Christmas Eve, my kids were starrrrrrrvvvvvviiiiing and couldn’t possibly wait for the extended family brunch we were hosting in 45 minutes.
Hangry kids make terrible party throwers, so I relented and suggested oatmeal for second breakfast. My 9 year old Scarlett ripped open the package, dusting the floor with oats that looked like snowflakes.
She “cleaned” the mess up herself and poured in another package. Silently, I congratulated myself for not losing my temper and for fostering her independence. I also thought about all those smart moms who kick their kids OUT of the kitchen.
I hear a Smash, BANG. Ding- followed by lots of crying. Scarlett grabbed the oatmeal out of the microwave and put the literal meaning back in drop it like it’s hot.
Shattered glass mixed with steaming hot porridge is spread all over the kitchen floor with the remnants of the dry oats from trial #1. Scarlett’s hangry is unleashed, and she is demanding to make another bowl. The baby finds it fun to walk in, spreading oats to the living room, and 30 people will be in my house in a half hour.
My sensible six year old places his hot porridge in the freezer for rapid cool-down. As he retrieves it, his bowl comes tumbling out, crashing, and spreading oatmeal all inside the freezer door and on the floor. SERIOUSLY?! His reaction is, “MAKE ME ANOTHER ONE NOW!”
I sweep and scrub the floor hastily. I tell James to put the kids in the car and to come back in thirty. Drive anywhere. I can’t cope with more oatmeal explosions or child outbursts. I’ve lost it at them. How can they spill this much in so little time? Is this a joke?
It was a new twist on the old classic- Goldilocks and the Three Bowls.
Fortunately, I forgot to tell a guest we changed the time of the party. So thankfully, she arrived just as the oatmeal fiasco was relatively under control. She graciously helped me make everything sparkle and shine while my husband drove around in circles until the baby fell asleep, arriving just in time to a prepped house ready for Christmas. The kids hugged me and we all apologised.
And then during the party, a gallon of OJ spilled down the back of the fridge- and it was totally my fault.
Pshhhh . . .
Here’s the moral of the story. The things I get frustrated about in my kids (messy, clumsy, impatient, hangry) are the exact same things that I do.
So many times when I’m shouting at my kids to stop yelling at each other or snapping at them for gross attitudes or sending them to their rooms for eating too much candy– these reflect the very same things I struggle with myself.
I feel the Holy Spirit whisper, inviting me to examine my own heart and transgressions during these moments. Parenting is so beautifully refining, and I’m confident God designed it that way. We are all capable of spilling oatmeal or orange juice, and there is no use crying over (or screaming at your kids over) shattered oatmeal.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.Matthew 7:1-5 NIV
For real, peaches and cream oatmeal looks a lot like vomit. Frozen puke oatmeal is still plastered inside my freezer door, and I don’t know when I will find time to scrape it off. #momlife