My parents had a small print when we were growing up that hung in different places throughout our childhood. I think it usually ended up in a bathroom, which may explain why I read it so many times. : )
It was one of those “Rules for Life” posters. It was full of little bits of wisdom that still pop into my mind every once in a while. Things like ‘return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full,’ ‘say please a lot,’ and ‘buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yard.’ I don’t know how many times I read those bits of advice, but obviously some of them sunk in.
Some of them, like 'say yes when you can,' have taken longer to grow roots and bloom in my life. As a mom, I have found that it can be really easy to just respond to my munsters’ little questions without even considering the request.
“Can I bring my baby in the car?” “No.”
“Can we get the Play-Doh out?” “No.”
“Can I wear this striped skirt with this striped shirt with these striped tights and these sneakers?” “NOOOOOOOOOOO!”
But when I really stop and think about it, what does it hurt? Why can’t that baby doll ride in the car? And yes, Play-Doh was invented by demons and has cost the world millions of dollars in ruined clothing and carpet, but will a little mess kill me? And if she wants to wear a crazy outfit and we’re not attending a special event, why not let that little fashionista go nuts? Worst case scenario is that someone will think her daddy dressed her. : )
I’ve been making an effort to say ‘yes’ a lot more often and you know what? I’m still alive!
My girls mixed and matched their flip flops all summer long and they loved it! We call them swirly flip flops when they don’t match and they think it’s so fun. (And it’s way easier for me because we’re not frantically searching for that cursed matching sandal all the time)
We ride with stuffed friends and toy cars in the van with little to no effect on our health or wellbeing. If anything, it’s helping teach the kiddos a bit more responsibility since they have to carry in whatever they carried out.
This one has been the hardest for me, but I’ve also let them go out and get dirty more this summer. I know that sounds silly, but there is something about giving three little people a bath that I just do not enjoy. But I can handle the dirty fingernails and grimy cheeks because they are so often accompanied by smiling faces. And I get sweet-smelling snuggles from the munchkins when they’re all wrapped in their bath towels. Does mommyhood get much sweeter?
When I find that ‘no’ starting to creep across my lips I try to pause and really think about the question. It still spills out sometimes when it probably shouldn’t, but if I can just get that pesky word to settle down a little bit, I think both my kids and I could enjoy this adventure together a whole lot more!