|"When my kids become wild and|
unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen.
When they're finished, I
I have met few moms like Erma. In today's crazy world where people tend to take themselves too seriously, I think that's a shame. I knew one guy whose mother would tell her carload of kids, "If you don't stop crying, I'll give you something to cry about by ripping your arm off and beating you over the head with the bloody stump." Now, that's what I'm talking about! If you said that in public today, CPS would be over at your house within ten minutes, for sure.
I think if Erma were alive, she'd agree with me on certain quirks about family life: like, when you only have one bathroom in the house, count on everyone in the family needing to pee or poop, all at the same time. Conversely, when I get done changing a big stinker of a diaper, I look across the hall to see my daughter sitting on the toilet. What is up with that? I've learned my exclusively breastfed newborn will never fill his pants as loudly as he does during a quiet moment in church. And I can always count on my daughter to announce to her preschool that "Dad has yellow teeth!"
In typical third-child-syndrome fashion, somehow the baby gets put to bed with mashed potatoes on his face and in his hair, forming a sort of stiff resistance when I lovingly try to stroke his hair as I nurse him to sleep. At least I remembered to wash his hands. I remember the days when I would religiously bathe my oldest every two days, doing the math on how many baths per week that was. When the second came along, I probably relaxed a bit. Now it's, "Yeah, you don't stink too badly. Just put your pajamas on already!" We've discovered my daughter's hair is much easier to brush if you take the ponytail/braids out before bed, instead of in the morning when she looks like Medusa. (And there's a lot less screaming in pain, too.)
Erma would probably say, "Never turn your back on your children." Especially when you think they're playing quietly upstairs, when really they're climbing in and out of the bedroom window and walking on the porch roof. Yeah, that. (Another CPS moment)
I wouldn't say my house is a total disaster, just lived in. Yes, there are three baskets of clean laundry to put away that have been sitting there for .... um .... never mind. But at least it's clean. My philosophy on most items of clothing is, "It'll wash!" which is easier than trying to keep a distracted kid from wiping his fingers on his pants. My youngest might be crawling around under the dining room table, looking for old food to pick up and eat. Some days it's all I can do to say a prayer to protect my children from themselves and pray that God picks up where I left off. Most importantly, as Erma has taught us for decades, it's important to maintain a sense of humor - because sometimes, it's the only thing that will get you through the day.
I bet if Erma were alive today, she'd definitely have a blog. And a FaceBook fan page.