The past two weeks have been a lesson in patience, perseverance, and love. The monotony of my everyday life has been weighing heavily. Even if the weather is gorgeous outside, I am forced to spend a fair amount of time indoors feeding the baby, cleaning the house, and making sure that Matthew makes it to the potty when the urge strikes.
Potty training has been the ultimate focus of the past few weeks and while Matthew is doing fairly well with it, he is not quite to the point where he will automatically stop all activities and run to the bathroom. I have to remind him - and he will go, happily stripping off every piece of clothing he is wearing and skipping naked into the bathroom in order to do so. This would be all fine and dandy, except that he is terrible at dressing himself. A given outfit normally takes him around 15-20 minutes to assemble correctly. Since I have been reminding him to try to use the potty every 30 minutes or so, by the time he has finished getting dressed from his latest stripping, it is nearly time for me usher him into the bathroom for another try. I'm really hoping that the potty concept takes and that he also learns how to get dressed faster. I tried letting him just run around naked, but my dainty little boy freaks out whenever he does not have a shirt or bottoms on! And that's fine with me. I personally do not want his naked little butt touching my leather couches (Mom of the year? I think so!).
The weekend provides a nice reprieve because Paul is home and having an extra set of hands around certainly does give me a bit more freedom to either go shopping, hiking, or biking. However, come Monday morning, I sigh heavily at the thought of once more facing my glamorous role as a mother to two young children for another five straight days alone.
However, let's be honest. I really need to stop whining.
When I do get a moment alone to catch up on the news with a much-needed cup of coffee, I get an immediate reality check of how good my life really is. Most recently, the coverage of the aftermath of the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma and the havoc they wreaked on the lives of hundreds of people has been weighing heavily on my mind. Individual lives were lost, homes were destroyed, and many families now find themselves without their precious heirlooms, memories, and homes. Their lives changed dramatically in a matter of a few short, terrifying minutes. And what do I really have to complain about? Spending a little too much time helping my precious son learn how to use the potty? Nursing my daughter for hours on end? The temperature in our home being a teeny bit too warm at night because our air conditioning isn't functioning as efficiently? (The following quote from Friends comes to mind: "My wallet's too small for my fifties and my diamond shoes are too tight!")
All my complaints are ridiculous compared to all the suffering of others throughout the world. I am able to hold, kiss, and spend quality time with my babies. I have plenty of food to eat and water to drink. I have a roof over my head and a comfortable bed to sleep in. I have been blessed in my vocation as a wife and mother and should be thanking God constantly for the time he has given me and for the two precious little angels he has entrusted to my care. None of us knows how much time we have to spend here on earth, so every moment should be an opportunity to be ever joyful, thankful, and loving. It's a simple concept, but one that I am in constant need of reminding. I need to transform my mundane tasks into moments of prayer and thanksgiving. They are golden opportunities for spiritual growth disguised in ordinary, dull, and sometimes smelly packages.
Now, please excuse me...duty calls. I believe Emma just blew a hole through her diaper.