Then: October 18, 2006

Good morning … well let me just say “morning” that is more honest. It is shaping up to be some kind of day. The signs started appearing late last night when my two youngest tots started tag team waking and crying because of all the “stuff” in their noses, this continued at hourly intervals through-out the night and then … and then … whilst trying to squeeze out another small smattering of sleep I hear through the wall … “I messy … I MESSY I MESSY IMESSYIMESSYIMESSY “ …

(oh this can’t be good) … weakly I pull myself up off the bed, I pat the night stand for glasses (I know I will need my glasses) … and finally bracing myself for “I don’t want to venture a guess just yet” I stumble to the door and into the room next door.

“I messy, mom” “OH, OH, OH … (the smell hit me WAY before the sight overcame me) but there I find my sweet little imp, pajamas bottom half off, leg dangling in midair suspended above … now you know this can’t be good I haven’t misled you here, this will all end in tears (mostly likely my own) … yes you guessed it, it was poop, big girl full on poop, and the foot that had been in it.

(Insert cries of WHY WHY WHY, then the sigh of a mother’s resignation … there is no answer to the WHY, there just is and it needs to be dealt with, sooner rather than later.)

So it is off to the tub for the little one for some intense cleaning, re-cleaning, rinsing, and re-rinsing. Quick running about with yogurt container and scoop, interspersed with frantic calling of the dog away from the offending bedroom, all peppered with buddy boy’s running commentary in baby-ese, the chatter of the two eldest describing in detail all they have heard, seen, and been smelling, and one “very sensitive to smell” husband trying his best to stay very clear of the situation and his “oh I am so sorry Love.” Followed up with the douses of vinegar and water, the cleaning, the rinsing, the swabbing up, and the desperate desire for a carpet cleaner.

Good morning. Not so very much. But amid the crisis, it occurred to me, this wasn’t a unique event, I had been here before, done this before, I had poop cleaning up skills. I also realized it probably isn’t the last time I’ll have to clean up the poop. This is mothering (parenting) after all isn’t it? As much as rocking babes, breastfeeding, dressing, training them up, there is the cleaning up of poop too.

I am sure the actual poop changes, just as it changes in babies, but it still comes, it still happens as the saying goes. So although I wasn’t pleased to see the poop, to smell the poop, to scrub and clean up the poop, I knew I had a choice on how I dealt with the poop. I haven’t always taken the time to consider that, I have often lost my cool in such situations because I really do hate the poop but out of love for my poor messy little one and all the ears and bodies around me I didn’t have to add to the poop. I mean if God can love me and my poopiness, I can clean up this little (yet pungent) pile of poop with some measure of grace. I will never like the poop, but I think, I may possibly be beginning to accept the poop and with His help I may be learning how to handle poop with love.

From: this morning’s lesson

Again: August 13, 2015

Thank goodness, I am passed the literal “poop” days of parenting. I feel slightly gaggy just reading about it again which goes to show it has been a good long time since I have had to use my poop-cleaning skills.

But I must admit something – I miss the lessons I learned while in the trenches of early motherhood. I sort of envy the trial by fire.  It was intense and hard but it revealed my weaknesses, emphasized my need to rely on God.

These days, I feel I have become more complacent and less aware of God’s hand in my days. It is easy to rest on laurels –whatever they may inwardly be, because they are most certainly only perceived and not truly earned. I take too much credit, too much pride in the character of my children then I honestly deserve. I feel I have become prideful and arrogant.

I don’t want to clean up poop again – but I want that humble heart again as concerns the God of my days and His part and place in our family and home.

I am here but by his grace – I pray … “I messy Lord,” create in me a pure heart.