That time I found my living room dusted with sugar, nobody knows what happened, I thought at least it's not glitter. Because there was that time I came home to a glittering household.
"Why are you sparkling?" Famous last words uttered by me at the front door.
"It's fairy dust!" That child was so proud of herself. She'd covered herself, her siblings, her father, and a good deal of the house, in embossing glitter I'd forgotten that I had. Things I learned that day.
Pro parenting tip. If you're stuck at home with all the kids because of a snow day or you forgot they have a superintendent's conference day off or some such, save your sanity by baking. Look, it won't matter if you can't boil water without burning it. Siri, Alexa, Google, or whatever they name the next version of Skynet, can walk you through the process. If that doesn't work an elder relative or neighbor can bail you out.
You will be a superhero to the children until the baked goods run out. Use the time they're distracted divvying up the spoils of your labor among themselves to plan the next distraction. Try the kitchen clean up game or the laundry folding game. Don't laugh, it might work.
Now the other part to this is always be prepared for emergency baking. If you're going to work with recipes from scratch this means you're stocked up on flour, sugar (brown, white, and confectioners), salt, baking soda, baking powder, butter, oil, and yeast. Or you can keep packages of cookie dough hidden in the fridge and freezer. Well hidden mind you, children are like blood hounds with that stuff. Also don't eat the treasure yourself. Your sanity will thank you later.
On the off chance that nobody, not me, and I don't know visit your house and leave a crack in the tank of your toilet causing water to leak onto the bathroom floor and the toilet to run constantly here's what you do.
This will appear from time to time when, uh, stuff hits the fan. There might be an amusing story to go along with it. Then again there might not.
Ever have one of those days where it looks like you have to choose between parenting and everything else? You're trying to get out the door but someone can't find a shoe or a mitten or a favorite toy or their cell phone or, lets stop. With all the stuff children come with in the West we could gone for pages.
Some days you squint at your children and wonder why you ever thought this parenting thing would be fun. You wonder who that idiot was that thought they could do it better than all the other parents they saw struggling with uncooperative children on the streets and in stores. Those are the days when everything has to happen at once. You ask yourself how you will handle it all without inflicting lasting physical and/or psychological damage on the small to medium sized humans that some how ended up in your care. Aside from the occasional accident, large bag, short child with no sense of personal space, jumpy parent, you realize it's simple to avoid physical harm. Deep despair grips you when you realize that you may cause undue psychological harm without even realizing it. You wonder who's bright idea it was to leave you in charge of children then remember it was your own.
While you're trying to figure that out you also have to stay ahead of a boss, coworkers, and/or a spouse. If you're a "stay at home" parent all three of those are the same person. If you are a single parent you are all of those are you. At some point you are questioning your sanity and starting to get some insight into why the elderly often seem strange. They've raised children.
Then your darling offspring does or says something cute, charming, profound, outrageous, or any combination thereof that gives you hope. The haze of confusion and self doubt clears and for the moment you think you've got this. At least until the next bit of crazy comes along and you have to do your parent hustle again.
I had an encounter with a glass door the other day. I'm blogging about it so it ended in blog worthy fashion. Smudged lipstick on glass, a brown nose print from my foundation, and a fat lip. I never realize how fast I'm moving until something stops me.
Once everyone all figured out I was mostly fine, and I stopped trying to clean the glass, the giggles set in. I cast a few accusatory looks at the door and made sure I hadn't broken my glasses. Then we got to work.
Mistakes and embarrassing moments happen. What we do about them determines the kind of mark they leave on our lives. My first dance teacher still says that no matter what happens on your stage smile and keep going like you meant to happen. It took my a while but once I developed that thousand watt smile on stage, even when I put the wrong foot forward, it spilled over into other parts of my life. So walking into that door? Yeah, I meant to do and I. Was. Fabulous.
Good thing I didn't have anyone telling me stuff like this when I picked my college major or taught myself coding. Profs blame 'masculine' ideals for lack of women in STEM. How to do you come to that kind of conclusion with a sample size of 8? Oops, did I just deploy a "masculine norm" by asking a question? Well I'm, going to do it again. Was that sample size of 8 whole students randomly selected? Was it representative of female STEM students? Was this study even intended to be rigorous and scientific with its sample size of 8 whole students?
Look, don't go around telling your daughters stuff like this and don't let anyone else try to sell them this load of goods either.
I don't seem to have any in between settings. Either I'm going flat out or I'm at a stand still. At least it feels that way. On the full speed ahead days I'm working on at least three projects at once and running from one meeting to the next.
On my stand still days I'm still juggling half a dozen projects but I'm doing it from my couch. Preferably in my pjs. I dodge the phone like I owe it money. Since I can't find much rhyme or reason to it I do my best to accept it. through some humor at that sucker and move on to the next thing that needs doing. Where's my coffee?
I take a general what happens if I do this approach to life. It keeps things interesting.