Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do you Smell Smoke?

You smell smoke.  You start to freak out. 
The Smoke alarm is going off.   Emergency, Emergency! 
Get us out of here now!


This is Part 4 of Life with Little People.  You can go back and read part 1, part 2, and part 3 if you missed them.

Smoke.  An Alarm going off. 
This is an example Jankovic uses in her book, Loving the Little Years.  It is one of the shortest chapters, and it left me wanting more.  Wait… that’s all you’re going to write on it ?  Tell me more!  Tell me 3 steps to solve my parenting dilemmas.  No.  She doesn’t do that.  She paints this illustration and leaves us with it….

She actually uses the illustration in regards to house things. Cleaning, and laundry.  When the “smoke alarms go off for you”  But I read it and immediately applied to both house needs as well as parenting moments. 

You smell Smoke, the fire alarm is going off.

But here is the problem:
Sometimes it was not the house burning down
so much as it was just a burnt piece of toast.

Did you catch that??  Let me repeat that.

Sometimes it was not the house burning down
so much as it was just a burnt piece of toast

So What is it for you?  What causes your “smoke alarms” to go off?

For me it is usually the following:

~Trying to get 3 children out the door with coats and gloves.  Wait, where are your gloves?  Why don’t you have your shoes on yet?

~Getting dinner ready while a baby screams  “Ho--me”

~Child 1 spilling milk while another child is trying to get out of her highchair for for the 10th time, while a 3rd is singing and whistling at the table…all while I am trying to talk to Daddy over dinner.

-Walking through the house and seeing the laundry to be folded, the dishes to be emptied, and feeling simply defeated by this “shoveling snow in a snowstorm” household of mine.

It is the domino effect…
1 thing, then another, then another.  And before I know it… I am smelling smoke. I feel my chest tighten, my blood beginning to boil.  I smell smoke and I am convinced the house is burning down. 

Jankovic talked about this in an earlier chapter when she exhorted us…

The situation is crazy, but you are the one responsible
to get the grace to deal with it.

It comes down to me… breathing.  Closing my eyes, and taking a breath and remembering.  This is the life God has given me… this is the day that the Lord hath made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.
I can either freak out over all of my small children and  their multiple needs and multiple messes, and multiple noises they make. 

I can remind myself…
                 The house is NOT on Fire.  It’s just burnt toast. 

And I can live with a little burnt toast.  The excitement of the smoke alarm goes away, and you just light a nice Vanilla candle to cover it all up. 


So the next time your “smoke alarms” of parenting are going off...
Ask yourself…
Is the house really on fire or is that just Burnt Toast?