first things

Little Friend, at 3 1/2, still wears diapers at night.  We’re alright with that.  Little Friend is especially alright with it.  “Can I pee in my diaper?” she’ll yell downstairs long after stories have been read, teeth brushed, and lights extinguished.  Oh, the freedom of relieving oneself in the comfort of one’s bed without ever having to set foot on a cold bathroom floor.

But this morning, she assumed a perch on the throne, removed a dry nighttime diaper and announced, “I think my body is almost ready for underwear at night.”  Then some thinking.  Then, “I think it will be ready in seven days.  No, maybe 16.”  Another pause.  Then, “Well…I think Jesus has a plan for me, so maybe I will wait until heaven.  There will be a swing there, and Jesus will cook me some manna.”

I sat at her feet, her loyal bathroom subject, listening to squirts of diarrhea and an earnest dialogue that had me biting my cheek to keep from laughing, and I couldn’t be more glad that my back had been turned, literally and figuratively, on the mountain of laundry sprawled on the living room carpet and the plague of dirty dishes left from yesterday’s kitchen experiments with roasted strawberry coconut milk ice cream and butternut squash gratin.

As much as I succumb to judging my success as a human being by the yardstick of how perfect my home/schedule/life/self is, it only takes a moment of reflection over diarrhea and manna to set things straight: first things first.

Little Friend is a first thing.

 

Little One is a first thing.

Big Friend is a first thing.

And I truly believe that because I’m a better mama when I’ve carved out some sleep/reading/pedicure time for myself, I’m a first thing, too.

That leaves dishes, laundry, and all those Pinterest projects lined up to achieve the perfect home huffing to cross the finish line at a distant second place.  That is, at least when I remember to keep first things first.

Writing keeps me honest.

This precious time to sit, type, reflect as I listen to Little Friend give a little chortle in her sleep, lulled by the sway and creak of her swing, well, this writing time is essential to cut through the urgency of the immediate tasks.  I’m nabbing these minutes from the clutches of the dishes lurking in the kitchen and the laundry hunkering down in the living room.  Those beasts must be tamed, but not just yet. Not before the first things get their comeuppance.

Paper Doll Tales is a blog about putting first things first.  About living in the now moment instead of the oh-no-what’s-coming-next-moment.  It’s a blog about motherhood and parenthood and that urgent little voice whispering behind a cluttered mind that these are the best days of our life.

I don’t want to miss a single important, first thing.

Nope, not one single squirt.

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19 Comments

  1. Ben Hoffman said:

    I love staying connected to you guys through your blog. Keep up the good work!

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  2. Kellie Taylor said:

    Beth! This is great! Good work!

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  3. So glad you’re putting first things first and I get to enjoy the tales and try to do the same!

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  4. Andrea said:

    Love it! -Andrea Z.

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  5. Kara said:

    Love the new site, love your Momma philosophy, love your girls, and love you!

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  6. Anna said:

    Inspiring as always! Putting first things first is such an intentional decision, as the piles of laundry and dishes can easily win out. Your blog captures the most beautiful, poignent moments of life and makes me think that having kids might actually be doable :) Love you!!

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  7. Melissa said:

    Just like old times, only better :)

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  8. Leslie Mckay said:

    I like the new site–looks great! Tell Big Friend I said hello. I hope things are working out for him with all the changes at work…

    Leslie

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  9. Jo said:

    Welcome Paper Doll Tales! I can’t wait–May the journey begin!

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  10. Kelly said:

    I love staying connected to the sweetest moments in your life. Very cute new name.

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  11. Bobbi Olmstead said:

    You have made the”best” even “better”! Love it.

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  12. Sara said:

    Oh how love reading your blog. You are such a gifted writer – thank you for sharing your time and encouraging thoughts with us all. God Bless!!

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  13. Gretchen said:

    Enjoyed reading your new page as the dishes and laundry sat unfinished for some all important mommy toes up time! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures and great memories!

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  14. Larry Taylor said:

    Hello Paper Dolls. I love it. Was the diarrhea the result of the kitchen experiment?

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  15. Emily Marshall said:

    Girl Id follow you no matter what your blog name was! Congrats on the new look – ADORABLE.

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  16. Big Friend said:

    I’m so proud of you! The new site looks wonderful and I can’t wait to keep reading your beautiful descriptions of our lives at the brand new location. I love you!

    July 10, 2012
    Reply
  17. Jennifer said:

    Congratulations on the new blog! I am definitely following you over here from Belle Squeaks because if someone who expresses so many of my deepest fears and dreams can make such a beautiful life for herself and her family, then maybe there is hope for me! Thanks for all the (unbeknownst to you) encouragement you have given me over the past year.

    July 12, 2012
    Reply
  18. Heather P. said:

    You are far better at first things first than I will ever be. I was just thinking about how I manage work projects, manage the weekly menu and shopping trips, manage the service calls to the house, manage two employees, manage my daughter’s activity schedule, manage the sleepytime and potty training transition plans for our little ones, manage the doctor visits for each of us, and manage the driving lessons for our caretaker. But what I long for is simply playtime and laughter with my kids and my husband. I so appreciate your writing and your candor, because your words remind me to re-prioritize on occasion so I can enjoy this small window in time and my little ones before the window closes.

    July 13, 2012
    Reply

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