The laundry is overflowing onto the floor. Clean clothes stacked in a big wadded up pile wrinkling, which inevitably means they will need to be ironed. And dirty clothes spill out of the basket. There are a few stray black hairs from the dog littering the floor, which obviously means that my vacuum cleaner hasn’t made it up the stairs in a few days.
It’s going on 1:30 and I haven’t laid anything out for supper; which means that unless I head downstairs right now and fish something out, it will be frozen meals from a box for dinner. Again. I almost break my neck heading down the stairs as I step on a runaway Army Soldier that got lost in the backside of the middle step. I caught the edge of his bazooka with my heel; and next to legos (which we, fortunately, don’t own yet) they hurt like youknowwhat when they come in contact with bare feet.
I hit the bottom step and notice that someones plate from breakfast is still sitting on the edge of my kitchen table. Along with a cake dish of cupcakes that probably need to be thrown out, since they were made over the weekend. Dumping a half eaten, rock-hard Eggo Waffle in the garbage, I realize that the stupid dishwasher is full…and the dishes are clean. Which means it needs to be unloaded. Again. Didn’t we just do this?
Halfway through unloading the dishwasher I hear a scream upstairs. I bang my shin on the dishwasher door, utter a few choice words and hobble back up stairs. I find my (almost) three year old standing in the corner of the hallway crying.
“Bug mommy! Bug!”
You’d think someone had slit his wrists by the fit hit was throwing. I enter the room to see the tiniest little housefly on the wall. Then spend 20 minuets chasing it around the room with a flipflop. It’s now past 2:00 and I’ve still not laid out anything for supper. Kiss the kid, wipe up bug guts, and head back downstairs (careful to dodge that stupid soldier man I failed to pick up).
Finish emptying the dishwasher, fill it up again. Take out a full bag of trash. Grab something out of the deep-freezer to cook for supper. Come back inside and realize that it’s 30 minutes past the little guys naptime. And if he doesn’t go down for his nap RIGHT this second, he’ll be up till 10:00 tonight, which means I’ll be up until whoknowswhen trying to get something done.
The chase for naptime starts downstairs with a Spiderman leap off of the sofa (and a boo-boo that has to be tended to). My patience wearing thin, I wrap a kicking toddler up in my arms and carry all 37 pounds of him up the 15 steps to his bedroom.
Who needs exercise when you have to do this everyday?
Take him potty, watch him spray all over the toilet and drip on the floor (which equals another mess to clean), fight over which blanket to cover up with, get kicked in the face because he doesn’t want a nap.
And then I snap.
“LAY. DOWN. RIGHT. NOW.”
Which is met with a stare, a stand and a loud and pronounced, “No, Mommy. Shh!” [Yes. He knows how to say “shh.” Can’t imagine how.]
That’s it. And in one quick swat, I pop him on the backside of his legs. Not hard enough to really cause any pain, because, let’s face it…mommies don’t spank like daddies do.
I see the defiance leave his face.
Instead he sits down, tears spilling down his cheek, and heartbreak fills his face.
“Oww, mommy. That hurt…” he says as he rubs his little leg.
He lays down, and rolls away from me, choosing to snuggle up with his puppy dog instead of looking me in the face. I kiss his resistant little face and tell him I love him.
I head for the door and hear movement behind me.
He’s sitting now, looking at me with sleepy eyes. Puppy dog in one hand, next to his face. He beckons me over.
“I sorry, mommy. I sorry;” he says as he gives me a hug and lays his head on my chest.
I kiss his forehead, wipe his tears, and then kiss the little red mark on his legs.
“Me too, baby boy. Me too.”
I lay down beside him until he falls asleep. Kiss his little face one last time and leave the room, thanking God as I go for his forgiveness, his mercy, his grace and this tiny little person that proves to me over and over and over again what it means to love without resistance. And thankful for the chance to do better tomorrow.
Courtney Kirkland is a Southeast Alabama Writer & Designer. Since 2008, Courtney has passionately provided beautiful, intentional design to small businesses & bloggers and encouraged thousands to walk in a rich faith in any situation.