Wednesday, October 2, 2013

From the back of my van.

The things I have overheard from the back of my van lately have been quite entertaining.

[And that is about as up close and personal as we will be getting with the back half of my van. Because the condition of my van is atrocious. Perpetually atrocious actually. Embarrassingly so. I know. I know...I have 3 small mess-making children in the back of that van. But still. No van should be able nourish a small child for an entire day solely on the food scraps and crumbs scattered in and around the carseats. But alas mine could. And this problem was only made worse by the fact that we recently went on a weekend road-trip to Wisconsin.

And just because I haven't mentioned it enough, that weekend in Wisconsin was FABULOUS! Really it was. What made it so fabulous? Having my husband (and his mostly undivided attention) for 2 whole days! No studying. No call. Ok there was a little studying, but so little I hardly noticed:) It felt like we were just a normal family, doing normal weekend-y things. 

Because honestly we haven't had a full uninterrupted family weekend in a looooooooong time:( And I don't foresee any in the near future either. Forgive me as I ramble a little longer...because people, as one wise friend put it, we are in the med school trenches. And let me tell you (as I told her) these trenches are deep and wide and seemingly never ending. And that weekend was like a little light of hope shining in our dark trenches. So yeah. About that weekend we spent in Wisconsin. I am probably going to keep beating that dead horse for well...FOR.E.VER! Sorry. 

And from what I hear these med school trenches are like a walk in the park in comparison to the residency years. So imagine the things I will prattle on about in the future! Oh the possibilities:) And I am ending the longest photo caption....NOW.]

So. Back to the back of my van. Kids really do say the darnedest things! And for my kids this seems especially true when they are strapped into their carseats. Or maybe it's just I am forced to really listen to them while driving?!? Hmmm. Probably the latter but to make myself feel better as a mom I am going to claim they are just funnier in their carseats. Okay? Okay. 

While driving home from the Lego Store's mini model building session, Charlotte and Isaiah were having "broom fights". (Imagine sword fights except with miniature Lego it? Good.)  All was good and well until Charlotte declared herself the victor. Isaiah didn't agree and told her to quit talking. 

Charlotte's response, "Isaiah you can't consequence me!"  

She was so close with that one:)

On the way to school the other day Isaiah informed me of the new reading rule he made for himself. His rule: he will read one page from his Bible before reading his other books (at bedtime). 

I was proud. And excited. So what did I do? In total mom fashion I prattled off all the benefits of reading your Bible daily. Learning God's word. Guidance for life. Learning right and wrong. Only to have Isaiah interrupt me with this:

"Yeah but mom the stories in the Bible are COOL!"

Right. There is that of course! Why didn't I think of that?!

This morning while driving home from MOPS I looked in my rear view mirror to find Charlotte eating string cheese. String cheese that had been left in the van YESTERDAY. She was struggling to open it completely and asked for help. To which I suggested that maybe she shouldn't eat it because it might be yucky?!?

Her response, "I tasted it mama. It is only a little bit yucky. Not ALL THE WAY yucky. It's okay. Can you open it?"

Um. No. I can't. Because well I am driving dear child. And yes it is yucky. All the way yucky! 

Have I mentioned it has been in the upper 70s - low 80s here AND I park our van in the the blazing sun?!?


And lastly, something I saw outside of my van!  

As the kids and I were leaving the community center tonight we were falling apart. The girls were hungry, crabby, whiney, falling on the ground and intermittently screaming messes. I was an impatient, crabby and hungry wreck of a mother. And Isaiah...well actually he was holding it together quite nicely. Except for the fact that he wasn't holding onto his self portrait well enough and kept dropping it. But basically he was good. 

I felt like we were making a spectacle of ourselves. And all we were trying to do was WALK TO OUR VAN for goodness' sake! Nothing complex or challenging.  We were getting lots of looks. Judge-y looks. Or so I felt. The other moms seemed to be looking at me not with sympathy but with "why can't she get her act together?!" glances. Ok. They probably were lovely sympathetic mothers. But I knew I was doing a less than stellar job at mothering in that moment therefore I felt judged.  

So we finally made it INTO our van. Yay! All three kids strapped in. Victory! I sat down in the drivers seat and looked up to see a mom and her two young boys walking past. The older boy (probably 3ish) for reasons unbeknownst to me stops and throws an arms and legs flailing crying fit. Mom adresseses the fit thrower then continues to walk away with little brother. Good work mom. But then I see her turn back and walk towards the fit thrower. And in that second I judge her. I assume she is being a complete push over and allowing her small child to win this battle. How quickly I forget about the plank in my eye and notice the speck in hers! Ugh. 

But mom didn't give in. She had only turned around in order to snap a quick picture of her young fit thrower. And in that moment I wanted to hug her and tell her good job! Way to stand your ground weary mama. But I thought that might be a tad awkward. So I restrained myself. I just smiled and hoped that picture was being sent to the child's father to see or better yet being blogged for the world to see! Because that's what we do. This generation, my generation, of parents documenting our children's lives pictorially and sharing it with the world. I mean the kid was putting on a pretty good performance. Clearly it needed to be broadcasted:) But that mom was the real star of the show in my opinion. Her ability to carry on despite her fit throwing child's attempt to deter her gave me just a little extra boost. It encouraged me to carry on. To finish my evening strong with my children. To get my act together and be the parent they deserved. That and to not be so quick to judge others. Sheesh. That is a hard lesson to learn...for me anyways. 


  1. So, I was reading today's post while nursing little miss Sydney and I started laughing (as i always do). She thought that was just about the funniest thing on the planet, stopped what she was doing and we just giggled and giggled and giggled together. Thanks for the laugh and "moment" with my girl :).

    1. Bringing moms and babies closer together one blog post at a time! I think that is my new motto:) It's got a nice ring to it, right?!

      Seriously though - thank you for sharing - your moment made me happy!

  2. Haha! I like it! You should share your blog on some of those blog sites like blog-her. I follow some mommy blogs. Yours is my fave. You are so non judgmental! Your posts never make me feel like a good, bad or otherwise mom. Just another mom...doing what moms do the best that they can :).

    1. Thank you. You are too sweet. I guess this means I am accomplishing one of my blog goals - to make other moms feel comfortable and make them laugh:)

  3. Great post Bear! :)
    And what an amazing self-portrait! You have an artist on your hands!

    1. Thanks Mara! He is really enjoying his art class...and all artistic abilities he inherited from his dad. He has already completely bypassed my pathetic artistic attempts:)