Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When you find a diaper in the fridge

Sometimes parenting is this wonderful thing you struggle to describe because your kids just give you the warm and fuzzies. But other times, like last weekend for me, you find a diaper in your fridge. And it just makes you ask, “Why?”

After finding said diaper, I abandoned my previous mission of cleaning house and doing laundry and set out to find an answer to this burning question.

I have two sons, a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old and even though the older son is a crafty little fellow, his attention is typically focused on trains, Pringles and trying to convince me our iPad is his and therefore, he can decide when he plays it. So, I was pretty sure my youngest, Jack, was the culprit. I checked with the older son and my suspicions were confirmed.

I wandered through the house looking for Jack and as I went from room to room, I realized I hadn’t seen him in a few minutes. Never a good sign.

I went to his favorite no-no spot – the hallway bathroom – and hit pay dirt. He was proudly standing there, chewing on the lid of a shampoo bottle he had wrestled out of the bathtub.

Usually at this point in motherhood, I have a “good grief!” moment, followed by me asking the 1-year-old why he does such things, and then stupidly waiting for a response. But as I took the shampoo away from him and he gave his usual battle cry, letting me know he really, really wanted that shampoo bottle, I had a different thought: maybe I should put my chores on hold.

This isn’t my first rodeo- I’ve had a toddler before, but when I’m home on the weekends, it feels like I should be making up for all the housework I didn’t get finished the week before and maybe, just maybe, get ahead some for the coming week. But what I had so conveniently forgotten is children have a way of reminding you to slow down. It’s not always as dramatic as a diaper in the fridge, but when your child is chewing on a shampoo bottle while you’re doing laundry, it may be time to re-prioritize.

In the end, I wound up taking the boys outside to play and I picked up the house some during nap time. I never did get back to the laundry. Maybe I’ll do it tonight or maybe we’ll all be wearing our “back-up” outfits 'til next weekend. Either way, I feel like I made the right choice. After all, they’re only small once and let’s face it: I’m never going to get completely caught up on house work. But if I have to choose between dirty laundry or a diaper in the fridge, I’ll choose laundry any day.

Aleshia Howe is mother to two boys and Communications Specialist at Texas Health Harris Methodist Foundation and Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation.

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