Family

Slow Down, Mama

Sweat beaded on my forehead as I stood by the stove and cracked eggs into a glass bowl.

“Mommy!” Screeched my three year old daughter from the toilet in the laundry room.

“Hang on!” I called out.

I smacked the last egg on the lip of the bowl, and egg white shot straight out. It splashed onto my pants, then dripped down onto my toes and flip flop.

“Crap!” I said.

“What Mommy?!”

“Nothing! I’m coming!” I wiped my hands on a paper towel as I hobbled to the bathroom.

I knew I was grimacing from the ick. I knew I had hit crazy mode, the point of no return before bedtime. Everything always seemed to escalate as I prepared dinner and didn’t settle down until the little ones were asleep.

“ALL DONE!” Bellowed Lyla, even though I stood right in front of her. I grabbed a wad of toilet paper and reached towards her bottom.

“Not done yet!” She said. I sighed and stood back up. I heard the patter of Luke’s feet approaching.

“Maaaama,” he cried, grabbing my leg. I absentmindedly petted his baby soft hair while I thought about a blog post I was writing.

My phone vibrated in my pocket. Thomas.

“Hello?”

“Hey babe. How’s it going?”

“Oh you know, just trying to cook and take care of poop at the same time,” I yelled over the wailing of my children.

Have you ever imagined what a cherubim would look like if you stole his harp? Just come over to my house any day at 5:15. Two little blonde haired, blue eyed, rosy cheeked angels will make you run for cover and say, “Bless your heart.”

15 minutes later I ran out to the chicken coop to pick some tomatoes. I know you thought I was going to say eggs, but there are actually tons of tomatoes growing in our inherited chicken coop. Does that mean we’re eating tomatoes that grew from seeds that were once ingested by a chicken? Does that mean the chicken pooped out the seeds and a tomato plant grew a few years later? That is a good question, but I do know my inherited tomatoes are VERY organic.

I carefully walked back across the yard with ten giant Roma tomatoes perched on my forearms. Thomas pulled into the driveway. I met him at the gate that he built for me to keep the kids and dog in, the main thing on my “Honey-Do-List.”

The first words out of my love’s mouth:

“What’s that on your pants?”

I looked down.

“Oh. I was cracking an egg, and it exploded onto my pants and down in between my toes. It’s really sticky now.”

“Ew.” He said, and I shrugged. I had accepted the chaos.

We walked in to a quiet house. Thomas frowned at the silence.

“What did you do with the kids?” He asked.

“I knocked them over the head.”

He looked at me like I was crazy, as if he almost believed me, and I laughed at him.

“Just kidding. They’re watching tv.”

True story. That’s a typical evening in the Fister household. I try to save tv for the worst of nights, but sometimes it’s a sanity saver, and I don’t feel guilty at all.

Nobody warned me about the frenetic speed I’d be moving at while taking care of kids. On the way to preschool one morning we listened to Roumanian Rhapsody #1 on our favorite classical station. It was a wild and fun piece with flutes trilling up and down the scales while a full orchestra clashed and banged and zoomed through the notes. That was my best attempt at describing it with little musical knowledge. Lyla thought it was great and asked lots of questions about it that I didn’t know how to answer. But it totally felt like my morning.

Feed the kids! Rinse the dishes! Throw on clothes! Throw them in the car! Go! Go! Go! The Roumanian Rhapsody Rat Race!

Whew! Mom life is exhausting.

I try to slow down when I pick Lyla up from preschool. There are fun toys in the lobby, so I let my kids play with them before we head home. I see so many of the other parents rushing their kids out and telling them they need to get moving. “Hurry!” They say. “We need to go!” Then they drag their child kicking and screaming away from the toys. I’ve been there too, so I understand. Sometimes you can’t or don’t want to go at their speed.

But this is the moment where I say, “Sure! You can play. Go at it!” What’s a few minutes? After making the rounds on the chalkboard, slide, and train table, they (usually!) head out the door without a fight.

Lyla has been asking all week for me to paint her fingernails. I kept putting it off for various reasons, pretty much because I was always too busy. Finally, during the middle of a crazy day, I decided I had put it off for too long.

“Come to my room. I’m painting your nails,” I barked at her. It wasn’t a graceful moment, but she was thrilled. She picked out purple sparkles, and I know it made her feel very special. I’m glad I took a few minutes to do that for her.

Sparkly nails for Lyla. Scratches on my face from Luke.

I know it’s go, go, go, and there’s so much to do. But my challenge to myself, and you too, if you’re a young parent and choose to accept it, is to try to slow down a little. Try to match the pace of your children so you can enjoy the little moments with them, so you can teach them things when they ask questions. I want my kids to feel more important than the schedule. Because, after all, they are my little angels. 😇😇

5 thoughts on “Slow Down, Mama”

  1. That last paragraph is the best summary I could ever imagine of what I need to hear these days.

    With an 8 year old son and one year old daughter the pace always seems fast, and the different stages of life between them present different sets of demands. I love the images you create in this post and the beautiful message of it all. So glad I stumbled across your blog today- thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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