I have often been behind the eight ball, trying to squeeze too much in and feeling too often like I have failed. Lately though, I have found a better system of time management with a schedule that helps me to stay on top of everything (sort of). I am the mother of three children so being organized is essential.
One evening last week I was feeling pretty good about things. Armed with my new schedule I thought I had everything together. The house was clean, laundry was done, dinner had been cooked and eaten and most other tasks were completed. I was ready to get the kids to bed and have my husband come home from a long day to a relaxed wife. When David called to let me know when he would be home I told him about my great day. By this point, Kiersten and Jaiden were ready for bed and Ben was in the tub.
Ben is my five year-old. He’s a very sweet, passionate little boy with a PDD diagnosis on the autism spectrum. He is lots of fun but also challenging. Impulsive and obsessive-compulsive behaviors are forever making our life with him colorful.
As I was speaking with David, I began to get a strong scent of lemongrass coming from upstairs. It smelled delightful, just like my Dove body wash that I love. The smell got stronger and started to mix in with some other suspiciously delightful smells. I went upstairs still on the phone, a little uneasy about what I was going to find. Left to his own devices for more than two minutes Ben can get into the most creative shenanigans. I was praying that this was not one of those times.
As I approached the bath tub I saw Ben with a big grin sitting in what seemed like a giant latte. Even though I had removed all the shampoos and body wash from the tub he found them and decided to dump the contents of five bottles into the water. Yes, five! Lemongrass, coconut, watermelon, strawberry, and a little head n shoulders, all dumped out into a 4 by 2 foot space. I was beside myself and immediately hung up with my husband. Phrases like “What were you thinking?” and “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DID THIS!” flew out of my mouth in a string of frustration and annoyance. Ben’s grin was replaced with a look of panic as if to say, “Uh-oh, what did I do??”
This is not the first time Ben has dumped out bottles of shampoo and body wash. We have explained to him why this is wrong. Since it hadn’t happened in a while, I thought those days were behind us. Apparently I was wrong. He was crying now but I didn’t have much sympathy for his tears. I wanted to stay mad. I did not want to be swayed so he would learn his lesson. Yet looking into those puppy dog eyes and listening to him tell me how he was so, so sorry, I couldn’t help but forgive him. I melted, gave him a big hug and said I love him. After promising he would not do it again, I sent him immediately to bed with no story or toys so he would have to think about his actions. Ben has impulses that are difficult to control sometimes but he doesn’t mean to upset anyone. He simply gets carried away in the moment.
A curve ball had been thrown into the day I had hoped would end smoothly. I just had to laugh about it. You can’t take anything too seriously when you’re a mom or you will lose focus of what it’s all about (not to mention your sanity). My perfect schedule may get messed up sometimes but those messes make for some pretty entertaining stories and even better memories. Ben has taught me not to cry over spilled soap!