Parenting #Fail? Or Just Practical?

Groggy, I pried my eyes awake.

6:15 AM

The early morning light lit the twin bed next to me. It sat in disarray, its occupant gone.

This is about how happy I am to wake up in the morning.

I stumbled to the bathroom, then downstairs – resembling a zombified offspring from the Wolfman and a Xena.


Confused, I zig-zagged back upstairs, opening my parent’s door.

They were asleep.

Now even more perplexed, I peered back into my room.

The second bed was still empty.

Concern rising, I walked downstairs, only slightly less shaky.

No one in the kitchen.

I stepped into the family room.

And found my son, sitting curled on the couch, snuggled under a blanket.

Teeth chattering – my parent’s house doubles as a meat locker year round – I said to him, “It’s too early to be up. Come back to bed.”

“No. I want to stay down here.”

“Everybody is sleeping. You need to sleep so you are rested and can play with everyone when they wake up.”

“I want to stay here.”

I sighed, two options before me. I could be a good mother and stay downstairs, severely sleep deprived because my daughter’s coughing kept me awake until after midnight. Then I could be grouchy all day and the next because we were traveling and I never sleep well when traveling. Or, I could be selfish and go back to bed and let him become friends with the couch.

I chose me.

“OK sweetie, your clothes are over here for when you want to get dressed. Come get Mommy in bed if you need anything before Mimi and Grandpa wake up.”

Feet frozen on the cold tile, I lurched back to bed, burrowing into the covers to warm my feet.

And I slept.

He most likely read to himself - he probably needed quiet time after the constant attention to unwind.

Until the hurricane Tackler whirled into my room.

“MOMMY! You have to get up. The brownies will get cold!”

I emitted an incoherent grunt.

“Mommy, the brownies are ready! You have to come downstairs.”

I pried my eyes open, sliding my iPod screen on.

9:34 AM

“Mmmkay, sweetie. I’m getting up.”

My daugther looks about as awake here as I actually was...

By the time I threw on some clothes and went downstairs, my son had inhaled three brownies and my daughter was dressed in Halloween pajamas – not to be confused with the pajamas worn the night before.

Both kids fed breakfast hours before.

I shoved a warm brownie into my mouth. Then another.

I’m an addict.

I’m so very glad I have an awesome mother – who would never have gone back to bed and left her four year old on the couch alone.

Or my four year old.

Not my proudest moment of motherhood.

Yet I don’t regret it, and would probably do it again, because I know my son and his morning routine and independence. The biggest issue is he might run around naked – not likely to last long in The Meat Locker.

As I write this, storms brew south of here, heading our way.

I took Lil Diva to the doctor Tuesday- after three days of allergy congestion I wanted to be sure she was clear of ear infections for flying. She has a confirmed (double) ear infection.

That makes 2/2 kids with ear infections taking antibiotics.

Lil Diva also has The Cough.

So Tuesday could be a long night.

This has been a fabulous trip – filled with so many beautiful moments between my family from far away and my children.

The Tackler has loved playing full games of Candyland and Trouble with my family.

Luckily many are forever trapped on video and film.

Oh, the blissful joy of destroying your Uncle's tower using your own as a weapon - as Grandpa B looks on.

We’re supposed to fly Wednesday night. Nasty storms are currently forecasted during this time. Wednesday could be an even longer night, with possible flight delays, while flying solo with two young children.

Pray for me. For good weather*.

And someone lock Murphy up. Please.

UPDATE Wednesday afternoon: My sister spent Wednesday morning hiding in her basement as the sirens went off in Kansas City. Her car most likely has hail damage. Thanks to unpredictable weather, I called the airlines. I was on hold for forty minutes. I now leave Thursday night – they even waived the change fees, as (at the time) I’d have to drive through tornadic cells to get to the airport. 

Time will tell tell if that was the wise choice, but at least I know there won’t be interstate tornado dodging while trying to find shelter.


*A tornado decimated Joplin, Missouri, where good blogging friend, Amy Stevens lives. A post about her will follow later this week when I have more details, but for now, please read about her and how you can help her neighborhood – featured quite heavily on CNN and The Weather Channel these last few days.

Pray for her too, and the rest of her community. And everyone who had storms Tuesday night.


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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17 Responses to Parenting #Fail? Or Just Practical?

  1. More great pics, Kelly. Treasures.

  2. I would probably have gone back to bed also. Brownies are an awesome breakfast.

    Prayers and hugs to all in Joplin.

  3. Annie says:

    Parenting Practical, for sure. Taz was up at 5:30am but I was THRILLED he slept solid until then, since he and all his siblings slept in the basement last night. High winds and heavy rain beat against the house but that was all. Keeping everyone in our prayers!

  4. And now I’m craving warm brownies.

    Hope the travel day exceeds your expectations, in a good way!

    • Well the tornadoes are starting a little early in Kansas City. Maybe that means they’ll be done and the system through by tonight??

      Just baked another batch, The Tackler and my G-ma.


      So if I’m stranded somewhere, there will be brownies.

  5. Bellymonster says:

    Beautiful photos. And I love that you went back to bed. He was happy and safe – and so were you. That’s what home is for, right? Yum. Brownies….

    • I like how you view things. 🙂

      For some reason he loves to sit downstairs and wait for everyone. My brother woke up this morning, believing he was the first one up – my son beat him by at least 45 minutes.

      Second batch of brownies today – this time G-ma baked with him. So priceless. I have photos and video..

  6. Shari Green says:

    As I see it, moms should choose sleep whenever possible, lol. We’re better moms when we take care of ourselves (and when we get our daily dose of chocolate ;)).

    Hoping your travels go smoothly… and yes, praying for Amy & her community, too.

    • I do find the more sleep I have, the better. Turned out to be a very wise choice, or I’d be “in a mood” today. Lil Diva was awake from 11-2 last night: coughing, whining, talking, and crying.

      I’m exhausted today, and that’s following a well rested night.

      I hate ear infections.

  7. Safe travels to you and your adorable family.

    (and I recommend that everyone dress in Halloween pajamas for the flight. Comfortable AND stylish. Plus, maybe someone will give you candy to help with the Brownie withdrawals…)

    Good luck.

    • Sadly, only Lil Diva has Halloween PJs to wear – I picked them up for $.50 at a serendipitous garage sale I literally walked by and they were the right size.

      I don’t really care about the seasonal coordination for PJs…. I just needed some for her. 🙂

      I like the candy idea. I might have to hide some brownies. We made a second pan and half of it is already gone…

      No chocoholics here…

      Thankfully, we were able to switch to the same flight tomorrow night, so we can avoid driving in potential tornado spewing weather.

      Thanks for the wishes, Julie.

  8. Kate says:

    Beautiful children and a fun blog. Like you, I’m a stay-at-home mom. Toward the end of 2010 I started blogging to preserve my sanity and to find sources like you with great parenting tips. I look forward to reading more. Hope you and your family continue to stay safe during all the horrific weather you are experiencing.

    • It’s not too bad where I’m at now – but where I needed to go was tornado warned most of morning and could possibly be again this afternoon.

      Thankfully, my flight is changed and tomorrow looks better.

      Blogging to preserve sanity is one of my reasons as well. I’ve found we are not the only ones…

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  9. Paige Morgan says:

    I would go back to bed too. Really. And I would eat three or ten brownies at 9:30 in the morning. Really. I can’t be a good mommy without sleep… and chocolate.

    I hope you had a safe trip home!

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