Noise & Dirt

Dear Diary,

What are boys? Noise with dirt on it’s face…and hands…and feet…and well,…everywhere.
I am SO SO SO glad this little one is a girl. Why? Well let me paint you a picture…

At this very moment, all three kids are playing independently.

Jadon: Is loudly making car noises and intermittently crashing them…loudly.

Matthew: is sitting on the floor and methodically pistol-whipping the Hulk action figure laying in front of him. Loudly.

Lilly: is spread out on her favorite blanket with her critters perfectly placed and all dressed up having a picnic/tea party. I’m sure she’s saying very sweet and cute things, but I can’t hear them…because boys.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my boys, but goodness gracious. Some days the noise really doesn’t bother me one bit. But then on days like today…I just need noise break.

I know I’m going to cry and sob the day they stop making noise and tracking dirt all over my house though, so I’m trying to enjoy it. But there’s only so many times in a day I can hear, “Neeeeoooooowwwwww……CSHHHHHHH!!!! We’re going down! SAVE THEM!! DESTROY THEM! CRASH! BOOM! AHHHH!!!!! DIE!!!!!!!” Only so many times.

Since it’s summer and about a thousand degrees outside, I’ve given up almost completely on maintaining a clean house because I can never get my kids out of the house long enough to get it clean, much less keep it that way. I get it clean, then they play and there’s toys strewn throughout the whole house, a flip-flop in the bathroom, pen on my couch, dishes in the sink (do they just grow there??), dirt on my white cabinets, gunk on the bathroom counter, diaper smell in the boy’s room, and cars and legos in almost every conceivable and non-conceivable place. There are little plastic spiders and bugs under couches, under pillows, in chairs and behind doors. I don’t even flinch anymore when I see them because if I did, I think I’d probably pee my pants multiple times a day. If it’s a real bug, I won’t know till it moves or I step on it and hear “crunch”. Gross thought, but really. But someday, there will be no toys out. Every bug I see will be a real one, and my house will be clean…and boring. 😦 So I try to enjoy the chaos and remember, today is the last day they will be this age. Does it really matter if my house is a mess? No. Does it matter if there are finger prints on my oven door…about 5 seconds after I just wiped it down? No. Someday, like my mother, when I’ve got grandkids, I’ll be neurotic about those little finger prints and just not wash my oven door anymore so I can savor those sticky little memories.

On a much less sappy note, today I got to be THAT mom. Let me tell you…

So this whole week, I’ve been feeling pretty lousy. LOTS of pretty painful Braxton Hicks contractions and my joints are killing me. It’s that third trimester “Oh lord take me now” feeling. So we’ve pretty much been shut-ins this week with few exceptions. I woke up feeling less lousy this morning and thought, “I gotta get these kids out of the house!” So off we went to go pick up donuts for breakfast, take Tim a coffee and some donuts and go hang out at the mall. Kids were very excited to be getting out of the house and so was I! As we pulled up to the mall parking lot, I reminded Matthew that if he wanted to go to the play place, he needed to be a “good boy.” I reminded him to keep his hands to himself, stay with me, etc. You know, all the things you want your nearly 3 year old to do while you’re out and about….ideally. He grinned and said, “Okay mommy, I’ll be a good boy and then go to the PLAY PLACE!!” I smiled and got him out of the car. Our first stop was the Pet Store. The kids love to watch the playful kittens and pet the puppies and so do I. We daydream about the day when a little kitten will join our menagerie. It started there. Matthew would not stay with me. He kept running over to look at other animals in their enclosures. Usually, I wouldn’t mind this so much, but the store was uncommonly full of people today and he almost tripped a few people on his quest to be independent. I apologized for him and grabbed his arm and pulled him back to where we were standing as he whined at me, “Heeeeeyyyy, I wanna see the doggies!” I reminded him quietly that we would get to see all the critters if he was patient and that he promised me he would be a “good boy” so he could go play. He pouted and slumped his shoulders and stayed with me…for about 10 seconds. We left the store and went to H&M so I could return something. In H&M he kept pushing his sister and touching all the displays. I held his hand and he just whined. I asked him if he thought he was being well-behaved and he scowled at me and said, “No.” So after that, I led our less than merry party back towards the mall entrance to leave. Once he figured out he would not be frolicking happily at the play place,…he lost it. And I mean lost it. I calmly got down (which is no easy task) and explained to him that he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, so we would have to go without playing. He sat down hard and screamed. “Oh boy, here we go.” I thought as I stood back up and started walking. He got up and shuffled after me, falling down randomly….the scene looked a bit like the first 40 seconds of this…minus the leash…because my kids are not dogs. Haha.

I held my head high and led him and his embarrassed siblings through the maze of judgy onlookers. Yes, I know I’m pregnant…I know I’ve got three kids already,…one of whom more resembled Gollum at this moment than my chubby wide eyed cherub of a son. And yes, I wonder how I’m going to manage 4 of them all at once too. I have my moments of “Please, I can totally handle this.” But more often than not, I have those “Holy tantrums, Batman! WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!”

So Matthew continued his tantrum out into the parking lot. Screaming over and over that he wanted to go to the play place. Eventually, for his safety, I had to pick him up. OUCH. I swatted his bottom and stuck him in his carseat. He screamed. And screamed. And…well, you get it. I got in the front set and shut the door with Matthew…yep, you guessed it, still screaming. Jadon chose this time to begin quizzing me about something and I turned around and gave him a look that made him shut his mouth immediately. He’s pretty in tune with my, “I-dare-you-to-keep-talking-right-now” look. But I didn’t yell. That was good. Not that anyone could have heard me anyway. But the point was, I felt like yelling…and I didn’t. “Good mommy” sticker for me.

So yes, today, I was THAT mom. Pregnant, and tired, with a screaming toddler and getting looks that hurt my heart all the way out of the mall. Thanks a lot random strangers for making me feel just awesome. (Please make sure you read that last sentence with as much sarcasm as possible, thanks.)

Noise. Someday, I’m going to miss it. I just keep telling myself this.

Till Next Time,

Ashley

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One thought on “Noise & Dirt

  1. We, just like your Mom are ‘neurotic’ over those precious little fingerprints! They are still on our French Door from your recent visit! I remember longing for a home that would ‘stay clean’ a bit longer…and now wishing for a just touch of mess…now and again. My not usually kid-wise uncle exhorted Papaw & me one day when Fred Jr was a toddler and Terri was a baby…to ‘enjoy EVERY moment, for childhood is so very short and soon the days would pass and we would want them back’. Try as we did to learn from those words, life has a way of tricking you into looking beyond your gate toward ‘someday’…when all along the beauty and wonder sought surrounds you – albeit in disguise some days! You are a wise, loving and purposeful Mom, Ashley! And doing a GREAT job!!

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