...because they grow up sooooo fast. Then you get to spoil the grandkids!

Sassy Chica said...

Kids...enough said!

Great post, love your writing style!

Smooches,
Sassy Chica

Creative Junkie said...

WOW. You've got some pretty intrepid kids there!

I'd suggest a catheter and pee bag but holy heck, isn't motherhood hard enough without hauling your pee around on a daily basis?

Julie Dana said...

Oh so true! Love your attitude.

Melissa @Simply Mel said...

LOL.Too funny. I've had days like that at our house. I don't think you're an authentic and real mother if you haven't had days like that. So this just proves you are a great mom! :o)

Crystalin Dunn said...

hehehe Looks like you've got a great sense of humor! Your story reminds me of a friend of mine who was doing some work on the computer upstairs after she had sat her 2-year-old down to lunch with a movie. When she came downstairs 15 minutes later to check on him, she finds that he has dragged in the hose from the back(oh yes, turned on), and carefully placed it on their fabric sectional. It found its way to the curb a few weeks later, but she loves her new futon. Good things come to those who can laugh! Congrats on your SITS day!

Lynn said...

Wow that is truly amazing that your kids could get THAT creative in that short a time span. It sounds truly epic and something they can brag about on the playground - "You did all that in under 5 minutes? Get outta here..." "Yeah you shoulda seen my moms face..." That sounds like a typical mommy day to me. You're doing great and just hang in there.

My best, Lynn

Marie Cole said...

Not having kids I had no idea, just that story alone makes me want to continue with birth control, ha!

Michelle said...

What happened to my comment? I went to change a diaper and it was gone....had to have been my 3 year old, who commented when I came back the couch that she didnt do anything to the computer and she doesnt know what happened to it.

I was telling you HOW VERY thankful I was that I dont have water in the door of my fridge.

and how I didnt have a mother either. But through God's grace I think I'm doing pretty good. Better all the time.

and honestly, Michelle Duggar is a huge motivator and encourager for me. THAT is how I want to be.

Rook No. 17 said...

Yes, it is truly amazng how much mischief even one little monkey can get into in 5 minutes, let a lone three! God's little wake-up calls! I'm reminded of a great quote, " Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next." ~Franklin P. Jones
Jenn @ rookno17.blogspot.com

T~T said...

LOL!! Monkeys and beans everywhere!

Tanyia said...

first of all ... ROFL lol haha hehe .... *breathe* second of all ... just celebrate their curiosity, revel in teaching them a lesson (aka cleaning up that mess right now Mister!) and love them. Being a great mom doesn't mean your kids aren't a pain in the patootie once in awhile, its all in how you handle it and what you do from there that counts! :)

The Mom @ Babes in Hairland said...

Oh that's hilarious -- guess I'm glad it wasn't me though but I totally have had those days when I disappear for a second and you'd think I'd been gone an hour w/the mess I find waiting from my girls. I had a friend who was gone for a few moments in the bathroom & returned to find her 3 year old (newly potty trained) had dumped their baby rice cereal all over her floor & was peeing all over in it & dancing around mooshing it into her carpet. He's lucky he lived! :) Anyway, happy SITS day to you. Enjoy your day in the spotlight.

Bella Crafts said...

Perhaps your children are comedians in the making? It's uncanny how children become mini episodes of "Kids Gone Wild" the minute a parent leaves the room.

Small Sprouts said...

Happy Sits Day!

MariLee Parrish said...

Yes...motherhood certainly means giving up all privacy! My 2 1/2 yr old walked in on me the other day and announced "Only boys have pee-pees."

Not even a second to myself most days. I hear ya.

And you are a great mother, otherwise you wouldn't be worried about such things! :-) Keep doing what you're doing. God is in control!!

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Wow! I don't think I would have handled that very well. I often wonder if I'm doing right by my kids. If I'm teaching them the right things. I usually think I'm doing all right but then my son goes off and does something BAD or CRAZY and then I wonder. I guess we can just do the best we can and hope for guidance along the way.

Sara E said...

oh my golly gee... how funny! yes, funny! I am sure you are laughing about it now... it's one of those things when you want to laugh and scream at the kids at the same time... and then later just laugh about

Victoria D. said...

Happy SITS! Like this post a lot. I'm not a mom and I can't imagine how challenging it must be. Congrats for all that you are doing! Moms are heroes!

-Victoria D.

Two Normal Moms said...

LOL! I'm pretty sure your kids are totally normal and you sound like a great mom. I'm still chuckling though.
***Ally
Enjoy your SITS day!

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

You are like me. You have to look at these situations with optimism....you knew as it was happening that it would make for a darn good blog posting!! haha!

Happy Sits Day, btw.

-Surferwife

K a b l o o e y said...

Over from SITS and glad for the visit. You made me smile. About the misadventures, all I have to say is "you went to pee? what were you thinking?!" Nah, I'm kidding. (I'm a kidder.) You sound like a great mom, since you kept a sense of humor about the whole thing. Also, you have 3 under 6, and blog to tell the tale. If I still had an infant, celebrating the "fancy day" in which I wore pants with a zipper would be the height of productivity. Great job and nice to meet you.

Florrie said...

Glad I'm not the only mom that's raising hooligans. It's pretty much a fact that when I come out from using the bathroom my house will look like Dantes' Inferno! (Either that or they stand outside the locked bathroom door and whisper "Mom are you there. Can you hear me?"...while I'm trying to get my business done.) I can't decide which I prefer the LEAST......and don't even get me started on what happens when I get on the phone.

Motherhood.....isn't it lovely?

Stopping by from SITS. LOVE the blog. You are too, too funny.

Pam said...

Oh no! What a scene you describe. I would have completely lost it. Good for you for keeping it all together. All moms question themselves. Sounds to me like you are doing an amazing job. For that disaster scene alone you deserve a Mother of the Year nomination.

Angela said...

Too funny! Sorry about your carpet. But seriously, that is funny.

Jen said...

I have so been there. It is truly amazing what kids can do when left alone. It has rendered me speechless at times and the only thing I am able to do about it is grab the wine bottle.

Cathy said...

I think you should let them join the circus!! Then we can all join in the fun.

Heather said...

First..HILARIOUS! I don't think anyone tells you when you decide to become a mother that that means no longer having a single moment to yourself to just pee. I think many would opt out.

Regarding mothering, I think simply "being" in those moments with them is the most important thing. Perhaps think that perhaps your children are just advanced for their ages. After all, they are able to figure out how those pesky buttons work, how to unlatch the seatbelt and how to undo their own diapers. I think they're probably geniuses!

Have a great SITS day!

Meg said...

I did some pretty crazy things as a five-year-old (ahem, chopping off my sisters hair...) and I think I turned out pretty well. (And my sister recovered from that particular trauma.) The crazy is what actually keeps us all sane, right?

Sara's Whimsy said...

LOL! That's wonderful! Those hooligans have no idea who they're up against!

Young Wife said...

This was a funny story, but then, I'm not the one cleaning everything up! It sounds like you're a great mom.

McMom said...

Next time, rememer to "lock" the automatic water dispenser before you go to the bathroom! Or have your kids figured that one out already?

Amber Page Writes said...

Fabulous post. Although it does make me wonder if I should just stick with one hooligan...

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Too, too funny! I totally know about going to the bathroom - it never happens until the weekend when my husband is home!

Congrats on your SITS day!

Kristin said...

Who knew going to the bathroom would become a luxury?

Melanie said...

ha ha, you never know what will happen next. However, I definately think flooding the living room and dancing naked IS on the good mother list. (while my kids haven't flooded my living room I am in big trouble if dancing naked isn't on the list.) It isn't about what your kids do it is about how you respond to them and it sounds like you did just fine.

Lady Lex said...

LOL! Love your attitude. I had no idea kids were that quick. Kind of a scary thought...lol!

Yours Truly,
Lady Lex
ineedprettythings.com

Elizabeth Patch said...

HAPPY SITS DAY! You are so lucky to have time to write this funny story down, because as a single working mom all I remember is a gigantic blur involving big messes, wild boys, and ...?? What you wrote would be HYSTERICAL if you saw it in a movie, so enjoy the craziness/silliness and trust you are doing a great job(PS just wait until you have 3 teenagers...!)

Missy said...

I have so been there. Okay, maybe not *there* but certainly in similar situations.

You are a good mother. All it requires is love.

Happy SITS day.

Joy said...

LOL! That's what you get for thinking you could get all fancy and use the bathroom by yourself!

*Mirage* said...

Letting the baby go naked isn't on the good-mom list? Uh-oh... ;)
I have to laugh, only because I've been there too. Oh the price we pay to pee! LOL!

AmericanTribal said...

LOL Oh my this post had me practically peeing... especially the look I imagined on your face when you arrived after your bathroom break. I'm sorry, is that mean? I don't think so... I think it just means you know how to write an awesome blog post.

Michelle (hometc) said...

Well if no one was eating the poop then I think you came away with another close victory on this one, Yay for Mommy!!! :)

Susan said...

I am amazed at what happens when we take a minute to go to the potty by ourselves...

Great story though, one for the books definitely.

Angelica Bays, TygrLilies.com said...

Hey, you started the day with 3 kids and ended the day with 3 kids. No blood, no foul. Everything else is a bonus!
;o)

Vickie said...

I just leave the door open. I figure some one is gonna come in. Might as well make it easier.

I am now going to click the lock button on my fridge water.

Yaya said...

Oh my gosh! Is it bad I find this hilarious!

Kara said...

This cracked me up. I can totally imagine my three devils getting into the same mischief. I usually find myself in the bathroom yelling myself hoarse through the closed door... "What's going on out there?!! Will someone PLEASE ANSWER ME???". I like to pretend I'm the one in control :)

Love your blog. Can't wait to read more!

*Visiting from SITS!*

Helene said...

This post resonates with me because my mother was a horrible role model. I worried all the time what kind of mother I would be...somtimes it scares me when I do things that remind me of her. But it's all a work in progress.

I don't know what's worse....taking the kids into the bathroom with me or leaving them out by themselves. Either way, I'm screwed.