Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very BadTuesday

Sunshine without rain is a recipe for a desert.
- Arab Proverb

We have been living this week in the land of pink eye, fevers, coughing and gag-induced vomit, sleep-deprivation, behavior regression in our older kids, and the joy of collecting stool samples.

We took Joshua for his first doctor's visit today. Our appointment was very early, and it was quite challenging to get all of us out the door in time since I'm not still not quite used to getting that many people ready and everybody's still a little under the weather.

What is it about the doctor's office? It happens to us every time. The kids can be so calm and well-behaved and then there's something about waiting in that tiny exam room. The pressure to make noise builds and builds.

By the time the doctor gets in there, the contents of my purse are everywhere and noise is bouncing off the walls and cold tile. By the end of the exam when I'm trying to have a discussion with him, the cacophony is deafening.

There was an almost surreal moment today when I'm looking at these stringy-haired children in mismatched clothes as they tear up the protective paper on the exam table and toss it around the room making " snow" and I'm thinking, "Who ARE these kids and where have I gone so terribly wrong?"

And it was only 8:30 in the morning.

I was desperate for a nap by about 11:00 and I had to get Joshua to sleep so he would get a nap before his x-ray appointment. Grace and Caleb were in their rooms for rest time with the usual strict instructions not to come out unless it is a REAL emergency. Joshua was not happy and after a long battle he finally settled down with a big sleepy sigh.

At that exact moment, Grace bursts in and starts digging noisily through my bathroom drawer. Joshua immediately wakes up and starts the battle all over again. Enter the evil mom. As I turn on my daughter in frustration, she explains that she needed some floss.

Since when did dental hygiene become such a priority for her? Since when did it qualify as a REAL emergency?

Fortunately, our x-ray and lab appointments went much better - well, not in Joshua's opinion. At the lab, we were also given some plastic tubes and the technician instructed me in the fine art of bottling poop.

Oh, the fun, it just keeps on coming.

J.I. Packer says that every single thing that happens to us in life is an expression on God's love for us. Hmm. I know that must be true, still, as my kids were playing this fun game called "Open the Bathroom Door while Mom is Going Potty in the Public Restroom," I must say that I'm not exactly feelin' the love.

Thank God for the little blessings that get a mom through the day, like a toddler who delights in constantly covering me with sweet, if a little-too-wet kisses, and a four-year-old who walks by me as I sort laundry and randomly reminds me that God can do anything.

Yes, He can. And I suspect He has more opportunity to work in me when I'm bottling up poop than when I'm smelling the roses.

"We live in the midst of holy teachers. Sometimes they spit up on themselves or on us. Sometimes they throw tantrums. Sometimes they cuddle us and kiss us and love us. In the good and the bad they mold our hearts, shape our souls, and invite us to experience God in newer and deeper ways. Although we may shed many tears along this sacred journey of parenting, numerous blessings await us around every bend in the road." -Gary Thomas, Sacred Parenting

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