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Updated: Feb 2

By Heather Michelle Williams on January 25, 2024

          I barely heard the faint ringing of my phone, which was only as far away as my back pocket. Feeling suddenly amused at answering the phone during this moment, I swiped to answer my sister’s call. The angry screams of my five-year-old dominated every sound that could be heard.

Pausing for just a second and then saying hello, I think my sister heard the amusement in my voice. She laughed right away. Every other sound was swallowed up by the fit my little guy was pitching.

          I said, “Williams household…” with a laugh. Without having to say it, my sister and I understood each other. Yep, motherhood. No chance at having a normal phone conversation! In other words, if you call a mom at this time of day, this is what you can expect to get.

          “What are y’all doing?” is what she asked.

          I looked at the tuft of hair that I had grasped between two fingers, having scissors and the phone in other hand and comb somewhere, in one hand or the other.

          I explained as if she couldn’t really tell what was going on, “Well, I’m cutting Emmanuel’s hair, Timothy and Elesha are taking the cushions off the couch and jumping on them—I’m about to get onto them. And Ezekiel and Samuel just had a fight. Why? What’s up?”

          “Sounds like a normal day,” my sister said nonchalantly.

          She knows. She has five kids. Evenings for us people do not usually consist of even a sliver of quiet.

          At some point tonight, I remember plopping on the couch knowing that I deserve a moment of rest after the escapades that had just taken place in the kitchen. That moment disappeared quickly as I was sequentially asked to fix some Nintendo complication by three different kids. Patience was at one percent left. I didn’t know the answer to their video game difficulty or have anything left to give in that area of my own uninterest.

          Though I had sat to “rest” and catch my breath for a few seconds, I looked forward to my friend’s call whom I had texted back and forth briefly about having a call together to tell her my dream which she was in. When the call came, I escaped to one of my children’s rooms thinking they won’t look for me there. I was definitely wrong. They have internal radar. While on the phone, I was asked by three of the younger ones about putting Barbie clothes on correctly. I did one, and realizing the limit of my momentary, yet immediately enforced boundary, feeling like my physical space, headspace, and all things sacred had been violated with ONE MORE interruption to me trying to get a few minutes to be restored from the stress that I had just undertaken, I said, “No, I don’t want to play Barbie; I don’t like playing Barbie. And if you don’t give me five minutes, I’m going to burst.” Mentally, I noted my surprise and sense of accomplishment at how I had not already burst tonight.

          My youngest is now full-blown toddler. This is causing me some stress, no-doubt, as his fits make absolutely no sense most of the time, OR I am simply unwilling to give in to his demands based on my current knowledge and experience as a parent. Many times, even, I do give in and it is still never good enough. That’s toddlers’ toxic traits for you! And discipline begins by the age of two in my house because they are really learning what they can get away with!

He has come to think that by fighting his sister, and even biting her, he can take whatever she has that he wants. Hence, discipline becomes necessary when his big sister is now scared that he is about to hurt her!

          It is really a minefield, though, with toddlers. “Choose your battles” is the game. There was no winning for me ever since Timothy fully woke up from his nap. No drink was the right one for him. I was unwilling to put the drink in a different cup than he was already using. I had already tried to pass this new rule in the house and had a lecture with the three-year-old today about using the same cup all day because 9 cups a day is already a lot to wash, and I don’t want to make it 19 cups a day! I wasn’t budging, knowing that if it wasn’t that, it would be something else anyway. I moved onto getting supper ready. Toddler number two whined about something the entire time!

          Cookies had just gotten out of the oven. All of the kids knew they were sure to get one or more if they ate their supper! My youngest was still going on and on. He had a certain cup he wanted to use for his drink. Since I wouldn’t allow that, I served him his chicken and veggie soup in that cup. I thought it to be a solution. No, that did not suit him either. He overturned the cup and dumped his food right out onto the table and threw his spoon to the corner of the room. Not sure how I kept my cool with that, but I assured his little two-year-old self that he would not get a cookie that way. I may have said it more for myself than for him because he wasn’t listening!

          A stressful supper it was with all his screaming! But the rest of us enjoyed our chocolate cookies with green icing! I didn’t think I could make cookies and still be screamed at to that degree! Anyway, he seemed to see how it works. Once the others finished, they got their cookies. He finally did decide to pick those pieces of potatoes, carrots, and chicken back up and put them into his cup. I caught him scooping spoonfuls into his mouth. He even asked for more “soap.”

          “It’s good,” he said. Not only that, but he tried to wipe up the liquid mess that came from dumping his food. I hadn’t given him a lot of liquid with his soup, of course, knowing what sort of situation we may be bound for.

          The other kids ordinarily get a second wind after suppertime and were quite energized. This added to the stress. When I passed out the second round of cookies, including to the little one, since he did indeed eat, and got out of that kitchen, you know I just wanted to plop down and breathe—nothing more. The stressed, shallow breathing was still there. I turned on some worship music on the TV. I put my head down on my heads for a minute.

          My youngest four began to parade my shoes around! I was entertained, while at the same time, using my authoritative voice to assure them of my expectation of them to have my shoes put back neatly, not all over my room!

          My seven-year-old daughter was clonking around in tall heels saying, “I’m so fancy! I’m so fancy!”

My baby boy Timothy began to copy her while stomping around in big tennis shoes! It was funny seeing my five-year-old boy in my boots! Then he swapped with little brother. Timothy began to wear the boots and copy what his sisters had just started saying, “I’m a princess!” He was also carrying a ring around his body that is meant for exercising your inner thighs by squeezing the circle into an oval shape. But he had his arms hooked though it backwards so that it crowned his upper back. That brought me some laughter.

          I meant to write about more important things tonight. However, MOM-moments are what you get. There’s always a balance in everything you do. I also did not want to go a whole month before posting a new blog. But my headspace has been taken up with planning what to speak at church as I had been tasked with speaking to the ladies’ group for three Wednesday nights in January. I figured, once that was over, I could use my mind for thinking of other things again!

          I know I am not the only one who has these kinds of moments, and I hope that it can be humorous to those who know exactly what I’m talking about. Inadvertently, I find it humorous that any one of these things could throw some people off for their whole week; yet, I just  have to let it roll off my shoulders or else, I wouldn’t be able to continue functioning as the mom of this household of nine!

          Again, I thank you for reading and supporting my blog. I cherish these small beginnings and those who cheer me on!


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