Serenity Now

It’s a cool summer morning in August. The family is spending some laidback time at home catching up on some chores and starting the day slow and easy.

Mom serenely ties party favours with ribbon, anticipating the fun of the birthday party the next day. The four boys hover nearby watching her deftly curl the yellow ribbon on each package. She demonstrates the technique for the oldest son and encourages his efforts to try his hand at it. The brothers stare on in amazement as she turns out ribbon after ribbon of perfect(ish) curls. Excited banter about the upcoming party ensues: the pinata, the pizza, the games. Everyone is smiling, everyone loves each other and maybe someone starts humming “Kumbaya”.

Then the toddler spies a package of Angry Birds Gummies.

Highly addictive. May induce temper tantrums.

Highly addictive. May induce temper tantrums.

Mom gently responds to the toddlers demands for high fructose deliciousness:

“Those are for tomorrow.”

“Later, you can have a treat later.”

“Not now, treats are later.”

“I wonder what Daddy is doing? Is he outside?”

“I WONder where DAddy could be?”

“I think he might be moving rocks. Bet he could use a couple helpers. Shhh, listen, he IS moving rocks.”

“Who wants to dig for worms?”

Nope. The toddler will not be moved. Neither will any of the other three boys. Once digging for worms has Mommy’s approval, it loses all its appeal.

Mom brushes stray hair out of her face, regroups to finish the party favours, takes a deep breath and —

“Ok, what’s that smell?”

Thus begins the “Dance of the Diaper Change” which follows the same pattern every time: Accusation, Denial, Avoidance, Retrieval, Capture, Cleansing, Clenched Teeth Utterances, and Release.

The sound of a toddler protesting a diaper change is a siren call to the brothers. Suddenly, it is of the utmost importance to find out if they can have iPad time that afternoon. Or to locate a certain Pokemon card. Or to nail down the exact time and menu for Snack. Or to ask for help counting the money in their piggybanks (because nothing reminds you that you have a jar full of coins to tally like the smell of poo).

This day is like all the rest, and the moment Toddler Son starts his war cry, one brother is at Mom’s side asking questions in a very soft voice, another cries at the bottom of the stairs, while the third loudly denies any culpability in making anyone cry. So naturally, Mom leans over the banister and kindly, but authoritatively says:


And then it is (mostly) quiet.

Oh, the windows are wide open.

Bearded Husband chooses 2 minutes after this exchange to return to the house and glibly remark, “Oh, that was you, I thought the crazy mom came by to visit.”

To which Mom calmly replies with expansive hand gestures, “Let me paint you a picture…”


Ever have a moment that made your eye twitch? Share.


About Jan Moyer

Embracing my inner child since 2005. View all posts by Jan Moyer

6 responses to “Serenity Now

  • Michelle

    It’s posts like these that make me go give my doggy a pat on the head. He poops outside. 😉

    My older niece would throw a fit when it was diaper changing time, but my little niece is pretty good about it. It’s mostly just not wanting to stop what she’s doing. But then, I can relate to that – that’s basically what will put me back in diapers eventually, when I ruin my bladder and whatall from holding everything in. Just one more minute…I can hold it…I just want to do this one thing…

    • moyermama

      I keep suggesting he could use the potty instead. And funny, he never gives Bearded Husband the grief he dishes out for me. Seriously, almost once a day BH says, “Just let me change him, it’s less stressful for everyone.” But not often for poop.

      You and me, we’ll keep Depends in business some day.

      • Michelle

        I almost said that, that the same kids who throw a fit also don’t want to use the potty. It’s like teen rebellion, but in a little dude. I sent you an email for the podcast (finally). 🙂

  • Ricky Anderson

    Those sort of moments are why I have a job.

  • Wonder Woman Jan Moyer | people I almost know

    […] Mom (Jan’s guest post for Amanda) Joseph Craven Tyler Tarver Knox McCoy Jan’s About page Serenity Now (diaper changing) Clay Morgan Playtime: It’s Complicated (accident scene recreation) Are […]

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