Silence Is Golden…..said no mom of toddlers. Ever.
This is a post without pictures, now, don’t get me wrong, I love pictures but there is a time and a place for everything. Now is not the time.
I am a good mommy, I think.
However, there are days-such as today where I doubt my parenting skills. So please, give me grace as I share my day with you.
Have you seen those cute little videos of children destroying a house? You know, the ones where the mommy interviews the children in a calm and adult like manner.
“What did you do my sweet and innocent child?”
“Oh dear mommy, I emptied your new over priced groceries all over the floor and then smeared them all over the walls and myself before I gave them to a pack of wild dogs”
“That’s so cute darling, go have fun now while I clean up this mess”.
Yeah, those videos. I am not that mommy. But I am a good mommy, I think.
I know, I am blowing those way out of proportion and frankly, I adore watching them. I often lay on my bed at night laughing out loud with my husband as we watch them together.
Well….let me tell you about my day, the day that would have made for a viral Facebook post -if only I had a picture or video.
I was upstairs fixing myself a cup of coffee, the children (who for the record are Tiny Tot, a bubbly spirited, curly topped blue eyed two year old girl and Tator Tot, a brown eyed, brown haired, wheels turning in the brain three year old boy) were being pleasant, playing. They often enjoy many hours in their rooms with LEGOs and baby dolls. So, you can imagine the unpleasant feeling I got when it occurred to me. There was silence in the house.
We live in a split foyer home. You come in the door and have the option to go down to the basement and office (that’s where I typically write) or up the stairs to the remainder of the house, the part that we actually live in. It’s in the upper part of the house that my children play and so as to avoid any casualties from high speed chases in the hallway we placed a baby gate at the top of the stairs. Today, as I walked around the corner of the living room to verify that the children are in their rooms playing I see that particular baby gate has been opened, something I was not responsible for. So I go to see what words can only describe as “silence is golden, unless you have toddlers”.
You see, I’m a plant person, there are plants everywhere in my house, including at the bottom of the stairs, the very same stairs that my children went down. Or rather, there were plants there but now there is only two naked toddlers and piles of dirt. Yes, naked…bare bums. The planters had been emptied and the plants pulled up by the roots and my toddlers have stripped themselves of their clothing. They have the clothing placed in a pile on the floor, next to the now emptied planters, and they are showering themselves in joy and over priced potting soil.
Remember, I am not the mommy on the videos.
No, I am a firm believer in spankings and timeouts. However, I opted for neither this go round. Instead, I asked in a very calm and collective manner,”What are you doing?” “Playing” Hmmmm.
So I dust off my daughter and tell my son to go get in the bathtub, that I would be there in a minute. I proceed to wonder if I made the right choice but move on with the task of cleaning children, the dirt can wait. I leave my son sitting naked in a empty bathtub while I clean his sister’s delicate areas of potting soil. Yes, people, this is real life. Please remain mature, I am, after all, a good mommy. I think.
So I go to get a towel out from the dryer. We are potty training and towels seem always to be in the laundry room these days. That’s when I hear it, the opposite of silence. Rushing water. My son turned on the bathtub. I now run back up the stairs, past the dirt and up the second set of stairs turning and going into the bathroom. I did not so much panic but I needed to know if he turned on the hot or cold water, I am, after all, a good mommy. I think….
You can imagine my surprise when I see both children in the tub, this is not normal of our house. We keep bathroom time separated but ignoring the dirt was not horrible so I roll with the moment and clean both, after all two is better than one.
A few hours past, we eat lunch and they take a nap. Yeah right. One could only hope.
Well, at this point I am listening to silence knowing that in fact, it is golden because the tots are sleeping. Then I hear it. The loudest crash I have ever heard from inside my house and it came from upstairs. Now, please be kind and understanding – I am a good mommy, I think….but the doubts are growing as I type this out to you. Anyways, I pause before getting up and running. It wasn’t a long pause, not even 3 seconds of a pause, I was waiting to hear cries to know which direction to run or something or maybe it was shock, I really don’t know nor can I explain the pause before running but there were no cries just another loud crash but not the same as the one before it. Panic. I ran fast now, although I’m not sure my feet hit the stairs a single time before I was on the upper level of the house, standing in the living room – looking at my children.
My children! Oh my messy children!
Now, if this were a picture or a video millions would like and share and comment “oh how funny!”, they would say.
Only, this is neither of those things and I am not the chilled mommy on those videos. No, I am not that mommy at all.
My children. Oh my children. Or rather, my husband’s children were sitting in the cold dark fireplace, the first loud crash I heard was the sound of the fireplace gate hitting the ground and the second was the sound of the fireplace kit that holds a mini broom and poking stick, also hitting the ground.
And my living room?
Now, I am not a cussing woman, nor am I much of a drinking woman but in that moment both would have been fine by me (had I not had toddlers watching to see my reaction). There were ashes everywhere! I do mean everywhere! And my children looked like they were the pups on the movie 101 Dalmatians trying to hide from Cruellia DeVille, they had covered their bodies from head to toe in the stuff!
Naturally, my thoughts went to the fact I had already given them a bath.
At this point, I had one of two options. I could be that cute little calm mommy and grab the camera or…. I could not be. I could be the mommy who spanks and puts little children in timeout. What was I to do?
Don’t get me wrong, the thought to take a picture crossed my mind but then something else happened. My child. Do you know what he said to me? The nerve of the child! He took the viral video moment away from me because in his cute little innocent three year old manner he said “Will you clean my mess up again mommy?”
Please understand. I am a good mommy, I think.
“No! I will not clean this mess for you! I am not a maid, I am a mommy and God did not make me a mommy so that I clean up your messes just because you want to make them!” So I marched my tots to time out with two pops on the bottom.
I then swept up the bulk but made sure not to clean it all.
The timer went off, time out was over and they were still giggling. Until.
I handed them each a wet rag and told them to clean my living room. Please understand, I am a good mommy, I think. But in that moment I wondered if I was too harsh, I now had a crying two year old and a crying three year old because they were giggling and mommy does not think time out is funny and my friends and family would want to see pictures and society says not to spank and now even some therapist will say that time out is harsh, yet my kids received both and they were made to clean their mess (which is why they cried) but they knew better and they made a choice unlike any they’ve ever made before. They knew that messing with the fireplace would get them in trouble, they knew the dangers but they also knew mommy was “letting things slid” that day.
What they didn’t know is that society now tells mommy to let things slid, and to do it often, if not always. It makes for cute pictures but that’s why, this post, has no picture because I am not that mommy but I am still a good mommy, I think.