So, I posted yesterday about a few of the sweet interactions I've observed between Cam and Elly lately, and someone asked me on Facebook,"are your kids ever naughty?!" After having a good laugh, I thought about it and realized that when I take time to post, I really only post about the rosy, feel-good-inside stuff. I don't always make room for the day-to-day reality...
Now I feel it necessary to reassure those of you who don't see my kids and I very often (those who do see us regularly need NO reassurance), that their interactions, behavior, and general thought processes are not always daisies and butterflies. Sometimes, in fact, they quite - ahem - embarrasing... and sometimes, they are downright naughty.
Let me just affirm this with a few stories I can think of right off the top of my head (oh, and there are many more I've buried deep for psychological reasons). HA!
Just yesterday Cameron was having a bit of an off day. He was doing OK before his nap, but something must've happened while he was sleeping that got him back out of bed on the wrong foot. He cried for a good 25 minutes once he woke up (nope, not sure what about), then proceeded to pull all the toilet paper off the roll and down the hall at his cousins' house. He hasn't tried this particular trick at home EVER, so my guess is that he was getting big laughs for doing it...apparently worth it to him. He iced the cake that evening by pulling out his first curse word. It was a word he'd used two nights before (pretty sure it was one of his many made-up words that just happened to come out wrong), so we had to explain to him that it wasn't something we said, it was a yucky word. No harm done, right? Well, until yesterday when he was upset and retrieved that little nugget from his mind and threw the word out again. Bad news.
A few weeks ago, we had to run to the doctor to get Elly's labs drawn for her thyroid medication adjustment. Usually, I either phone a friend (or aunt or grandma) to come with me, or drop off at least one child along the way, but that day, it just didn't work out. Of course, the office needed to re-enter Elly's insurance info when I got there (she's been there at least 8 times), so I let the older two go look at the fish tank at the other end of the waiting room while I the receptionist took my info. In the 45 seconds I was turned around, Elly had turned off the TV (because SPONGEBOB was on, she took it upon herself to make that decision), and she was standing ON THE [small, teetering, not-for-standing-on] TABLE so she could see some particular fish at the top of the tank. It took me one quick "Elly Mariah" to get her down from a distance, then just a couple apologies to the parents of crying toddlers whose morning cartoon viewing had been put to a halt. She knew she was being sassy by turning it off, and really knew she shouldn't be on the table...
Continuing on the lab visit morning, once Elly screamed and writhed through having her blood drawn (Bennett yelped too - he wasn't upset but wanted to compete for volume control...Cam fought back his own tears, ha) the precious lab tech felt my pain and gave Cam and Elly each a sucker and Bennett a sticker. Bennett's sticker was - again - our dear friend Spongebob. Elly started commenting as I pushed/rushed her out the door. I thought we were in the clear and stopped outside the elevator to put Bennett's snowsuit back on. Elly and Cam somehow got into a traffic jam that caused Cam's sucker to become COMPLETELY LODGED in Elly's hair. He, of course, started yanking his sucker back, screaming at her for trying to take it from him, while she screamed at him for pulling her hair. Of course, cue a sweet, expectant couple coming out of the elevator right at that moment (getting a tour of the hospital, I'm guessing?) who nervously smile and pass us by as I attempt to remove the lollipop without also removing a chunk of Elly's scalp. Bennett is chewing his Spongebob sticker to tiny bits and spitting those bits out onto the stroller and floor. Charming, yes?
Same day (this morning was a rough one). We make a quick swing through Wal-Mart, and by the time we hit the checkout lane, the kids are getting restless. I open a package of string cheese that I have just purchased so they can share a snack, and the cashier is politely making conversation with Cam. I can't remember exactly what she asked him, but he started rattling off the entire story of our family, explaining himself and each of his siblings by their nicknames (Bubbaloo, Looney, and Brown Brown, oldest to youngest, in case you're wondering). Then also proceeds to tell poor, unassuming cashier that I have a baby in my tummy, but in two weeks (we're still working on time concepts...days/weeks/months are confusing) the doctor is going to pull the baby out of my tummy and he will cry. A bit intense for a mid-morning "you look like a good big brother," don't you think?
A few months ago, we had a volunteer appreciation/recognition day at church. We had a service and a potluck, then the microphone at the front was left open so anyone could express their gratitude or share encouragement. Somehow, Cameron made his way to the front...and someone gave him the mic. I'm sure they were thinking, "How sweet! His Mommy sent him up to say thank you or share a cute little poem or something!" Nope. He took the captive audience and ran with it, and started saying something about everyone coming with him to the palace, where there would be lions and tigers and (maybe dragons? My mind is swimming at this point as I realize it's my son's voice being projected throughout the sanctuary). I run up and retrieve the microphone, apologize, and try my best to laugh it off and say something kind and memorable on his behalf...aye.
It's getting a little late, and I can't think of all that I'd like to...but I hope you can also enjoy and relate to my crazy stories :) Sometimes our days are filled with disagreements and discipline, and some days I pray for the patience even to walk into a room that I know has been too quiet for too long. Sometimes, instead of being a fly on the wall, I want to run to the next aisle, wall, or room and HIDE...and sometimes, I collapse onto the couch in sheer exhaustion! I don't always share about these days, and I definitely don't have it all figured out...
I hope I don't make it seem like things are a fairy tale around here :) We don't do it all right - not even close. Still, we're BLESSED, and even at the end of the most trying day, I find myself filled with gratitude for God's grace and humbled by the privilege of raising these imperfect, but oh-so-precious, little lives! :)