Thursday, May 31, 2012

24 hours

With all of my kids, age three has definitely been the most challenging.
So I was not at all surprised when John started showing signs of defiance right around three.  I wasn't surprised when he began to demand to dress himself, even refusing my help to find that stubborn arm hold that so often alludes him.  He is too independent right now to accept help from Mommy and for the most part, I am happy to let him work it out himself.

But nothing in my previous experience of raising little girls prepared me for the outrageous amount of destruction that one precocious, determined little three year old boy was capable of creating in just one day!

(When Emma Jane was this age, I used to always say that God made her so cute just so that I wouldn't kill her.  Well, John clearly is so cute and funny and gives the best kisses, because the cute only is definitely not enough to save this child!)

And just in case you think I am exaggerating, let me take you through a recent 24 hours in our house.

It started with oatmeal.  Not breakfast, but rather a 42 oz. container of dry oatmeal that my precious son used to "decorate" the family room.
This picture truly does not do the mess justice.  In addition to the trail of oatmeal from the pantry across the tile, there was oatmeal in the chair, on the couch, under the couch, on the counter behind the couch, ALL over the rug...

And the worst part, is that I tried to vacuum it up. 
 Have you ever tried to vacuum up a large pile of oatmeal? 
Well, let me be the one to warn you, that it will probably make your vacuum cleaner really mad.  And instead of actually vacuuming it might just end up spraying the oatmeal every which way.  Yeah, I learned the hard way, you have to sweep the oatmeal up and then save the wimpy vacuum for the remnant left in the grout lines of your tile.

I managed to keep mostly calm when I discovered this chaos by reminding myself that 3 year olds are foolish and he wasn't being defiant or disobedient with this act.  So while I didn't spank him, I did make it clear that this was not okay and that mommy was not happy.

And he gave me one of his best kisses, asked me to forgive him and then promptly forgot the entire incident.

How do I know he forgot?
I later discovered that he had taken it upon himself to glue several pages of one of my teacher's manuals together.  I will admit, I lost it a little bit over this one.  You see, this wasn't just any old teacher's manual, it was one of my brand new, just bought it last week at homeschool convention manuals.   I may have cried.  Which ma have made John also cry.  But thankfully, I managed to unstick the pages and he managed to weasel his way back into my good graces with his sweet little voice and super charming smile.

And I just thanked God that it was nap time and that he would be in his room with his box of nap-time-only toys to keep him occupied for at least an hour.  Surely he couldn't get into too much trouble during nap time!?

Yeah, right!

About 30 minutes into naptime,  I discovered the 1/4 inch of standing water all over his bathroom floor and the abandoned basket that he had clearly been trying to fill up and carry to his room.  As I cleaned up yet another mess, I all I could do was wonder how many times he tried to fill up that basket before he realized that it was futile and just thank God yet again that he didn't have a bucket!  Because who knows what his ultimate scheme for that water really was!

At this point, I finally realized that John can no longer be allowed to go unsupervised for even a moment.  (I know, it took me long enough!)  So I scooped him up, carried him to my office with me, and set him on the floor while I jumped on facebook to lament his previous antics.

In that 30 seconds, and while standing only 18 inches from me, he managed to grab my good orange-handled scissors off the counter and cut a chunk out of his own hair. 

Seriously!?  I give up!

Luckily, Brad came home shortly there after and I breathed a sign of relief at the sight of back up.

But wait...
the best/worst is yet to come!

I breathed too soon. 

Within 5 minutes, of Brad coming home, John managed to break his own toe.

That's right, he broke.his.toe!

We have this bookcase in the playroom that holds all of the board games and such.  It is one of those cheap, Walmart bookcases with adjustable shelves.  He managed to pull one of the shelves (and all of the board games) out of the bookcase and on to his big toe.

As I spent to rest of the evening holding and comforting him as he cried, I couldn't help but be ever so slightly relieved. 


How could a loving mother be so heartless to be glad for her child suffering?!?!

Well to be honest, because a little boy that can't walk, really can't get into anymore trouble!

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P.S. And just so you don't think that I truly am heartless, another 24 hours has passed and John is feeling much better and even starting to walk on the side of his foot a little bit.  He is being waited on hand and foot by his mommy and sisters and should be back to wreaking havoc in no time! :)