Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Truth Behind Facebook Posts

I took this adorable picture of my kids while we waited for the library to open. We were there for story time and I was excited about spending time with my little ones. I looked at the picture and started to post it to Facebook with some witty caption (although those always seem to evade me!). The doors to the library opened so I gave up on the post and headed inside. That's when things really got interesting.

My boys knew right where to go and sat down dutifully to hear the stories and sing the songs. My daughter, on the other hand, checked out after the first two minutes. If I looked away from her for more than two seconds, I would discover that she had completely escaped. I would run out of the room and find her doing things like standing on a rocking chair or pulling 35 books of the shelf simultaneously. I told her firmly but kindly (I hope) that she had to stay in the room. That was when she decided to touch the eyes of all the babies that were smaller than her then run away screaming happily.

Somehow we made it to craft time and she sat calmly with me as I laid out the materials. I opened up the glue stick. "Here baby. Just wipe it on the flower and we'll stick it to the page!" She looked at me, ripped it out of my hand and proceeded to put it on like lipstick. "No, no, Rosie. That's not lipstick. It's glue!" At that, she threw down the glue stick and ran away to find more books to tear from the shelves. Meanwhile, my boys are saying things like, "Mommy! I need help!" and "Mommy! I have to go pee!" I yell behind me as I chase my daughter, "Sure bud! Be right there!" while I think, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? DO YOU SEE WHAT I AM DEALING WITH HERE????!"

Somehow we managed to check out our books without incident and we made our way to the bathroom. My daughter is terrified of the hand dryers in bathrooms but my oldest insists on using them anyway. Each time, she cries. This time was no exception. I comforted her and asked him for the millionth time not to use the thing as we walked out of the bathroom. My three year old bent down to pick up his book and slammed his head into a counter. He screamed. Loudly. Howled, actually. I bent to comfort him and as I wiped his tears, I watched my daughter slowly walking away from me. "Rosie," I said firmly. She smiled her sweetest smile then high tailed it in the other direction. I literally had to run to catch her.

We walked out with a crying three year old, a screaming, wiggling toddler and a six year old trying to negotiate when he could eat the cookie he had just gotten. Now there's a picture for Facebook.

So the next time you see those beautiful pictures on Facebook or Instagram, understand that it is only a moment. We all would rather present the world with all that is a beautiful and perfect in our lives but there is so much that we don't share. Our lives, especially our lives with children, are messy and complicated and stressful and beautiful all at the same time.

If you need a giggle about the craziness of life with kids, check out this video from comedian David Wolfe. Enjoy!

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