Wednesday, May 18, 2011

silent night...literally

you know the scene: the mom sitting in the rocking chair at bedtime with the kids all cute in their jammies and breath all minty and clean. Rocking and reading and saying prayers and loving each other. I love that scene. always have.


I've tried. And some days I actually do it and love it. It's like my dream of what I thought being a mother would be like coming true.

But in all honesty, most days, when we hit 8:00 it's like I'm Princess Fiona, and an ogre transformation occurs. The goal is bed, and anything that delays me in reaching the goal is frowned upon. or snapped at. or just given the look. It's horrible really. Ok, but actually I TRY to stay really calm. And mostly I do. But it only lasts so long, and then it's even WORSE because "I tried really hard to stay calm but you keep disobeying so {freak out}."

But lately I've been really overwhelmed. kids, the pinkadink, class reunion, on top of keeping the house managed and the family fed. Funny how even things you LOVE (kids, the pinkadink, etc) can be really super stressful when experienced in abundance. :)

Ok, so last night, I was about in tears. Steve popped in after work for some quick supper, and then he took off for his improv show. And there I was with a MAJOR mess of a house, lack of essential groceries, orders that needed to get mailed out, and three CRAZY kids! (the weather was super nice, and instead of just burning all their energy at the park, they somehow took more energy home!) PLUS, it was already 7:30, and you know what happens at 8...

so we head off to the grocery store which has a post office in it. yay for killing two birds with one stone. But of course by the time I find everyone's lost shoes and get them buckled in the van, we're getting nearer and nearer to 8:00. So I tell them we're just going to sit quietly and listen to music. and it mostly worked! Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol has never sounded so wonderful.

So we get to HyVee. I tell them they can ride in a car cart (best things EVER, even though they're monstrous) if they promise to not be loud and crazy. and it mostly worked again! But of course our car cart had a bum tire, so by the time we pay for the post office packages and get all the way to the back corner for milk, we've had a few episodes of getting "stuck" on nothing, and it's surely past 8:00. But I kept my cool for the most part.

We get our other essentials (cereal, spinach, and grapefruit) and pay. I barely made eye contact with the checker and I think she noticed. I didn't want to be fake and cheery, so I just went about my business because I needed my kids in bed. really bad.

We get back in the van, Brielle got hurt or something, and lots of loudness. loud crying, Josiah and Lillian trying to talk over the crying. just BAD. really BAD for post-8:00. and I feel it growing in me. you know what "it" is I'm sure. and if you don't, then, you're really awesome, but you probably already know that.

So as we drive the next few blocks, "it" is getting bigger and bigger and closer and closer to my mouth. I'm fighting the crying toddler, the big boy who's dying to listen to Jar of Hearts and really really making sure I know he wants it, and not understanding the fact that it's NOT ON THIS CD!!!!!

and suddenly I get a "brilliant idea." (Lillian's been telling me lately that lots of my ideas are "brilliant.") sometimes, at bedtime, when I just can't answer anymore questions or get anymore drinks, I turn "blind" and for some reason when I can't see they stop talking. it's crazy. so instead of getting mad, I go blind. it's really fun. I have to find their faces and kiss and hug them and find my way to the next bedroom all without opening my eyes.

well, this time I couldn't really go blind because I was still driving. So I decided we should all go mute! so as soon as we crossed Blondo, we weren't allowed to talk any more. not just no talking, no noise. it would be "so fun."

and they did it! I'm the only one who said anything. ("oh crap! that salesman is going right to our house! we have to go around the circle and wait til he's gone before we pull in the driveway!") oh, and probably a "mom! you cheated!" or something of the sort followed. but besides that, it was silent.

Lillian wrote a few things down, but mostly we just used our eyes and our hands to talk to each other and they thought it was awesome. And I kinda did too! I was having fun-ish after 8! and even if they were in bed by 9 instead of 8, we had milk in the fridge, packages mailed, and a semi-calm mother.

so anyway, while we were far from thinking about the virgin Mary, ready to birth the Son of God, we certainly enjoyed our silent night.


Angela Kim said...

Awesome. Great job!!! I need to try that next time. Heaven knows I know what "it" is!!!

Joel said...

Funny! I think Mom and Dad used to call that one "The Quiet Game!"

~cody said...

You rock. I'll have to try the I-just-went-blind trick. Nice. And I think we're twin mothers (er, ogres? Nah.) AND we L.O.V.E. the Jesus Storybook Bible. See? Twins.

theKband said...

This sounds a lot like "Let's see who can be quiet the longest" game that we play at our house.....

Mary Beth said...

The "blind" idea is great! We play the game where we can't hear - warn J by saying..."the buggies are coming" and thus (pretend) bugs invade our ears and can't hear what he says, we still mouth and talk with our hands. It's amazing how little things like that work.