People are constantly looking at me wrestling the children when we are out and telling me that they feel sorry for me, or that I really have my hands full. I always try to give some sort of vague and somewhat positive reply; what else could I say? They can see that I'm having trouble, but it's also clear that they don't really understand just how much trouble small children can be nor do they know what to do to help. If they did, they would not smile and tell me how much they pity me.
Most of the time I do try not to let those people bother me. They really do mean well, and it does no good for me to get upset with them when I'm already so busy trying to keep my children in line. Actually, I kind of find those people amusing and I can't help smiling at them. If they really understood, then they would do something to help.
Nick let us have the can the other day and I took the kids to the playplace and let them run around for a few hours. Towards dinner time people started bringing their children in and the place started to fill up. There was one man with his small son and daughter, about the same ages as my boys. When they were finished the man took his son (who was the younger of the two) up to the slide; the child ended up falling and got hurt. When I looked over the man was holding wads of napkins and ice on the child's face and it didn't seem to be helping. Then he called his daughter so they could leave. I helped her put her shoes on because he had his hands full of crying boy, and I know what was going through his mind. We've left enough restaurants dripping pink ice; a I sincerely hope that the boy is okay (the one good look I got of him showed that it probably wasn't as bad as it looked). I'm just glad that I was able to help even that little, because I know that it was enough.
Little acts like that can be the turning point in a persons sanity. I was about to break later that same night. After we left the playplace we had to go grocery shopping, and it wasn't even so much that the boys were bad, they were just frustrating. You know how when you go through the store you kind of get on the same pattern as certain people? Well, there was one lady that was walking around with us, and she kept commenting on how brave I was to bring all of the children out with me. Later, she came back from her car to walk out to our van with us, and help me put the groceries in the back. The biggest thing was that she took the time to talk to me. She understood what kind of help I needed right when I needed it most.
I went to bed last night praying for both of those people. I learned a few things from the whole day, although it might take me a while to process them before I can say them so other people understand what I'm trying to say. Right now I need to go play with the boys. They need me right now.