Tuesday, August 25, 2009

imperfectly perfect

This is dinner at my house...

"Boys! Dinner!" Me with polite first request. The term 'Boys' includes husband.
Hear nothing in response and yell sweetly again, "Boys! I-SAID-IT'S-DINNER!"
This time mummers come from the six-year-old who is busy writing Australia's next best novel or working on some mathematical equation he isn't supposed to come across until eighth grade. I'm joking. He's bright, but he's more likely to be drawing Ben-10 characters over and over again. You know Ben-10 right? Course you do!

Husband appears at the back door with a sodden toddler tossed over his shoulder.
"What happened?" I ask. I shouldn't have.
"He might have found the hose and wet the dog and then buried the..."
"Okay, okay, I changed my mind. I don't want to know."
"Should we bath him before dinner?"
Me looking at dripping sand and diaper hanging down between the toddler's knees...
"Yeah, that could be a good idea."
I sigh because I had high (if not naive) hopes of a hot dinner served straight to the table.
But I see the grin on the toddlers face and the smile on husband's.

Imperfectly perfect.

"Cool, does that mean I get to draw for a bit longer?" six-year-old head appears from the office.
"No, go have a bath with your brother."
"Ohhhh! I don't..."
"I don't want to hear it!" I finish for him, re-guiding the misguided sentence that was about the leave his mouth.
Fifteen minutes later the oven dial is still switched to 'keep warm' and when I peak in dinner is looking dry and more unappetising then it was prior.

But I hear the gleeful squealing as the dog joins the splashing in the bubble bath... and close the oven door. Even though I don't think husband has a lid on the bathroom shin ding...

                                                                                                       Imperfectly perfect.

Twenty minuets later and the bathroom floor needs mopping. Two boys are running down the hallway butt naked and Matt
 (husband I included with yelling for boys earlier) is chasing their giggling right down to their bedrooms and all the way back again. I am wondering if we are ever going to eat tonight.

But I see the chubby little legs running faster than they really should be, followed closely behind by the gangly boyish pair and their daddy chasing them with  arms snapping like a crocodile... and I smile.

Imperfectly perfect.

Then the phone rings. It's my mother. No, it's not a good time right now. Can she ring back later? 

When the toddler finally has his footsie jammies on and the six-year-old has the buttons on the front of his shirt nicely mismatched we attempt dinner. But I don't get the first bite in my mouth before a child dying of thirst needs his drink refilled. The dog takes advantage of me turning my back and eats the food the toddler was offering and the six-year-old delights in showing us how milk can come out of his nose. But we are all laughing. Even me.

Imperfectly perfect.

Eventually, food is eaten. Well, Matt and I eat, we bribe the toddler with the promise of ice-cream and the six-year-old takes the last piece of meat off my plate while I retrieved the toddler's spoon from the floor for the hundredth time. But the dinner table is full of cute toddler mispronunciations in attempts to talk that make us giggle. It is full of school day recounts involving a sand castle that Jimmy knocked down. How dare he?! And a rather teary tale of  losing a ball over the fence, yet again.

Imperfectly perfect.

"Glass of wine?" Matt asks when they run off to play until bedtime.
But he doesn't need to ask. I'm just getting up to find a bigger glass.

Imperfectly perfect.
Self included.
Just the way I like us.

What about you?
What's imperfectly perfect in you life?


  1. Oh, I'm shaking my head because I relate! I don't think I had a hot meal for five years when the kids were young. I love how you showed the bittersweetness of these moments.

  2. That's so sweet! I relate too! LOL I need to laugh about the imperfect moments more. :-) Your toddler looks about the same age as mine. Fun stuff, right? :-) Hope you enjoyed your wine, and uh, nope, no clue who ben 10 is. LOL

  3. What a beautiful tale. Many times I just see the imperfections. I wished I had more often the understanding of how simply perfect those can be.

  4. Tabitha, I love this glimpse into your everyday world. Your family sounds so loving and wonderful. I think there is imperfection in just about everything and those are what make life so interesting. Today, for me, it's that I have to take my car to get a new battery and I hate hate hate dealing with mechanical thingies.

  5. That story had so many beautiful, always to remember moments. So great! :O)

  6. Wow! I tend to get caught up in everything worked out as planned but this blog is proof that sometimes the most beautiful moments happen when life takes us in a completely different direction than we'd expected!

  7. I'd like to post, but I have to go hug my imperfectly perfect daughter now...

  8. My kids are older, but our lives are just as imperfectly perfect now as they were back then. What a nice reminder, though, of how joyful it is to be imperfect!

  9. This was a wonderful post. I'm happy to tell you that those imperfectly perfect meals will continue well into your kids' adult years. Treasure these days.

    Straight From Hel

  10. Oh it sounds wonderful! What a joy.

  11. What a beautiful story, and perfect title. Love the picture as well. At late middle age, starting a new career, perfectly imperfect is how I think of myself most days. Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Aw that's beautiful. :) I've seen some of this lifestyle in my nephew's home. There's no better way to describe family life than "imperfectly perfect".

    I think everyone is imperfectly perfect. Each person is unique, flawed, and amazing.

  13. So my life. LOL about the dog in the bathtub.

  14. Imperfectly perfect. Beautiful phrase, beautiful post :)

  15. Thank you all for you comments. I will be back after I have taken kids to school and met with mother-in-law for coffee (love my mother-in-law, she is wonderful) Can't wait to read your blogs. How glad I am that so many of you have imperfectly perfect homes. Enjoy:))

    BEN-10 is a superhero...how can you all not know him???? He is saving our planet people:)

  16. Love the pictures! SO ADORABLE! I wrote a short story called A Broken Kind of Perfect. :)

    What's imperfectly perfect for me? My family, definitely.

  17. Katie that short story sounds great.

    Thank you sarah.

    T. Anne, what? your dog doesn't get tin the bath?? This isn't normal???

    Time is running away, yes and I am learning to love the flaws:)

    Deb, thanks.

    Wend's place, thanks. Nice to have you hear again:)

    Suzanne, or you have been over to mine??:)

    Helen, they don't get over this anytime soon?!

    I agree Lazy Writer.

    Carrie, LOL :)

    Steph, too true.

    Diane, thank you:)

    Karen, me too!

    Thanks Megan and Lori.

    Now Jess, do you have boys at your house??? BEN-10 is saving our planet! You must know this?!! :)

    Jill, five years? I was hoping this stage would pass very soon...

  18. OMG this is one of the best written blogs you have shared yet! Life & all its little quirky stuff is what makes a family great. I love reading that you guys are the type to take it all in stride no matter what is thrown your way :-]

  19. Thank you very much Jenn! And you said that so well. Life and all the quirky stuff is exactly what makes it great.

  20. great post. i think my whole life is imperfectly perfect. i'm learning to live with that and trying to be more RELAXED. maybe that's one of our family's words.