Are you there, God? It’s me, Eliska.
I’m needing some serious assistance with this parenting thing, God. I’m telling you, these children are making me lose my religion. I need Your intervention. I know anything is possible with You. But if I’m going to make it out of this alive and sane, You’ve gotta take the wheel. Stat. Because the family cray-cray is about to get me. Just a few simple requests, O Lord, and I know You’ve got my back. You’ve gotta help me make a stand here.
For example, could You please sweet baby Jesus have my children stop shouting EVERY WORD THEY UTTER instead of speaking? And while You’re at it, it’d be nice if they’d not all talk at once every now and then. Have mercy: make the whining stop. Are moments of silence even possible? I do so miss the sound of my own voice in my head. Could You inspire my daughter to give up debating everything up to and including the color of the sky? And it would be REALLY cool if the six year old’s automatic reply to any request would be something not oppositional.
Give me the strength to answer a thousand stupid knock-knock jokes, apply a gazillion temporary tattoos, explain how and why everything anywhere in the world is the way it is at any time. Make the grocery store much more fun. Because I live there. Let me wipe up heinies, boogers, and spilled food and drink with a smile. Related: can my mini-van smell less deep fried?
Could you make it where I don’t have to hold down anyone to brush his teeth, clip his nails, or give him medicine while he screams blue murder? Could You make it where my child will blow his nose instead of wiping lovely green, slimy snot all over his sleeve, rubbing his face raw in the process, and then screaming about how his face hurts? Could brushing the four year old’s hair not inspire me to either shave her head or snatch her bald? Could farts and poop become significantly less funny?
Could You arrange bath times that do not include pooping and/or peeing in the tub or on one another, screaming if water comes in contact with anybody’s head, and fights over having to get both in and out of the shower and in what order the children will get in? Could my house resemble The Lord of the Flies a little less? I mean, the argument over the invisible plate of cookies? Really?
Sweet Jesus, give me strength to accept all of Harry Potter’s spells cast over me, the patience to dress children who go limp like linguine (have you ever tried to put a sock on a cooked piece of pasta? Welcome to life with my four year old), and the will to keep smiling when the eight year old says such gems as “I know where you got that big belly. From having me!”
Help me, O Lord, with the heavy burden of children’s programming. Take the Wow Wow Wubsy theme song from my head. Dispense with my desire to spray for Muppets and my aversion to talking golden retrievers. Elmo doesn’t mean any harm. But his voice makes me want to stuff my ears with ground glass. Remove my loathing for all things superhero-related and give me the ability to fasten countless towels around necks with safety pins again and again without ire.
In Your infinite mercy, sweet Jesus, please, please, please inspire my daughter to allow her father to do anything for her. Change her heart where a glass of juice poured by her father is acceptable to drink. See into her soul. Make it possible for him to kiss her goodbye. Help her realize she weighs forty pounds and can no longer be carried without my becoming a slightly curved person with arms a couple of inches longer than everyone else’s. Oh, and any time You could get her to wake up and use the bathroom in the night as opposed to peeing her pants would be awesome.
Related: O JESUS, LET ME GO TO THE BATHROOM BY MYSELF. With the door actually closed.
And Jesus, is it possible when I take the children to the park or a similar type amusement that they actually leave my side and go play? As opposed to all three of them standing around me arguing? Other children do so enjoy playground equipment, bounce houses, and birthday party activities. Why can’t mine?
May my children not drop toys and clothes where they stand, stop using Tae Kwan Do in a harmful manner, and eat something besides chicken nuggets and cheese pizza. Make any and all clothing acceptable to wear if it fits them. Make it known to them the word “please” doesn’t change my answer from no to yes. Enable them to sleep past six in the morning. Protect me from their many bodily fluids.
Lastly, sweet Jesus, change my heart to one filled with gratitude. I can have a dozen children when many women long for even one. Fill my heart with joy as I tackle eight-foot-high mountains of laundry, unending loads of dishes (it’s like Fantasia!), and on the third sweep-and-mop of the kitchen floor of the day. Fill my soul with cheer as I sit in the car pool line, surely widening the hole in the ozone on a daily basis. Forgive our monstrous carbon footprint. Make going broke more attractive.
Because the days may be long, but childhood is short. Let me gladly take on the most mundane, boring, and dirty of tasks as my sacred job of motherhood. As opposed to feeling murderous.
Because my cup, indeed, runneth over.