Friday, July 27, 2012

Remodeling your Parenting

Have you ever lived in a house that is in a constant state of remodeling? The sounds of cutting wood until 10 o'clock at night, even though you've been trying to get the kids to bed for hours. Having to wear shoes when you get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because you don't want to step on an errant nail. Drywall dust everywhere.

You sit happy, breathing deeply and decompressing for a few weeks until 'lo and behold, another project begins. More pounding and cutting, more nails and slivers, more dishes in the bathroom linen closet because your kitchen is currently destroyed. More drywall dust.

I'm thinking parenting is like that. A constant state of improvements and fixes and adjustments and learning how to make coffee in the bathroom sink. A constant dusting the drifting through the air until it decides to settle. Then you see it, take a deep breath and do what needs to get done... clean it up.

It's frustrating and annoying and exhausting; just when you get used to something it changes. Just when you think you've figured out how to get the laundry on the main floor you discover a major problem with the plumbing. Just when you think you've got the perfect day care providor you discover the kid who bites is your very own.

Just when the entry foyer is complete there's a problem with the bathroom. Just when you figure out how to play Just Dance they turn into teenagers and are too cool to speak to you.

"I just want to move some place where everything is done! and perfect! and I don't have to walk through these stupid plastic sheets duct-taped to the doorway!"

"I just want my kids to be happy! and healthy! and not freak out every damn time we're at swimming lessons!"

You picture the house complete. Perfectly arranged furniture, designer plates on the dining room table.

You picture your children complete. Married to the most fabulous faceless spouces with the most beautiful grandchildren.

 And you realize that one day the house actually will be complete. And quiet. And still.

And you realize that one day your children will be grown. Leaving you in even more quiet and stillness.

And you realize that time is going way too fast and there is nothing you can do to slow it down.

Meet the powder from last night's Fun Fest.

The toddler removed his pull-up and dusted.
Everything.
Powder on the bedroom floor.
On the bed.
On the stuffed animals.
Powder in the hallway.
Powder on not one, but three upholstered chairs.
Powder on the CD player.
Powder on the cat.

I swept.
Vacuumed.
And mopped.

THREE TIMES.

And still there is a fine dusting of baby powder
settling throughout my entire home.

Needless to say,
Mommy has decided Big Boys
don't get powder anymore.

3 comments:

Johi Kokjohn-Wagner said...

Ah! I love the comparison! As the wife of a remodeler, we are constantly "doing stuff" to the house. As the mom of two, I'm am constantly "Fixing" my parenting.
Sorry about the powder. And I'm more sorry that I laughed when I saw it on facebook, because I know it is one of those things that is only funny in hindsight.

Johi Kokjohn-Wagner said...

P.S. I know that because it is the way most of my life has been.
"what makes you laugh, makes you cry." But I normally cry first.

Becca said...

Wow. Mine did something similar with mayonaise recently. Great analogy!