"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

12 February 2013

Adventures You Don't Want to Have

You know how you just have Those Days?

Well, yesterday could have been one of Those Days, if you take into consideration everything that happened.

B woke up about an hour before he normally does, asking for milk. He went back to sleep, but two hours later, he was yelling, "Mama! I wet! Changing dipe-dipe!"

Once I had gotten him cleaned up, dressed, gotten him some milk, stripped his crib, and started the laundry, it was already nine o'clock.

We were supposed to have friends coming over for a (first) playdate at ten o'clock.

I still had to feed B breakfast, pick up the kitchen, get his shoes on to go to the playground, and make our bed.

(Don't ask me the whys behind that last one. I always feel compelled to make sure our bed looks just-so when we have guests over ... knowing full well that there really is no reason for anyone to be going into our room.)

I've been reading The Ministry of Motherhood (Sally Clarkson), and I was being very intentional about not allowing myself to get stressed out. I muttered a quick prayer for grace, and set about my little to-do list.

By the time I glanced up at the clock again, it was ten minutes to ten. I decided that I had time to fold a load of laundry, and I'm glad I did.

10:20 rolled around and still no friends.

B asked for a snack, so I set him up with crackers and a drink and decided to wipe down his grubby little fingerprints off the dining room windows when we saw our friends pull up.

We headed to the playground, but we didn't stay long because it was colder than we had expected it to be. B didn't want to leave, and he kept running back, saying, "More playground!" It took a little while to walk back to our house, and by the time we got there, we were ready to warm up with some hot chocolate.

Except the door had locked behind us.

And I hadn't brought any keys.

Hoping against reality, I ran to the backyard to see if the backdoor was unlatched. Nope.

N couldn't be reached (he was in a meeting), and my puny efforts at picking the lock were futile. Burglar I was not meant to be.

B kept picking up the little glass-top table we have sitting out in front and trying to move it around, our friends were cold, and I felt like the world's biggest doofus. After calling N's work phone a million times (okay, maybe four) and getting his voicemail, I sent him a text along the desperate lines of: "I really need your help! Please call me NOW!"

And then I noticed blood smears on the cuff of my coat and on the back of my hand. I wasn't bleeding, but I remembered B had taken a couple tumbles on our walk to and from the playground. I checked him over, and sure enough, his thumb had a good chunk scraped off and was bleeding.

And then the battery icon started blinking on my phone. 

I am not making any of this up.

Thankfully, N called me back, and I explained what was going on.  He said he was coming right away. 

I suggested going to the backyard. Once we got back there, one of the kids got really upset. I think because they have a playset in their yard, he had assumed there would be one in our yard. The disappointment over the absence of a slide on top of being cold was just too much for his dear little heart, and he just fell apart.

The other two kids were being pretty chill. B brought over his sidewalk chalk to draw, and the other toddler was content to sit in the swing.

And then we felt raindrops.

Did I mention that I am not making any of this up?

N got home in record time (he said later that he had taken the tollway) and let us in.

I think it is a testament to the grace of God and our friends that the kids played really well after we had some warm drinks and snacks and us moms got to have a good conversation.

And then we realized it was one o'clock (LONG past B's nap-time and about half an hour past her kids'). I'm sure all of you with kids understand how much kids can be affected when their schedules are thrown off.

I put B down for his nap around one-thirty. After a lot of coaxing and rocking and singing, he finally fell asleep around two o'clock. I collapsed on the couch in exhaustion, scratching everything off my plans for the afternoon, and promptly fell asleep.

Only to be woken up five minutes later by the neighbor ringing the doorbell. I sprang up to open the door before he rang it again and woke up B. It turned out the postman had put our out-going mail in the neighbor's mailbox.

"He's right there coming back down the street if you want to give it to him."

At this point, I was having unkind thoughts like, "Then why the heck didn't YOU just give it to him instead of waking me up, because don't you know all I've had a long day and I was asleep in the middle of the day?!"

But I chased down the mailman -- in my bare feet -- and handed him our mail.

"Oh, geez. How did that happen?"

I just gave him what I hoped passed as a real smile and ran back inside.

Half an hour later, B was awake and there was no coaxing him to sleep longer. "I done! No more nap time. Out. Lunchtime," he insisted. Following a very late lunch and a diaper change, we bundled up and went outside to swing.

And stayed there until N got home, me playing the part of swing-pusher and jukebox, because B had all sorts of song requests. My sweet husband took one look at the situation and took us out for burgers (and grilled cheese for B). He played with B while I just ... sat.
Again, grace of God.

B ate his entire dinner (grilled cheese, applesauce, some sweet potato fries) with no complaints, despite his off-day and late lunch. After his bath, he went to bed without a peep.

Needless to say, I was in bed by seven-thirty. I still had some editing work to do for a friend's project, so I was working, but boy, being in my bed has never felt so good.

Do you ever have days when you feel like you've blown it? Read Sally's words of encouragement here.


  1. that really was one of those days that is just so hard to believe. thank God for husbands, friends who are there through it all, and a patient little boy. hope today is better! somehow our locks wont let us get locked out, but i am pretty sure i could still find a way to do that.

    1. I know, right? I just couldn't have made any of that up if I had tried! Crazy... :~)