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I knew something wasn’t quite right when I heard Jackson squealing with unabashed delight from the other room.  My first mistake was being in the other room.  My second mistake was allowing myself to be distracted by the ever-important task of plucking my eyebrows.  Realizing the inspiration for Jackson’s joy couldn’t possibly be the zillionth re-play of “Dora’s Search For Squeaky”, but had to be something potentially dangerous or illegal (as in, illegal in the Slater home), I dropped the tweezers and ran.


Sure enough, I was welcomed into the playroom with a white carpet entrance brought to me by Jackson and two completely unraveled rolls of toilet paper.  Not a happy moment for Mommy.  Toilet paper is a precious commodity at chez moi.  Taking a deep, deep breath, I exhaled and, in good Love and Logic fashion, began singing, “Uh-oh” (picking Jackson up), “so sad” (keep breathing, Amy), “I guess we need a little bedroom time” (more for Mommy’s sake than yours right now, little buddy).  I plopped him, kicking and screaming, into his bed.  “When you’re sweet (and after I’ve recovered), you can join us in the playroom.”  Lesson learned:  I will not allow myself to be distracted by unruly eyebrows ever again.


As I was re-rolling toilet paper (like I said, TP is a precious commodity) to the sound of Jackson’s cries for mercy from his bedroom, I recalled another time when this good intentioned Mommy was distracted, and the mayhem that followed. 


The house was suddenly very quiet.  My (then) three-year-old and two-year-old were nowhere to be seen or heard.  My distraction this time was nursing infant Jackson.  Wearing my son, literally, I went in search of where the silence was coming from.  Calling to the girls, I tracked them down by their giggles.  (Giggles coming from behind a closed door is never a good sign.)  When I opened their closet door, I was welcomed, again, by something white.  This time, there were white clouds of baby powder billowing and falling like snowflakes in the air.  Sydney had stripped down to her panties and proceeded to shake the Costco-sized bottle of baby powder all over herself, her sister, and every other poor, unfortunate object in their closet.  Brooklyn’s face was a mask of white. 


What’s a mom to do?  I put Jackson down, reached for my camera, and took a snapshot for posterity sake. 


Truth be told, I get distracted a lot.  I start getting into decorating mode and lose myself to tweaking my knick-knacks and Pottery Barn catalogs.  I jump on the computer to look for a recipe, read a blog, or see what my Facebook friends are up to, and I end up sucked in to the ways of the web.  I go to my closet to find something to wear…and I never come out because…I’m still trying to find something to wear.  The distractions are endless, and my kids know this.  They have a sixth sense about these things, and intuition tells me that they live for these distracting moments. 


Distractions can be our undoing.  Whether they are in parenting, in our relationships, or even in our pursuit of God.  It is too easy to get sidetracked and eventually knocked off track all together.


How do we keep ourselves from falling victim to distractions?  I can’t say that I’m an expert on this; however, one thing I know for sure, starting the day with time alone with God does wonders in keeping life on track.  I’m also learning that having a clear and specific goal in mind helps me to stay on course because I know where I’m headed.  Additionally, I believe it’s important to allow myself time to do random, time-wasting activities (but not when Jackson is awake, as evidenced by the toilet paper incident this morning). 


I realize, however, that some distractions are unavoidable.  Life happens, right?  Another key thing that I am learning is to roll with the punches.  I do the best I can with what I have before me.  Like I am trying to teach my kids, you don’t have to be the best, just do the best you can.  Set the goals, make appropriate choices, give yourself a break every now-and-then, and leave a little wiggle room for whatever life happens to throw your way.

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