Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Lion Tamer

I've been thinking a lot about how motherhood is sometimes compared to a three-ring circus: juggling four kids, housework, marriage, and balancing on a tightrope of time management. I've mostly been dwelling on the fact that my motherhood circus includes wild animals. Several monkeys and a lion, to be exact.

When you go to the circus you take for granted the fact that the performers know what they're doing, that they are all experienced professionals. You forget that at one point they were newbies and had to have their very first performance. And that brings me to my point:

This little guy, my strong-willed two-year-old... 

...makes me feel like a newbie lion tamer. 

When I take him out in public, I'm in effect stepping into the ring with a wild lion in front of thousands of people and hoping for the best. Hoping when I tell him to jump up on his little platform that he does it. Hoping that when I stick my head in his mouth, he doesn't bite it off. Yep, definitely in uncharted territory with this kid, which is unexpected considering he's my third. I should be really good at this by now, right? I should know what to do what a child yells "NOOOOOOO!!" at the top of his lungs in the freezer section, or jumps out of the kiddie cart and runs away laughing like a wild hyena. 

Okay, that one wasn't him escaping from the grocery cart, I just think it's funny. I actually caught him attempting to go out to play like this, in his birthday suit and snow boots. This picture is awesome because it's like a sighting of Big Foot, or Little Buns as it were. 


He is challenging my patience. He is challenging my wits. He is challenging my ability to get nailpolish off the floor. And yes, there are days where he makes me want to hide in the closet and cry for a little while because I just don't know how to handle him. Days where I may have many, many conversations with him that go something like this:

Me: Rowan, eat your breakfast.
Rowan: No, I don't wanna eat muh beck-fast!
Me: You will be hungry later if you don't.
Rowan: I don't wanna be hungry!!
Me: Then eat your breakfast.
Rowan: No, I don't wanna eat muh beck-fast!
Me: Then go play.
Rowan: I don't wanna go play! (smacks brother next to him)
Me: Rowan, you are having a time out because you hit your brother.
Rowan: I don't wanna time out!
Me: Then you need to be nice to your brothers.
Rowan: I don't wanna be nice!
Me: That's why you're going to timeout.
Rowan: I don't wanna time out! I eating muh beck-fast!

So I'm here, lost in the Land of Two, taming my lion.

But I have to remind myself that some days are really good. Like when we drive in the car and he tells me all about the birds he sees, and the bugs he found, and the monsters he chased away. And when he hops into bed at naptime and just goes to sleep. And when he gives me love.

Yeah, those are the days that remind me why I like being a lion tamer. That it is rewarding and exciting when they finally get it. 

I try to hang on to that in the moments when I'm slinging raw meat and cleaning out stalls.


  1. Precious photos and beautiful story!

  2. Remember that they will all turn out all right. They will be good human beings and raise their own families, who will grow into good human beings raising their own families and so on... as long as the world goes around.


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