You know those Moms who post first-day-of-school Facebook statuses like, "All my kids are in school. :( I miss them already!"?
I am not one of those moms.
I am literally counting down the minutes until I have my first ever all-my-kids-are-in-school, two-hours-and-fifteen-minutes to go somewhere -- ANYWHERE -- without helpers. I am so excited that I think Christmas morning is going to feel pretty anticlimactic by comparison.
It's not that I don't love my kids. I do. But after two solid months of David being home never, I am ready for a break. I mean, seriously, God created preschool because he loves me and doesn't want me to murder my children.
Which is exactly the reason I engage in two specific parenting practices: 1 - I kiss each of my kids every night after they're asleep and 2 - When they're doing something cute, I take a picture so I can remember.
For example, last week I was trying to mow the lawn and Matthew kept trying to arrange an extended vacation to the Pearly Gates by riding his scooter in front of passing cars. After scolding him multiple times, I could still seem him out of the corner of my eye, defiantly inching his wheels onto the road. I might have been seething more than a bit at his disobedience (and taste for near-death experiences) as I ordered him into the house to get ready for bed.
When I finished the lawn and got inside, I found him on the couch like this, sound asleep.
Awww, see? How can you be mad at a kid who can fall asleep like that?
It even works on the older kids who know just how to get under your skin. After a day of disobedience so extreme that it should have been considered an Olympic sport, I was at my wit's end when Leah got a bad knee scrape just as I was trying to get the kids in bed, get the kitchen cleaned up, and get the rest of my notes together before I was due to have a Relief Society committee meeting at my house. Even after the injury had been band-aided and kissed and Leah had been hugged and held, she kept on screaming. But suddenly it got quiet and I looked up to see Michael snuggling his sister on the couch and comforting her, saying, "It's okay, sweet girl" and "It will feel better soon."
By the time I got over there with the camera they were all smiles, including Matthew, who popped up behind the couch with a big grin just as I snapped the photo.
When David and I snuck into their bedrooms around midnight to give them a peck on the cheek and pull the covers up to their chins, I looked over their angelic little faces and forgot every reason I had ever raised my voice at them.
Pictures and kisses.
It's amazing how they work.