Sunday, November 24, 2013
the surprising parts of motherhood
There isn’t much these days, that shocks me when it comes to parenting.
My four creative kids have seen to that.
They’ve been the undoing of my naïve ideas, you know the ones we all have before our children are born. The ones that are usually proud, arrogant statements flung out as proclamations of how things will be for us and our offspring. As if great motherhood results from a mathematical formula where I add X and Y and produce a natural and simple result of Z. Sure, it’ll be hard work, and I may lose a night or two of sleep. But what could be so hard about raising kids? It’s not rocket science or anything.
I’d like to go back and shake that woman I used to be. Knock a little sense in her. Prepare her for what’s coming. Not that she’d listen. After all, proud and arrogant were her nicknames…
There are some things, no matter how open minded or prepared you may believe you are, that a mom just can’t anticipate. A new mom may understand she has a lot of poopy diapers in her future and less money in her bank account. But nothing quite prepares her for the overwhelming fatigue she will face until she is smack in the middle of experiencing it.
I was no different and had to learn to roll with the ebbs and flows like any other new parent. I could manage the mounds of dirty laundry, the piles of poopy diapers, and the late nights with little sleep. I mastered a routine, cooked and pureed baby food, and learned how to live on a much tighter budget.
But nothing could prepare me for the real surprises of motherhood. The ones that shock you into cardiac arrest and cause wells of screaming to choke your throat. Basically turn you into that mom who loses her cool and yells at her kids. Like when your child pours kitty litter down the sink. Or pees in the corner of Big O Tires. Or drinks a bottle of children’s ibuprofen. Or steals candy from the store.
There are of course those times that your kid uses a certain four letter word. Or lies about drinking syrup straight from the bottle and then re-filling it with water. Or pulls the fire alarm at Qdoba in the middle of the lunch hour rush.
I struggled when one of my kids repotted a plant in the heat vent. And lost Saul’s wedding band. And when another helped herself to chocolate syrup and “accidentally” poured it all over the carpet. Don’t even get me started on the time the whole tube of toothpaste was squeezed out onto the counter. Or the new bottle of shampoo that was poured out in it’s entirety for one huge mega bubble bath. How about the time the bills got ripped into teeny tiny pieces? Or the KY jelly was smeared on my brand new duvet, or the permanent marker was used to doodle on the baby because she was “boring looking”.
Can you imagine my shock and surprise when I found poop under a child’s bed that was put there for safe keeping? Or when a certain red-finger-stained little boy tried to convince me he’d just had a bloody nose, and was not the one who had hidden a container of cherry Kool Aide under the bathroom sink for snacking on. Or the three year old who said her daddy let her empty his shaving cream to decorate her walls with. And the kid who “cleaned” the floor with popcorn oil and garlic salt, now that was something…
I really could go on and on. But I won’t.
Don’t hear me wrong - I love being a mom!
These kids are pretty amazing and I am so blessed by each of them. I love watching them learn and being part of what makes them who they are. They are all so different and wonderfully smart, creative people.
I’m certain now that God has given me these amazingly creative kids purely for His entertainment. Either that or I am paying my dues for being a naughty kid myself.
If nothing else, they will become fodder for a book. Besides, what’s a life lived without funny stories?
In the meantime, while I wait for the next escapade to unfold, you may find me sitting next to a naïve pregnant woman, listening her chatter on and on about how easy this mothering thing is going to be.
I think that’ll be the perfect time to tell her about the real surprises of motherhood.