Before you start reading this, please keep in mind that I really do love my children. I love them even more than I love dark chocolate. I love them more than Kanye West loves the spotlight. That’s a lot of love. I never even thought love existed at the level that I love my children. There is absolutely nothing they could do to make me stop loving them. I am not always so good at expressing that last part.
As background, you should know that there seems to be some sort of weird language distorter in my children’s head. I will very clearly make some very simple statement, yet my children seem to, without fail, hear something totally different. For example, if I were to say something like “Please start washing the dishes.” my children hear my voice saying “Please go sit in the bathroom and try to poop for forty-five minutes.” Or if I say “Please pick up your dirty laundry off the floor and put it in the laundry basket.” My children hear “Please shove all dirty clothes and garbage under your bed.” When I say “Get your jacket on and get in the car so we can leave the house.” my children hear “Go start a project that you absolutely must finish right now and will take two hours to complete.”
I’m not sure where this language distorter came from (I’m assuming it’s The Pastor’s fault) but it seems to trigger a device in my brain that causes me to go completely crazy. My eyes open really wide and I start breathing fast and heavy through my nose, because my jaw is clenched so tightly that not even air can escape. At this point my voice gets very quiet and, despite the tightly clenched jaw, I start to speak very. very. slowly. and. clearly. Interestingly enough, this crazed mommy voice seems to override my children’s language distorter. The crazed mommy voice does not, however, seem to express all of the love I feel for my children.
Yesterday we had another voice distorting event. It had been a good day. It had been a really really good day. It had been the kind of day that makes me feel like Wonder Woman! It had been the kind of day where I did not only finish all of the laundry, but I actually even folded it and got it off of the living room couch. I know. Pretty amazing, but that’s not even all. The kitchen floor also was swept and mopped. I made a gourmet dinner that didn’t even involve boxes or cans of stuff and I even made lovely lemon cupcakes for dessert with fresh strawberry frosting. Again no boxes. Please know that this is not a normal day in my house. Usually the laundry has to be run through twice because it sat in the washer so long it got moldy, my kids have to pick mismatched socks out a basket full of (hopefully) clean clothes. The floor is sticky at best, furry more often, and dinner is some sort of an afterthought. Dessert usually means we are having company.
It is no surprise that after such an amazing day I was curled up on the couch with a good book. Okay, maybe it was a video game. Who really knows? As I’m sitting there absorbed in… whatever, Baby Snarky called to me from the bathroom.
“Mommy! I had a huge poo and it plugged the toilet!”
I know, it’s a lot of information. It is necessary for you to know this, though, so that you can understand the level of crazy that is about to follow.
I should have jumped up and physically stopped what was inevitable. I know what happens next. You know what happens next and you don’t even live with these people. Instead I called back “Just don’t touch anything. I’ll come fix it when I’m done with this chapter.” (I may have said “done with this level” who knows?)
This is not what Baby Snarky heard. Apparently Baby Snarky heard “Just flush the toilet over and over again until the entire lower level of the house is an inch deep in your poop water.” I can absolutely promise you that this is not what I said.
There were two things that told me something was wrong after this. One was Baby Snarky running past me at the speed of light shouting “I’m sorry! I love you!” The other was the feeling of the crazy switch flipping in my brain.
Suddenly I’m standing in the bathroom in sopping wet socks muttering very slowly and clearly. I will not repeat the things I was muttering here. I will just assure you that they are the types of things that would probably get me excommunicated if I attended a church that focused on rules. I’m so glad I attend a church that focuses on love instead!
Just as the crazy mommy switch was about to flip into all out insane mode (which involves lots of screaming and phrases like “Get your butt down here!” and “What were you thinking?!”) I remembered being five years old.
When I was five years old my parents told me “Go play outside and stay out of the way of the men who are installing the brick on our new house.” (It was the 70’s. Parents just sent all kids of walking age out into the streets and hoped for the best) I did not hear what they actually said. Instead, I apparently heard “Go outside to the cars of the men who are installing the brick on our new house and dump liquid concrete ALL OVER one of their cars.” Being a very obedient child, I did what I thought I had been told. And then the crazy switch flipped in my parents’ heads.
But in the end, they still loved me.
Remembering that I too once had a language distorter, I simply started plunging. And then mopping. I may have muttered, slowly and clearly, a bit too. But by the time Baby Snarky had worked up enough bravery to return to the scene of the crime, it was clean and disinfected and I was able to tell him that I loved him.
Even more than Kanye West loves himself.
And much, much, deeper.