Life as a mother of young children can never be dull. Children are always saying or doing something funny or curious.
A few months ago, my sons toured the Brodhead Wastewater Treatment Facility on a school trip. Afterward, they were preoccupied with building their own plant. They got quite elaborate with all their buckets and straw spigots. One of them even pounded a nail into a new garbage can so that the water would leave one container to enter another without manual labor. They plugged the hole with the nail when they wanted to stop the water. The older boy had the younger boys collecting snow. They watched the snow melt and drip into the next container. It was all quite exciting and occupied them for a long time. They were probably among the few who cried when the snow was gone. I comforted them with the fact that they could always collect rainwater.
I had to set my foot down though and require that I be informed about their projects before they commenced work. They poured their hearts and energy into the project, as they do with all projects, including moving sand constantly from one side of the sandbox to the other in their big road construction projects or planting twigs in the sandbox to create a twig forest, only to have the dog tear the “trees” out one by one to gnaw on. My point of being informed was that I just didn’t want to discover something destroyed of great value.
Needing to be informed brought me to the rock show that the boys wanted to set up at the end of our driveway.
“I want to earn some money in a fun way,” one said. “Chores are so BORING!”
“Huh, well, everything in life isn’t exciting,” I said. “Things have to get done somehow. Now, please take out the garbage; that is if the cans aren’t full of water!”
Off he went, none too happy, I might add. I busied myself setting the place in order. That is when I found the large stores of rocks in two of the bedrooms.
“Hey, where’d all these rocks come from,” I hollered, hoping someone would reply.
I tried to reason with them in hopes of getting them to haul them all back outside. “You could make a nice rock garden.”
“But I want to sell them,” one whined.
“Can we look for more in the garden,” the other asked, always looking for ways to add to his collections.
“If you weed it,” I said, seeing some advantage forming.
“Aww, that’s not fun,” they moaned. (These same people like to watch water drip.)
No, we certainly have few dull moments.
Some days, I cannot believe the strange advice I give. You know you are a mother if you give advice such as, “Don’t eat dirt.”
-You remind someone, “Don’t use toilet water in your squirt gun.”
-At dinner you say, “Keep your clothes on at the table.” And “Don’t use your shirt as a napkin.” Or you ask, “How did you get food on the back of your shirt?” but you know the answer before the question is out of your mouth.
-You frequently ask that the bugs stay outside, and remind them that toads like to be in the garden not in a bucket.
-When you play animal charades, you know instantly when the two-year-old sticks his little behind in the air and says, “Shhh,” that he is a skunk—not to mention a creative genius. You also know that the same child is playing “birdie” when you find him laying or sitting on a pile of golf balls.
-It is just a normal day when your children run around with clothes pins on their back shrieking that they are porcupines or barking like dogs.
Last but not least, you know you are a mother if the only way you can get any peace and quiet is when you stick everyone in the corner for a time out! Sure, it only lasts for a few minutes, but ahhhh, to hear the kitchen clock tick, tick, tick and the cat pad across a dresser in another room. (Okay, so you get the idea that it is rarely quiet and that our cat is fat.)
Certainly, our days are repetitious and usually noisy, but who would want to miss them? They can be entertaining or educational.
When you come to my house, I’ll ask if you’d like ketchup with your macaroni and cheese or syrup with your hot dog. I’ll ask if you’d like to relax on the deck or take part in the water fight. My children will want to show you their dripping water and sell you a rock. I’ll want to know if you brought a wheelbarrow to haul the rocks out of my house.
Can life get much sweeter?
Reprinted in honor of the boys’ birthdays. Happy birthday, Nathanial!