Though I pass through the valley of smeared butter and burst radiators

This month has been and will continue to be busy and crazy, and I was about to make a detailed list of how and why, but I think you’ll probably be content to take my word for it. At any rate, my days are packed with kids’ school projects, dentist and doctor visits, and some happy-but-demanding things like birthday parties to plan.Β  I’ve been sick, overwhelmed, and sorry for myself, and then felt guilty for feeling sorry for myself. And the stress was making me absent-minded and forgetful, causing further complications. Also (as long as I’m being confessional) I was comforting myself in unsatisfying ways, like staying up too late or eating too many donuts. (Not that donuts aren’t comforting, but under normal circumstances just one or two does the trick.)

Today, finally having a few quiet hours at home, and especially as I unburdened myself in prayer, I finally got relief from my dour mood. I gave myself permission to hate my life, or at least parts of it, as I remembered that my Heavenly Father does care about my challenges, even if they’re not as hard as some others’ trials, and even if I also have many blessings.Β  My difficulties don’t have to compete with others’ to count. At the same time, I gave myself permission to love my life–to find the little genuinely-satisfying moments, even if it’s just in conversations with my kids on the way to the dentist or doctor, or in finding an hour here or there to read a good book. After sorting out these thoughts, I felt much lighter and clearer and more hopeful. (I’m still having to avoid thinking too far ahead in my schedule to avoid panicking, though: “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”)

Meanwhile, I’d heard some clinking in the kitchen and had sort of known maybe I should go see what was going on. And this is what had been going on:

For the photos I tried to get Hazel to stand on the chair where she’d made the mess, but she refused and pushed the chair into the dining room. I took that as a sign of contrition.

I had just gotten these clothes for Hazel out of storage this morning, and even Isaac had said, “That outfit is SO adorable!” (The relationship of a teen boy with a baby sister can be one of the sweetest things on this earth.) She got a good two hours’ wearing out of the outfit–and now the clothes are soaking in a basin of water and lemon Joy. Hazel got soaped and scrubbed and dressed in fresh clothes. She even seemed to enjoy her bath–and so did I. It was a pleasant little time of mother-daughter togetherness, one of those precious fleeting moments that everyone says you should cherish.

This afternoon I took all the kids to the dentist (two need to go back for spacers, and Henry needs his own visit next Tuesday, to have some cavities filled while under anesthesia, since otherwise he doesn’t tolerate his teeth being worked on) and then this evening Dean and I had a dinner at BYU and left early to get Mabel to a storytelling audition at the library and THEN, arriving home, when we got out of our minivan we saw we’d left a trail of water and coolant for as far back as we could see, and a huge puddle was forming under our engine.

So we had the car towed to the shop, and we’ve more-or-less figured out how to get where we need to tomorrow, sharing Dean’s car.

I’m so grateful I got my mood turned around before the butter and car incidents. “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.

This entry was posted in Meanwhile in the real world, My kids actually are funny (and sweet and wonderful), Parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Though I pass through the valley of smeared butter and burst radiators

  1. Jennette says:

    I don’t have something especially meaningful to add, except that I enjoyed all of this immensely. From beginning to end. Thanks.

  2. Megan says:

    Good luck and hang in there! I’m feeling overwhelmed at the moment, also. My mantra has been “only 5 more weeks” to get through the tough times at work. This too shall pass.

  3. Megan says:

    Did she eat any or just play in it?

  4. Rachel says:

    Hurray for babies and butter! My husband had a similar experience, which I (unfortunately?) missed:

  5. Trina says:

    β€œThat outfit is SO adorable!” (The relationship of a teen boy with a baby sister can be one of the sweetest things on this earth.)

    I wholeheartedly agree on both counts!

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been feeling many of the same things (and repeating the mantra “I will not get sick” while everyone else in the house succumbs), especially trying to get ready for a birthday party tomorrow–and chastizing myself that I SHOULD be able to have more fun with these things, instead of stressing about them.

    Good luck with everything!

    • zstitches says:

      Thanks! And I know just what you mean–I keep thinking, “I used to like planning birthday parties and decorating cakes,” but this time I’m just not feeling it. I just hope my girls and their friends will have fun even if *I* don’t.

  6. grandma weight says:

    what fun! She’s so darling–even with butter smeared all over!

  7. Grandpa T says:

    Wow. The butter incident is funny. The radiator is not. Hang in there!

    • zstitches says:

      Thanks! The shop didn’t get around to looking at our van yet, so we’re going to have to rent a minivan to get us through the weekend and the first couple days of next week. (The worst part is that it will probably make me want a new car.) πŸ™‚

  8. Robert says:

    One of THOSE days. Oy.

    I do like the new sampling of scripture. Liken unto your palette or something like that.

  9. Stephen says:

    The photo sequence was just brilliant.

  10. Oh gosh. She’s a little too cute for time out. I have a son who used to open the fridge and eat sticks of butter. So wrong.

    • zstitches says:

      I think the only thing that keeps my kids from opening the fridge and eating sticks of butter is the fact that we usually have more easily-accessible butter on the counter. I think if you search “butter” in the little search box there on the right of my blog, you’ll see my kids have quite a history of butter love. πŸ™‚

  11. Mrs. Organic says:

    What an artist! That outfit is absolutely adorable (do you remember the pattern #?)

    I’m sorry about the radiator – cars and dentists are not my favorite ways to spend money.

  12. Laura says:

    Butter Sculptures. Oh, the memories. I think I spent four years behind a camera to literally see things from a different perspective some days. I don’t miss the smeared butter….I just wish there was a cute baby face to look at with less intense childhood messes.

  13. Laura says:

    And don’t introduce them to the Gregg dressing from Costco. Of course, my kids always want to mess with the Costco sizes food options around here. Although to be fair, they may not have many other options. But wow. That Gregg dressing……I will always have memories of that mess. And the sugar. And….well…I will shut up now.

    • zstitches says:

      Dean’s sisters tell a story of a toddler who mistook a gallon of cooking oil (or maybe it was just a liter?) for juice and poured it out all over the floor. In some versions Dean’s attributed as the perpetrator, but they weren’t positive and thought it might have been his younger brother Mike. Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t have to clean that one up.

      We did finger painting for FHE tonight (I hope that got me enough “cool mom” cred to last a long time) and Hazel threw an unholy fit when it was time to stop. Apparently that was exactly her kind of fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s