Routine has always been a friend to me. From detailed chore lists as a child, to the need to always eat breakfast with a good cooking magazine in the morning, I’ve liked things familiar and orderly. It has been hard to reconcile this desire with parenthood, when the unexpected is usually the norm. This is a lesson I should have learned early on, when one sentence changed my hope for a healthy baby to shock as we prepared for a life that was different (and turns out so much more amazing) than we had ever imagined.
I was thinking about how so many situations with young children are never what you think or plan them to be after my morning with Calvin today had an unexpected twist. I was laughing as I watched him seemingly dance across the room, taking big steps like he was climbing something (a new, terrifying skill of both boys.) After a while of this, the spectacle started to include a certain smell. Upon investigating, I found that somehow, contents of his diaper had made their way to the foot of his pajamas, I’m sure causing a great deal of confusion and discomfort on his part. I immediately felt so guilty, as I was being entertained while my boy was dealing with a foot full of poop.
There are often times when the unexpected leads to this feeling of guilt, particularly when our resident dare devil, Abel Knievel, gives me a mild heart attack with his antics. Those times, like today, I have to take a step back to remind myself that I can’t always anticipate what is coming next, but I am doing my best, even if that just means cleaning up the poop.
So often though, the unexpected is wonderful. From Abel’s breaking out into song, to Calvin running to me for a snuggle, to their shared feeling that sneezes are hilarious. They are teaching me to plan less and enjoy more, and while I still (at least in my head) have my list of chores, they can always be pushed aside for a snuggle or a song.