Aug 092011
 


I’m not going to start this post with the typical disclaimers about how much I really love my children and how grateful I am to be a mom. I’m just not.



Yesterday I lost it up in this house.

It being the ability to remain calm and grown-up in the midst of people who are behaving very, very badly.

People being my children.



It’s August. You know how I feel about August and February when it comes to parenting. BOO is how I feel. NO THANK YOU is how I feel. Enough is enough is how I feel. Everything in moderation . . . especially family togetherness . . . is how I feel.

August is too hot for good parenting. And February is too cold. I have a fifteen degree temperature window inside which I am able to be a decent parent, or person, actually.



Yesterday my kids woke up on the wrong side of the world -meaning I wished immediately that they were in China instead of my home. They woke up cranky, fighting, whining, nagging and pinching each other just to see what would happen

They were being bad. And I was on edge. My dormant volcano self was threatening to blow before eight am. Not a good sign. Usually I’m good to go until at least eight thirty.

As preventative methods, I took several deep breaths, calmly gave everyone time outs, and drank glasses of ice water in between mugs of coffee. I even prayed that God would send me patience or someone else’s children.

Nothing worked. Eventually, I erupted.

And I started yelling. I yelled in my meanest horror movie monster voice. The voice that suggests that I might morph into a fire-breathing dragon at any moment. And there were instant tears and fear and faces full of fake repentance. When I felt finished yelling, I sent all three kids to their rooms for thirty minute time-outs. Yes, even the three year old. It was a safer place for them to be, trust me. Actually at that point, they wanted to go to their rooms. And as they rushed their terrified bottoms up the stairs, I called Tish back to make sure she didn’t have the phone hidden under her skirt. She sneaks it up there and calls Craig to rat me out all the time.

A half hour later they sneaked out of their rooms, tails between their legs, cowering a bit, sneaking suspicious and sidelong glances at me. Looking betrayed. Avoiding eye contact with each other. Nice and quiet. Niiiiiice and quiet.

A few hours later we decided to “start over” and we went to the pool.

As I watched my sweet, sun-kissed babies splashing in the water, I waited for that guilt to come. The guilt we’re supposed to have. The guilt we believe is inevitable whenever we lose it. The guilt we feel is our punishment for not being perfect, calm, machine-like mommies.

But guess what? The guilt never came. I realized with surprise that I felt GREAT.

Sure I scared the daylights out of them, but if the daylights were what made them behave like rabid animals, then I’m glad they’re gone. Good riddance, daylights.

I am not sorry that I lost it with my kids yesterday. I’m just proud it doesn’t happen every day. I’m not a superhero, I’m a lady doing my best to remain reasonable while spending day in and day out with three completely unreasonable people.

And I know that it is my job to teach them that grace abounds in this world, but perhaps it is also my job to teach them that if one insists upon being a jerk for extended periods of time, someone else in this world is eventually going to put one in her place. And it likely won’t be by withholding a sticker from one’s behavior chart.

In the real world it might involve someone getting all up in your face, Lovie.

Probably best to learn that lesson from mama first.



In unrelated news, last week I decided I was so high on life that I reduced my happy pill dosage. I think it’s going well.



Love, G







Also, we’re kicking some bottom over here. Don’t forget to vote today.









Aug 042011
 



Craig and I have been in a bit of a funk lately.

We were expecting to be a family of six by now . . . and the nothingness of no news is wearing on us. We are a family that loves change . . . we thrive on it – change makes us feel alive. We are always moving towards something, a new adventure, a new project, something amazing and so when there is nothing on the horizon, we get a little down and restless. And yes, I know that these are the times we should be feeling grateful for what we have and BEING STILL and BEING PATIENT and yadda yadda and that’s what I tell myself, but honestly – whatever. What is patience? I’m not even sure that patience is a real thing. I mean, I’ll wait - but only because I haven’t discovered another option.

I did see a sign recently, though, that struck me. It said: TRUST YOUR STRUGGLE. Here it is.



I like that. Maybe that’s what patience is. Trusting your struggle. You don’t have to like your struggle, your wait, your loss. But you can still trust it. You can trust that your struggle is exactly what you need to become who you are supposed to be. That it’s a necessary part of your journey . . . that it’s leading somewhere important. I can buy that.

But still, struggle makes Craig and me funky.

Our marriage funks manifest themselves in less playfulness. We don’t try as hard to be cheerful. We go through the motions without emotion. I go to bed super early and avoid physical contact and even EYE contact with Craig – because sometimes if I accidentally GLANCE at him he translates that glance to I AM DYING TO JUMP YOUR BONES NOW. And I’m not. I’m just ugh, and he’s just ugh. It becomes a depressing cycle.

And so the other night I fell asleep thinking about what might pull us out of our family funk.

And I woke up KNOWING the answer.

It was soooo obviously, as Amma would say.


CLEARLY, we were missing Mr. Wardlow.



So that morning, when Craig went to work, I went to work.

I wake the kids up and say:

Babies! We’re going to get him back. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO FIND MR. WARDLOW.

And there was much rejoicing from the children.

Except that Chase tries to ruin our rejoicing by saying: “But daddy said we don’t need Mr. Wardlow!”

And I say: “HUSH. YOUR DADDY DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE NEEDS. Get dressed.”

So we do. We get dressed, pile into the van and travel to the store where we originally bought (and returned) our Mr. Wardlow.

When we arrive, we jump out of the van and RUN into the store. We scour the store.

No Mr. Wardlow.

Crap.

Tish starts crying.

We find a teenage store employee with Beiber hair. I say frantically:

HELLO! I’m looking for a six foot wooden giraffe.

And the employee says: Oh, yeah. That thing was sold last week.

At this, Chase and Amma both join Tish in her tears.

I say to the Beiber employee: Kay. Well, the thing is that we need the giraffe to save our family. So maybe you can tell me who bought it so we can go to their home and explain our dilemma. I’m sure that will be fine.

Beiber employee looks VERY alarmed and says, “Uuum. Nooo, I don’t think they’ll let me do that. But maybe you could call all the other Home Goods in the area and try to find another one? I wait for him to add: “You could buy a whole bunch of Mums.” He doesn’t.

I say to the kids: LET’S GO.

We drive home and I find the phone numbers of all eight Home Goods in Virginia and Maryland. I break up the list and give my cell phone and half the numbers to Chase. We start making calls.

I stop twice to remind Chase that he can’t keep saying, “Hello, do you have any Mr. Wardlows in your store?

They don’t know the giraffe’s name honey, I say. You have to describe the giraffe.

I periodically send update emails to our neighbor friends who are aware of our animal rescue mission and are praying for us. I call Sister every hour or so and interrupt her important lawyer meetings to keep her abreast of our progress. She does not give a rat’s ass but feigns concern.

After an hour on the phone Chase and I have located NO MR. WARDLOWS. By now, the kids are over it. I am not. I am despondent. The kids disperse. I sit at my computer and think. Think, think, think.

And then . . . hallelujah . . . I remember a comment Sharyn made after the original Mr. Wardlow post.

Something about PIER ONE HAVING SIX FOOT WOODEN CAMELS. HMMMMMMM, I think. If they have camels maybe they also have giraffes.

I call Pier One. I speak to a woman there. She tells me that she HAS A GIRRAFE. SHE HAS A GIRAFFE!! I run upstairs to tell the kids. I bust into Chase’s room where they are hiding from me. They look at my face and it is clear that they are afraid. I say to them:

GET BACK IN THE CAR! I HAVE FOUND ONE! I’VE FOUND A MR. WARDLOW!!!!!

And then came my favorite part of the whole day:

Chase’s eyes well up and he says: “We have to get back in the car? No! I WISH THIS GIRAFFE NEVER CAME INTO OUR LIVES.”

And I say: “I know, honey. Me too. But he HAS COME. And now we must save him. We are his FAMILY.”

So the kids, Theo, and I pile back into the car and book it to Pier One.

We enter the store full of hope. And there he stands, in the back of the store, in all His Glory.

He was more beautiful than the original Mr. Wardlow. He was sleek, elegant, metallic, MAJESTIC.

And we knew right away that he wasn’t Mr. Wardlow at all.

He was MRS. WARDLOW.

Monkees, meet Mrs. Wardlow.



As soon as we get her home and put her in our foyer, I send a message to my precious neighborhood friends who somehow already understand me. My message says:

THE EAGLE HAS LANDED. MRS WARDLOW IS HOME. AND SHE IS NOW RECEIVING GUESTS.

And Mrs. Wardlow’s fans start pouring in. In droves. They came bearing gifts. They signed her guest book. They loved her and she loved them back.



Tisha and Mrs. W


Martha offers Mrs. W her pearl necklace.





Ginny signs Mrs. W’s guest book.



MRS WARDLOW AND MRS. WARDLOW!!


Ellie welcomes Mrs. Wardlow to America. It was a long trip from Africa (Via China).

Joey and Jude are in love.

Sister wears her Zebra skirt in honor of the occasion.


Bubba eventually and begrudgingly admits that he too, loves Mrs. W.


The outpouring of love for Mrs. Wardlow was amazing. But I was still troubled. Something was missing.

One of the many problems that Craig had with the original Mr. Wardlow was that he was “tacky.” So we had to find a way to class up Mrs. Wardlow a bit.

I think you’ll agree that we took care of THAT.









Classy as the day is LONG.


Oh, Mrs. Wardlow.

I love you, Mrs. Wardlow.


AND NOW she was ready. She was ready for Craig.

So we waited for him to get home.






And YEP. There it is. UNFUNKED. Look at that smile. He loves his crazy wife. And he loves Mrs. Wardlow.






After this family reunion, we sent all of our friends home, put on a movie for the kids and Craig and I made out, thank you very much.

After we made out, Craig said:

“Okay Hon. I love Mrs. Wardlow. Really. But please promise me that we’re done with the giraffes. We’re still in a recession, Glennon. We need to be careful. We can’t be buying things like six foot giraffes.”

And I said, “First of all. WHAT? We’re in a recession????”

And Craig said: Jesus. Yes, Glennon. Maybe even a depression. I guess they’re not talking about it on HGTV or Bravo, but they are talking about it everywhere else.”

And I said, “Wow. Well, then: I CANNOT imagine a time when people will be in greater need of Mrs Wardlow than just such a time as this. If people are going to be depressed and recessed then they are going to NEED her. Mrs. Wardlow brings JOY. She is a HOPE BRINGER to HOPELESS SOULS. It’s her destiny.

And then Craig didn’t say anything at all.

So I said: Okay, honey. I promise. We’re done. No more giraffes.

And then Craig went to let Theo out and lock up the house.

And when he got back I took this video. I don’t know how to edit it, so fast forward to the last two minutes.


Night, night.




Love, The Meltons. All six of us.



“You are given only a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robyn Williams