Not in the sense of cleanliness though. Just the other day I was slimed by unidentfiable chewed food and messy nose and footprinted by a chicken poo covered shoe as I picked one child up to soothe a wrong that had been done. They don't usually smell soapy either - more like sweaty.
But the one area that kids are like soap is that they are hard to hold tightly. You can never be sure you have a good handle on a bar of soap.... more often than not if you become cocky enough to think you have a good grip on it, that's when it slips right through your fingers. And so goes my children.
They are all throwing me for a loop lately. The lazy days of summer lulled me into putting my guard down a bit. I feel like Isaiah is on the threshold of teenager-hood and is getting a mildly cocky-type 'tude to slip on for size and try out a bit. I don't like how it fits.
Huston is so overdramatic and whiny. I really had hoped that this would pass by the time he was 6, but I am now beginning to think that this is just him - coping mechanism with him is almost nil, but we're making him exercise what little he has and hoping that it builds into something very strong.
All of a sudden Avery looks unhealthy. His face is pale and he has bags under his eyes. He can be irritable and at times sleeps terribly and his nose is full. He can. not. focus. He spends parts of his day in a haze and I don't know where the fog came from, but I wish it would burn off. Allergies? Possibly.
And Lillie is teasing me with potty training... some moments she's an excited and willing participant and very successful. But most of the time she ignores the issue and I'm still so shell-shocked from the experience with Avery, I don't have the energy or the mindset to tackle this issue just yet. But let me tell you, the idea of not having to change any more diapers is bringing me around!
When all of these minor crises come at me at once, it always seems to make me stop and think that I'm doing this whole parent thing all wrong. That I should read more books, speak more quietly, frustrate less frequently, engage them more actively... that if I would just do my job better the behaviors and outcome would be much less stressful. And to some degree that is true. I do need to lighten up more often than not - the constant wearing can give me tunnel vision and it's harder to focus on the big picture. I am not a perfect parent in any stretch of the imagination... but...
I do the best I can, and pray that God supplements my weaknesses. I can't be perfect for my children. And I'm confident they know that and love me anyway. I apologize when I mess up. I try to make more good memories than bad and I teach them from my mistakes... hoping that in the end they'll figure out they can learn from theirs as well.
And seriously - removing a lot of their toys has helped with many of these attitudes. A. LOT. I'll save that for another post though... (remember, you've got one comin' every day! for 31 for 21).