They say that hindsight’s 20/20, but to be honest I’m not so sure mine’s even that clear. Today I was made aware of a handful of everyday choices I would have done differently, had a mulligan been offered at the time.
#1. Had I known that letting my 6yr old Girlchild stay up 10 minutes past her bedtime would have turned her into attitude flaunting, ear drum rupturing, sassypants, I would have insisted she had her soggy, matted, blonde head on her pillow weeeeeellll before the magic stroke of 8pm. Instead, she was a verbal tornado that managed to finally touch down into the following conversation:
Girlchild “I DON’T LIKE LIVING HERE!! I DON’T EVER WANT TO LIVE HERE AGAIN!”
Kind, rational, logical Me “You are lucky you get to live here, there are some children that have to sleep on sidewalks!!”
Always helpful 4yr old Manchild ” I’ve slept on the sidewalk before!”
****Forehead palm, and no he has not!****
#2 Had I known that Lifetouch Pictures was not actually sending home a free package of beautiful pictures of Girlchild because the last batch of school picture left her looking like a Teamster straight out of NY and they wanted to earn back my patronage, I would have been a little less quick to go snippy with the scissors. Did you know the school picture company takes school pictures in Sept, which you pay for sight unseen, and then takes them again in March, but this time sends home a beautiful packet of your uber model child, which you must return completely intact or they charge you for it?? That’s so many levels of wrong. How was I supposed to know this is the deranged routine? We are Kindergartener parents, for Petes sakes. I thought this kind of bait and switch sales only existed in hotel mini-bars! Darn it.
#3 Every night I lay with each of my children and pray with them as they settle in their beds to slumber. Girlchild likes to share the fears and worries on her heart. Manchild just likes to snuggle and rub my cheek with his pants hand. Tonight I held him close, leaned into his ear, and whispered ” I love this part of the day!” He responded in kind by farting on my arm. I should have started with Girlchild first.
Number 4 is an honorable mention because while it did not happen today, it pops into my brain on a regular basis. You see, perhaps a year ago Girlchild was begging for bunny. In what seemed like God’s perfect timing we received a text from a friend stating a sweet, male, purebred Holland Lop had been abandoned in its cage at the end of his driveway. He offered the rabbit to us, and Naughty Bunny came to live in our suburban homestead. Had we known he didn’t love being held, bites hard enough to leave a bruise, and loves to spray pee on your legs as he hops by, I would have handled that text message quite differently at the time. Considering the day I stepped outside and saw Naughty Bunny in the act of procreation with my very willing Muscovy duck, my dislike for Naughty Bunny has recently elevated a bit. But mostly it’s the daily leg humping that makes Naughty Bunny fall deeply into my Bad Choices category. We let him run freely in our fenced in yard while we are outside in order to help alleviate his boredom, and allow him to dig. But mostly, he’s just digging our bare legs and the season of shorts weather coming up.
But in retrospect, I see these “If Only” situations as small potatoes and First World problems (yes, because daughters never talk back to their mother’s in under-developed counties). They help us to rely on God’s grace, practice our patience, and learn to love in spite of flaws. Also, they help all the mothers in the world who wished their daughters had a daughter just like themselves to see their wishes come true. Thanks a heap, Mom. If only I had known not to be such a verbal terrorist growing up…