This week I am trying to be thankful for bad days and hard times, and the lessons that we learn. God is teaching me patience, and to rejoice when He allows hard times to come. My “hard times” are really very mild compared to what some people (even some of you) are facing or have faced. But they are hard to me right now. I guess it can all be summed up in the phrase, “It’s just been one of those days.” Or in my case, weeks. Everything culminated on Wednesday. I know that one day I will be able to laugh about, even though I was terribly stressed out this week. Even now, I can start to chuckle.
So I thought I would give you a little glimpse into my life for a day…as an urban mommy in New York City with two littles under two years old. Here is an excerpt from my journal…it’s kind of long, but it paints the picture. Maybe you can relate, or just laugh along with me.
It has been “one of those weeks.” I think that Satan is really attacking me. Last week was hard because Ben was sick – really sick – all week. He missed four days of work. I had no help with the kids. I had Ben to take care of. I had to try and avoid the germs.
On Sunday Sherry McKee came up and said they had a water drip downstairs. We were asked not to use the washing machine. I thought she said the plumber was coming on Monday. I thought wrong.
On Monday I learned that the plumber had not even been contacted. I needed to wash diapers. I had a lot going on. It was hard. I had to make an expensive trip to the laundry mat to do my diapers and wash our other clothes since we didn’t know how long we would be without a washer.
Additionally, Elaine seems to have been testing me by being extremely disobedient and defiant. She has hit the proverbial “terrible twos” (which I guess is the world’s way of saying that the sin nature is really evident). She screams before naps and at bedtime. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday she awoke early in the morning. I was tired and not ready to deal with her so early. Then she bucked me on everything and I was so sick of administering discipline.
Nolan is getting sensitive to noise and a little harder to put down at night. We decided to move the cradle out of our room, especially since we are almost always on the computer and printing at night. The computer, of course, lives in our bedroom also.
I had a shopping trip planned on Wednesday. I really couldn’t reschedule since Ben was giving me the car. I knew it was going to be stressful. It started when I realized that the car was parked rather far away. I couldn’t carry Nolan in his car seat and get Elaine there on my own. But if I took the stroller, I wouldn’t be able to get the groceries in the car. (I had a long list!) I ended up taking the umbrella stroller. I put Nolan on the floor to drive around to the house where I picked up the car seat. Please don’t tell the cops!
When I arrived at the fruit market I couldn’t find a parking space. It was raining. Nolan had fallen asleep so I didn’t want to take him out of his car seat in order to use the umbrella stroller. So…I parked illegally. Really it wasn’t that bad – my tail end was hanging over the cross walk. I was just hoping I wouldn’t get a ticket.
I grabbed a cart and started shopping. Elaine was getting geared up for one of her fits, so I put her in the cart even though it was filthy. Even then she managed to grab pieces of fruit as I shopped. Then a rude lady decided to push between me and the cart rather than walk around my cart. The sloping sidewalk meant that my cart went rolling…with both kids in it…while I ran to catch it before it went off the curb. Not even an apology!
I managed to get back to my car before there was a chance for a ticket. Off we went to Target and the grocery store. The bright spot in the whole horrible day was that I found a spot in the parking garage very near the elevator. (And even as I type this I realize that my day wasn’t really that bad…but it sure felt like it at the time!).
I intended to snag one of those carts with the infant seat in it and fold up the umbrella stroller. No carts like that at Target! I didn’t need too much or anything big, so I let Elaine wheel one of those wheel-y basket things while I used the stroller. Good for a while. She kept cutting corners and running into people or objects. If I tried to help she did one of those screaming fits. I finally had to ban her to a shopping cart…so there I was pushing the stroller and pulling the cart. Then I loaded my purchases into a canvas shopping bag and hit the elevator to go to the grocery store.
And once again, I discovered that there were no carts with infant seats at this location. I tried to lay Nolan in the front seat. He was too fat. And when I picked him up I forgot about my bags hanging on the stroller…yup…the whole thing flipped on me. All the while Elaine was very loudly telling me something that I couldn’t understand. I tried putting Nolan in the big part of the cart, but it was no good. There I was pushing a stroller and pulling a cart all through the grocery store. You wouldn’t believe how many nasty looks I got as I tried to maneuver the aisles and avoid the obstacles. (Why do they always clutter the aisles with displays so that you can’t even get through?) And of course Elaine was tired, hungry, and throwing a fit about it…again.
Then I’m standing in the one.and.only.checkout.lane, watching my ice cream melt. Finally it was my turn, and can you believe the audacity of someone who asked if they could go before me?
I made it back to the car. Then I proceeded to hit every light red between Atlantic and home (over 70 blocks). Okay, maybe not every light, but you get the point. I decided to hit the McDonalds drive through since it is an hour past nap time already. I pull in, to discover that the drive through entrance is only from the other side, and it’s a one way street. There were no parking spaces and nowhere to turn around. About this time I also realize that my gas gauge is below “E”. Ben forgot to mention that. Add another stop to the list.
I finally get home and find out that Elaine has just fallen asleep. Finding an open space on my street (but halfway down the block), I snag it. I carry my sleeping little ones, the car seat, and the dripping ice cream into the house. Actually I carried Nolan, and then realized that Elaine had stopped to pick leaves back down the street. So I had to go retrieve her.
After jamming the ice cream into a badly organized freezer, I spread a PBJ and set Elaine down to eat. I ignored the hunger screams from Nolan (it’s been five hours since he ate) while I walk back down to get the rest of the groceries, hopefully in one trip. I loaded up the stroller, but in my haste I set the lighter bag in the seat. There went my stroller, flipping over, again, while I struggled to set my bags down and fix everything.
At this point I am beginning to wonder why I did all of this on Wednesday when we have church that night. Veggies need washed. Food needs put away. The living room and Elaine’s room were in disarray from moving Nolan’s cradle that morning. The diapers needed washed again (which meant another trip to the laundry mat as the plumber was still AWOL).
I began to wonder why I ended up with such a strong willed child, and whose idea it was for me to be a stay-at-home-mom. I didn’t even want to hear the word “homeschool” (which still has me scared to death). I got on my Facebook and discovered that little Audrey, who is a little younger than Elaine and has had two heart transplants, was not doing well. Instantly I was glad that I had two healthy, happy kids, in my own home, to love and take care of. I was grateful for the cute moments sprinkled in between the fits and discipline problems. I was happy to see the smiles of my little boy, and I was glad to be a mommy. But I was also dreaming of bedtime…
I just had to get that all down on paper, so that I can remember the next time I have “one of those days” …or weeks!
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”