Friday, February 19, 2010

Babies (and Toddlers) Don't Keep

Coco and Peanut and I have had a marvelous morning. We've read books and snuggled and tickled and giggled and kissed and bounced and thoroughly enjoyed one another.

Meanwhile, my house is a disaster. The floor is scattered with unsorted socks and toys and paper scraps from last night's mad dash to finish science projects. The kitchen floor desperately needs a mopping. There may even be half of a soggy donut squished in the bathroom sink. But I don't want to think about that.

Housekeeping has never been one of my strengths. I'm ok with that and over the years I have developed better habits. I've gotten much better and have set and usually stuck to a standard of clean that our family is happy with.

Those standards have kind of fallen apart since Peanut joined our family. It nags at me sometimes.

But as I've played this morning with these precious, precious, sweet, wonderful, tiny boys the last two lines of a poem have been running through my head. I'm not sure who wrote it. I originally saw it on a crossstitch pattern when Kaitybean was a baby.

I hope that my child, looking back on today
Will remember a mother who had time to play;
Because children grow up while you're not looking,
There are years ahead for cleaning and cooking.
So, quiet now cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
I'm nursing my baby, and babies don't keep.

It's so true. They just don't keep. They never, never stay little long enough. Already our morning is over. Coco is out the door and across the street playing with a friend.

In an hour I will walk out the door to attend a maturation program with Kaitybean. The sweet baby I used to nurse is now on the cusp of becoming a woman. I miss her sometimes.

So, though the donut in the sink and the chocolate milk on the kitchen floor keep nagging at me, I am sitting here, loving and nursing my beautiful baby. I will miss him someday.

And the kitchen floor will still be waiting.


Tracie said...

I really like this. My house has been a disaster since the end of my pregnancy. I used to keep a pretty neat house before. I was raised by a mom who was a bit of a clean freak, so it's hard for me sometimes. But your words here are so true. My house will continue to get dirty, but my baby will not stay a baby forever. :)

Val'n'Ben said...

Haha, your way with words astound me. I already have bad habits and not little one to take my attention away from cleaning that needs to be done. This also reminds me of the poem you have hanging in your hallway that I gave you.

Excuse This House
Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there.
Ours boasts of it quite openly,
The signs are every where.

For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges on the doors;
I should apologize I guess
For toys strewn on the floor.

But I sat down with the children
And we played and laughed and read,
And if the doorbell doesn't shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I'm forced to
Choose the one job or the other,
I want to be a housewife...
But first I'll be a mother.

Monica said...

There was one day I was sitting with a friend talking. I was feeling deflated at my inability to keep my house as clean as I would like. I was bagging on my skills as a mother and she stopped me short. She said "There is a difference between a housekeeper and a mother. You are a great mother, would you trade that to be a great housekeeper?" Bet you can guess what my answer was.

Kris said...

Very well said. I need this reminder a lot.

Trishelle said...

M&M, I read this on Friday and it moved me to tears. What you said is so true.

I struggle so much with fretting the small things that just feel so important but really aren't...even at the expense of treasuring a priceless moment.

You children will remember the moments when time stopped and they had your full, undivided attention; when you really looked into their beautiful eyes and connected with them.

Truly, that is one of your many talents I admire so much. Thanks for the reminder.