The Good, Bad and Ugly of Parenting

by Mary Ann on February 20, 2013

baby boy eating

The almost one year old, Benjamin

Tonight I cooked dinner with a baby riding on my hip and a three year old helping me brown onions and hamburger on the stove for “jelly” sauce (spaghetti sauce). It was a bit cumbersome trying to keep a three year old out of harms way while allowing her to help and an almost one year old grabbing for everything he could reach from my hip.

I did all this while trying not to step on anything that would send me crashing to the floor, seeing that the almost one year old on my hip had emptied the utensil drawer.

I could hear the four old making lots of noise from the living room and so I carried almost one year old and three year old to see what was up. He was running his trucks through the maze laid out in a random pattern on practically every square inch of the living room floor. All’s well here, back to the “jelly” sauce.

boy and girl

The four year old, Jack, and the three year old, Mary.

Meanwhile the six old was yelling for help with her Ipad. Maggie has cerebral palsy and has a way of letting us all know when her Ipad is not cooperating with her limited hand movement. Right now she was letting me know…loudly.

girl with horse

The six year old, Maggie

“Jelly” sauce simmering, noodles boiling and three year old slopping melted garlic butter on a tower of French bread. I heard her say, oops, never a good sign. Seems as if some of the garlic butter has found its way down her chest and onto the fabric covered chairs. No problem, just mixing with the strawberry ice cream drops from the night before.

I pop the garlic bread into the oven to broil (toast) and head to the sink to drain the noodles. Almost one year old is trying to crawl up my leg and I notice the sink is full of cups. I set the strainer on the cups, it will be ok they aren’t washed yet anyway, and dump the noodles. Cups not stable, strainer tips. I grab for HOT noodles as many slide down the drain.

Then I smell scorched bread. Our garlic toast is going to be a bit crisper and darker than I had planned.

I holler to the almost four year old, “Jack go tell Grandpa that grandma needs him…NOW!


Grandpa and the three year old! We were all worn out!!

How did I get into this predicament anyway? I am 63 with a 64 year old husband and three years ago our youngest child got married and left home, this was after 39 years of in-house parenting.

So how did I get into this predicament?

My daughter and son in law and four grandchildren have come to live for a while, a few weeks or months while their home sells and another comes into their lives. It makes for tight quarters in our three bedroom apartment.

Frankly, the last few days have been a lot like raising our seven children in our 100 year old home in a small town in Montana, chaos, noise, mess, spills, crying, laughing, fun, not so fun….

I am reminded that it isn’t easy being a parent. Life isn’t what we thought it would be when we married and started having kids. It has been quite a bit more challenging and messy than we anticipated…a bit like the last few days. But oh my goodness, it has been worth it!!!

large family

Our family!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Evette Hunt February 20, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Love it, at first I thought it was Jodie telling the story until I read it was you, Mary Ann, LOL sorry but as your sister I just started laughing. I may not be as old as you but being a grandparent does have its challenges.


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