Chaos. It’s inevitable, especially in this household. For example, right now I’m beginning to compose this post while I’m on hold with tech support for my contract gig, Addie is bouncing up and down just a few feet away from me because she is dying to ask a question, Andrew has the dog in (what he believes is) a loving headlock, and Al is throwing his Hot Wheels cars down the stairs, one by one. The tv is blaring, the dishwasher is humming, and the dryer is fluffing that same load of laundry that has already been fluffed three times.
This is not out of the ordinary.
Every parent, I’m sure, can relate to this type of commotion. It really doesn’t even feel like chaos any more, because it’s the norm. If someone else was to knock on my door right now, though, their jaw may drop. This place is a mess. The kids are wild. I’m exhausted. But, it’s what we do.
The bedtime countdown has already started in my head: two hours and 26 minutes until we can begin the evening ritual of pajamas, toothbrushes, books, tears, drama, drama, and more drama. I just want to sit, with the hubs, and watch Sunday’s episode of Mad Men. In reality, though, we’ll collapse into bed, Mark watching a documentary on his phone, me pinning endless recipes from Pinterest that I will never, ever attempt to make. But, it will be calm and quiet, and for that we’ll be grateful.
But, that two hours and now 24 minutes will drag out for all it’s worth. There is homework to be done, and even worse, Alex needs his fingernails cut. I don’t know what it is, but I really believe that there is something on his extra chromosome that makes him despise having his nails cut. His nails are longer than mine at this point, so we really can’t put it off any longer. I wish we could. It would make for a more enjoyable evening, that’s for sure.
Even if we did delay the fingernail trimming, there would surely be more chaos to deal with in its place. Just a moment ago, the dog came flying through the room with the Twister mat in her mouth, my husband arrived home from work, and Addie just burst into spontaneous tears because she didn’t get all her homework problems correct.
Deep breaths. It will all be ok. It’s what we do. (This is what I will continue to remind myself until I drift off to sleep tonight.)
Upon hearing about my daily adventures, I am often reminded by others (especially those with older children) that someday I’ll miss this chaos. I’m sure I probably will. But, at this very moment, I might just trade a moment of wistful reminiscence over wanting to bang my head through this desk.
No time to daydream about that, though. There are tears to dry, dinner to make, laundry to refluff for the fourth time. Chaos. Messy, beautiful chaos. I wouldn’t trade it (or these little chaos causing rugrats) for anything. Their sweet hugs and sloppy bedtime kisses will give me the strength to get up and do it all again tomorrow.
This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!