I Will Smell Your Face: Some Real Thoughts on my Pretend Parenting

This is not a unique blog post. There are millions of them; These posts of the “Parenting” kind.

This one is a post addressing the life of a harried caregiver whose life revolves around diapers, dishes, dogfood, and whose-fork-is-who’s. My life as a pretend mom is filled with early-morning scrambles, late afternoon tantrums, and quiet evenings where I stare into space and embrace the silence. I stir milk, find socks, eat toast, and give kisses. I have been brushing hair in the morning, teeth at night, and snot from my shoulder at any time in between.

No, it is not mine. (I still think snot is disgusting.)

I have, however, become exceedingly aware of – and open about discussing – bowel movements, belonging to any dog, human or other creature I may come across.  I could probably even pee with the bathroom door open now, if I had to. And that, friends, is a big deal. I’m no stickler on pajama’s either – I get out of mine only AFTER the 3 hookdoods (children) head out the door for school and then I might even look at my hair. (But no guarantees.)

I feel like a broken record player, and I know I’m not alone in this. All parents of young kids know what it’s like to repeat the same phrase 10 times in half as many minutes:

“Sit down! On your BUM please!”
“Spit out that GUM please!”

“Alright. Time for the thinking chair.”
“Oh that’s sticky…what’s in your hair?”

“Five Minutes!”

“Fork. Not fingers.”
Fingers please, not feet!”

“Do. NOT. go near the vomit.”

“How about we talk about it after you put your pants on.”

Pick it up. Put that down. Open the door! Close that window!

          ONE! TWO
  sigh. three.

and my all time favourite:

“Yes, I will smell your face. Wait your turn please.”

That last line was only spoken once, but I stopped and question my sanity when I uttered it. It made me laugh a little bit, in a week where laughing came not so frequently. Sad but true.

Other skills recently acquired: Hair Braiding and Dress Making.

Sometimes I wonder if I portray too much of the lighthearted side of my life. How honest it really is to only share the things I find slightly interesting or unusual. I mentioned it to Adele the other day and a friend commented in an email (oh wise and perceptive one 😉 ) if “I wonder if sometimes that smile is not forced…”

and she is right. Sometimes it is.

Sometimes I get cranky. Impatient. Arrogant.

Filled with myself, tired, bored, nitpicky.

Life here is not perfect.

My life is not perfect.

I am not perfect.

and that’s not even just the weeks I’m watching kids and doing school and all sorts of things in between.

That’s just me.

This week, however, has been a crazy one. Day 10 – exactly half way through my time as continual baby-sitter – I was sick. Again. In bed. Sleeping. No language school for me! Bring on the tissues, tea, and tylenol. When I thought the worst had passed, I joined the ranks of those who sit up all night: The parents of very sick children.

A house with no phone, piles of medication with labels you cannot read, no thermometer, and a child who is almost too hot to touch is a scary thing.

But thankfully, when half the world is asleep, the other half is awake, and facebook made support easily availiable. Thank you to aunts, sister-in-laws, and friends who checked in and provided a fever panel. It was greatly appreciated.

Less appreciated was a night with 3.5 hours of sleep.

It’s been a rocky week.

I am very tired.

Very, very tired.

I’m not the only tired one…

Adele has joined me here for a week. I’m happy about that; I have missed not living with her. 2 hours into her stay home she texted her mom to thank her for the last 20 years.

Ha. Living with kids brings new perspective to everything.

I can’t remember where I was going with this post. I’m not sure what’s it’s ‘theme’, persay, might be. If I were to some it up – which I obviously AM about to do, or I wouldn’t have said that; that would be stupid silly – (gotta watch the mouth when there are little ears around, you know) but if I WERE to sum it up, I think I would be trying to say this:

1. I am tired.
I lost cohesive speech about 60 hours ago.
Wait, is that a word? Cognitive? Comprehensive? Maybe that’s the one.

2. Moms and Dads, good job!
Keep up the good work. Even if it doesn’t seem like good work (giving time outs is not actually very fun, I know). You have an important job and it’s incredibly hard and I’m proud of you!

Um. That sounded a little weird, didn’t it? We’ll just say I’m practicing sounding like a real parent…. ok. still weird. Moving on:

3. I am tired… BUT:

I was reminded in a prayer by a teammate today that God has a special place in his heart for children, and especially orphans. Even when they pick their noses and try to dress the baby instead of dressing themselves like I asked. It is an honour and privilege to be in this place to care for God’s own children and that is more important than my headache and stuffed up nose.

4. I understand. 

I understand why there are so many war analogies and facebook statuses about parenting young kids.
Because I) They’re true and II) When you have young kids you don’t get much of a life. They are your life.

5. I am tired.

That’s basically all I know right now.
That, and, I think I found another booger on my shoulder.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. martha says:

    Oh, Anna!! You hit the nail on the head! Parenting is such JOY…and such a lot of other stuff, too! Keep up the good work, love your perspective, watch out for those ‘chin hangers’!! Love ya! Aunty Martha

    1. Anna says:

      I think of you often! Especially with the ‘foster home’ comment last week! Thanks for the words 🙂
      Love ya lots and miss you and the kids.

  2. Ben Brown says:

    I just find boogers on the mirror. And then I laugh to myself for many minutes.

    1. Anna says:

      Um, you should tell Carmen to stop blowing so hard. That’s gross.
      Also, your comment made me laugh to myself for many minutes. I like you, you know 🙂

  3. Rick Butler says:

    I have so enjoyed your blog and your writing. Still think you should pursue writing in a big way…but in this post the wisdom you are gaining is such an asset for the future. We keep you in prayer each day!! Every blessing Anna!!!

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks so much Rick! I appreciate the prayers and encouragement!

  4. That ‘snot’ comment was great for a much needed laugh. Hope you feel better. Miss you. ❤

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