Have you ever had one of those days where nothing is going the way you want? Where you can’t even sit down to enjoy a meal without wanting to pull your hair out? Kids are hard. Some days are better than others, but the majority of the days I feel like I’m running a marathon with no end in sight.
Motherhood has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, one that I wouldn’t change for the world. It is also an experience that has left me feeling bipolar daily! If anything, I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to laugh.
One Sunday after church, Josh and I decided to take the kids to brunch at our favorite restaurant. We always have to mentally prepare ourselves because, let’s face it, eating out with a 3 and 6 year old is always an interesting experience. We prepared ourselves for M standing in the booth, walking around the restaurant instead of sitting in his seat, and even G going up to the buffet 10 times, only eating a sliver of what’s on each plate. What we weren’t prepared for was the hilarity of events that happened.
“Daddy, I need to use the bathroom. No, Dada, by myself you stay here.” Okay, so my three year old is asserting some independence. This is great! Until he came out of the bathroom in front of the entire restaurant with his pants down. He just was letting it all hang out. No shame! Let the parental fail tally begin! Parental fail #1
After Josh ran to help M pull his pants up we then tried to hide our embarrassment, burying it in another mimosa. (Did I mention they’re free and unlimited at Sunday brunch?) The kids were kind enough to give Josh and I about 3 minutes of uninterrupted, almost uneventful time. Then, it happened. M decided he’d debut his new song for the entire restaurant. Of course, as a singer I was thrilled! YAY! My children love music and now they want to perform in front of strangers! That’s amazing! Right? Nope. M’s song was entitled, “Spank my booty butt.” He was so excited singing his new song that he also decided to create a dance acting out his song lyrics. Apparently, he wanted to really give his new song some life! Parental fail #2
So, here we are, onto mimosa number 4, watching our son spank his “booty butt” for his audience. I wish I could say that Josh and I just watched and enjoyed our son being his goofy self, but instead we sat (with our mimosas) too focused on our son not “behaving” in front of strangers, not enjoying him for who he is.
I decided to post about our exciting brunch, sharing details of our adventurous meal. As I was typing about M’s non existing pants and amazing song and dance moves I found myself laughing out loud in the middle of the restaurant. Something that I don’t do nearly enough. What was completely mortifying in the moment was hilarious once I gave myself the opportunity to just take it for what it is. My children, loving life, being themselves, and just being happy.
I want to raise well-behaved children that turn into well mannered adults. I want to let my children be children, to play in the dirt, to be silly and goofy. But where’s the middle ground? How do I let them be themselves and also act appropriately? I don’t believe there is the perfect answer to these questions. All I can do is love them unconditionally, embrace their silly sides, and laugh while sipping my mimosa.