Let me explain. When I just had two children, I thought it was a bit difficult. But I have two hands and two eyes and there are two of us parents so we managed okay. Things were chaotic most of the time, to say the least, since there were two babies running around but, we managed. Then Joshua came and although it was definitely our easiest transition to a child we've ever experienced, I kinda lost it. And frankly, I still haven't found it yet.
I'm not sure why. Three isn't really all that many children but I feel like a screw popped loose somehow and I haven't fully recovered. My brain just doesn't function as well. Maybe because it's always on an overload setting. I don't know. But once Joshua started walking, then things really got interesting.
Here are some examples of things that have happened to me over the past nearly year and a half that would've NEVER happened to me before.
- I frequently call all of my boys by the wrong name. That's right. The wrong name. I've gotten better over the months. After Joshua was born it was pretty bad but I can blame that on sleep deprivation. However, I still do it and I'm getting plenty of sleep now. If by the second try, I still haven't gotten it right, I usually just say, "You...whatever your name is..." Isaac thinks this is hilarious.
- I have now lost a child, Caleb, at a major event this past Halloween. It was probably the most frightened I have ever been in my whole life. I never thought that could happen but there I was, in a sea of about 3,000 people and my little 2-year-old was nowhere to be found. How did it happen? Don't ask me. I turned around and he was gone. All the guy said was that he was looking for more candy. Aaaaaahhh!
- Joshua has climbed on every single high surface in my house while wearing the biggest smile in the world. I've rescued him off of our kitchen table numerous times and have finally trained him NOT to climb on chairs! My other two didn't even try these things.
- Joshua has decided the toilet is his favorite place to play. I've never experienced this before. I can't tell you how many baths I've given him and how many times he's been corrected over this issue but he still makes a beeline for the bathroom as soon as he sees an open door.
- I've proceeded to lose the baby. His older brother left the front door open and within two minutes, Joshua was out the door and in my neighbor's backyard! How does this happen? I'm a responsible parent?! Luckily he didn't walk out into the busy street in front of our house. He just went looking for the toys. And thankfully, I noticed he wasn't around very soon after he'd gone out the front door.
- I completely lost my wallet and I have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE how I lost it. It was just gone and I had no mental recollection of how I managed to lose it. None. Brilliant. Just brilliant.
- My children have all eaten things like snails and the like which has just been wonderful. But today was the kicker. Joshua ate a piece of plastic that he had managed to chew, quite quickly I might add, off of a fountain soda top lid. I noticed fast, reacted fine and he actually got it down okay after coughing and crying for awhile. I tried to get it out of his mouth but couldn't find it. Anyway, I nearly had to rush him to the hospital. Luckily, since he didn't officially choke and could drink liquids afterward, the doctor said to just monitor him for the next few days.
Parenting can be so, so humbling. Thank God for grace. Thank God for mercy. It's really Him who holds my family in His hands. And these little lessons remind me that I'm not perfect. I want to be but I never will be and that's okay. I've got it on good authority, that my God never slumbers and never sleeps. Good thing He's always got His eye out.
"He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and our coming in from this time forth and forevermore." Psalm 121:4-8