Monday, March 31, 2014

“When Parenting Meets Chaos” - Part 1: Choosing to Make the Most of a Kid Situation

Today’s post is part of a three part series called, “When Parenting Meets Chaos.” Make sure to visit Tuesday and Wednesday for the following: 

Pt 2 - When Parenting Meets Chaos - “No More Shame, No More Guilt”
Pt 3 - When Parenting Meets Chaos - "How to Make Your Own Emergency Kit"

Chaos frequently happens when you have little ones. The question is are we prepared for those moments that creep up on us? Oh and if you have little ones it is not a matter of “if” it is a matter of “when” because something dramatic will happen when you least expect it.  Last week I was no where near prepared for the adventure that came knocking at my door. 

My husband is part of a tennis league so the kids and I enjoy heading out to cheer on dad. We had never been to this particular tennis court so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When we arrived I was a little relieved to see they had a small bleacher stand, a grassy area that was enclosed for the kids to run around in, and nobody else in our designated court but our family. Perfect. I can let the two older kids run around and sit with the baby and actually enjoy watching this tennis match. About 20 minutes into the match I turned my back to the grassy area and I see the older two running in circles and having a blast. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! A few days ago it was rainy and cold so the kids had been cooped up indoors so it was fun to see them running around and giggling with one another. Until…I caught a glimpse of them jumping into a mud puddle. Oh well, it seemed harmless just their feet were getting dirty and it didn’t seem like too big of a deal. I turned around and continued to watch the match in peace with no kids to yell at for running on the bleachers. Another 10-15 minutes go by and I look over and my kids are drenched in soppy mud! They looked like little piglets rolling around in this mud puddle. And I mean they weren’t just rolling in it, they were swimming in it and then my son dunks his head in the puddle. Dear God what happened in a matter of minutes! 

I typically try to avoid these scenarios especially if I’m not prepared for it but after I took a deep breath and just let it be it was actually quite funny. Their giggling is what got me. They were genuinely having a fantastic time and I wasn’t about to ruin that for them. I just couldn’t. I’ll deal with the after math somehow.  

Watching them play brought back a flood gate of childhood memories of my brother and I. My brother Jonathan and I are only 15 months a part. Growing up he was my best friend, my playmate, and my go-to buddy in times of boredom. That’s how I see Sophia and Jack. I started thinking back to our mini adventures of riding our bikes around the neighbor, making mud pies, and running through the sprinklers. Mom not once, not ever, did she yell at us for being too messy. Guilty. I’m ashamed to say I’ve been guilty of aborting my kids’ fun because I didn’t want to deal with a mess. Ashamed. So ashamed. This little adventure was a good wake up call and reminder that kids are going to be kids. They want to explore. Don’t you remember having adventures of your own as a child? 

There’s a family who lives a few houses down from us and just about every evening I see the little boy’s father playing outside with him. They’re always playing hockey or throwing the ball. That little boy is never going to forget that. He’s going to look back on some pretty special moments and bonding time with his father. I want my kids to look back on their memories and think that about me and my husband. I don’t want their memories of us to be that we were always stationed behind our phones or computers.  

Thankfully when my husband’s tennis match was over he laughed along with the kids and took the opportunity for some photos. He looked over at me and said, “Well look on the bright side I’m sure you’ll get a blog post out of this one.”  

The tennis courts we were at actually had a locker room so I wrangled the two little piglets and gave them a shower. I didn’t have towels on hand but I actually had extra clothes in the van. I dried them up with wads of paper towels and just threw on their clothes I had. We found trash bags and threw their muddy clothes and shoes in it. With pieces of grass and mud still stuck in places we left the establishment with laughter and memories. 


  1. Lora, I LOVE this SO much. I, too, put a damper on kid fun to avoid messes but your post inspires me to let my kids get messy. That's what childhood is all about - exploring, experimenting, and getting down and dirty sometimes. Why should my desire for order and cleanliness keep them from being who they are? This is such a great and welcome reminder. It actually brings tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  2. What a great kid moment! :) I've learned to keep a spare pair of clothes for both kids, but I need to put a towel and some clothes for us in there, too.

  3. Awe thank you Colleen! I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only mommy out there who needs a reminder and it means a lot to hear your encouraging words!

  4. Melissa, yes I was so grateful I had an extra set of clothes! Thanks for the encouragement!