There's a container of neon pink Silly Slime dumped in
my purse and a half-eaten, squashed strawberry Pop Tart
in my jacket pocket. I wear baggy sweats with elastic waists.
I know every Raffi song by heart. I LIVE for nap times.
My heart pounds for Mr. Rogers -- he likes me just the way I am
-- and I'll now gladly admit that Barney is my best friend.
At any given moment, I might be carrying a wad of ABC gum
("already been chewed") or the remains of whatever's yucky
from a child's mouth -- or nose. Small children throw up on me
I wash my children's face with spit and my thumb. Show their
rashes to ANYONE and EVERYONE who'll look. Wipe their
noses with my shirt.
I'm sure you've seen me at the market. I'm the one with the permanent
stain on my shoulder from baby spit up. The one with dirty footprints
on my shirt from non-stop kicking in the stomach by the child sitting in
the grocery cart. The one who didn't have an answer to the (loudly)
asked question, "Do we HAVE to eat dog food again tonight like Daddy
said we did?"
You've probably seen me at the mall trying to maneuver a
stroller with a crying baby who's struggling to get out while I'm
chasing the only child in history who can be in 12 places at once.
I'm the one carrying the worn-out blankie and Cabbage Patch doll,
the one I warned I wouldn't carry. The one shouting, "Don't touch!
I said, 'DON'T TOUCH!'" The one with the red face after
discovering that it is MY child who's using the display toilet at
Sears. The one muttering, "I'm NEVER doing this again."
You know who I am. I'm the one with the glazed look
on my face after answering for the millionth time, "I don't know
what worms eat." I sniff at a baby's diaper-- on purpose. Eat leftover
baby food smeared on toast for breakfast. Consider myself lucky
to get a shower by noon. I eat standing up. I drink leftover milk
with graham cracker crumbs floating in it. I eat the crusts nobody wants.
Once upon a time I had a stomach that didn't fall to the floor. Once I
had hips that didn't serve as a baby saddle. Once I even had breasts
that weren't on call 24 hours a day-- and "will it show milk stains"
wasn't my criterion for choosing an outfit.
If you emptied out my purse, you'd find: diapers (new and used), a
plastic bag of Cheerios, a leaky Tommy Tippy cup, a handful of napkins
from McDonald's, a sandy pacifier, a soggy piece of bagel, a bottle of
baby Tylenol, and a rectal thermometer.
You know me. I'm bleary eyed from being up all night with a teething
baby and teary-eyed from worrying about a toddler that refuses to eat.
I'm damp with baby drool, and I have oatmeal in my hair. (I think my
sweater's on inside out, but hey, at least I'm dressed.) I can't
remember the last time I had a whole night's sleep or a HOT cup of
coffee. The only book I've read in the past 6 months is "Good Night
I never get to finish a senten....
I love my husband, but (yawn) ... zzzzzzzzzz. Don't ask me if I've seen
any good movies lately. I have if you count the Little Mermaid, Peter
Pan, and Cinderella. I know all the names of the Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles by heart, AND what color each of them wears. I say "Cowabunga,
dude," when the pizza's delivered.
I used to be reasonably intelligent, pondering the deep secrets
of the universe. I spent many years in college preparing myself
for the great challenges of life. Now I find myself wondering such
things as: If Bert and Ernie aren't related, why do they sleep in
the same room? And, where are their parents?
I remember when getting together with friends meant stimulating
conversation about current events, love and the meaning of life. Now we
talk for hours about the color of the contents of our babies' diapers.
Should we go from breast to bottle to cup? Skip bottles altogether?
Which is better, cloth or disposable? Pacifiers or thumbs? Know any
good potty-training tips?
Maybe you've seen me at church. I'm the one with
my skirt on backwards, or the entire inner-facing of my dress hanging
out. In my rush to get everybody else dressed, I often forget to check my
own appearance. (Oh, I want to thank you for not laughing at my one eye
made up and my other one bare. In the middle of doing my make-up,
someone emptied the flour canister onto the kitchen floor and I never got
around to finishing my eyes.)
I know you don't know my first name-- I don't
have one anymore. I answer to my child calling Mom, Mommy,
Mama, or WAAAAAAAAAAAHHH! To be honest, I don't even
remember my first name -- I've stop using it myself. When
speaking, I simply refer to myself as, "Mommy."
"Mommy says to stop poking the cats ears."
"Mommy's ears can't hear whining."
"Yes, Mommy's wearing her angry face."
"If you don't stop kicking Mommy, Mommy's going to lose it."
Maybe you saw me lose it one day in the Toys R Us parking lot.
With one child kicking the back of my car seat, and another one
chanting "I wanna go to the park! I wanna go to the park!" I lost it.
Slammed on the brakes and ran out of the car screaming,
"Calgon take me away!" The kids still refer
to it as "the time Mommy went cuckoo."
But I have my good days, too. Days when we get through breakfast
without Cream of Rice on the wall. Days when the cat doesn't end up
in the toilet. Days when everyone takes a nap at the same time.
On those days I feel powerful. In control. On those days, I can do it all.
I am MOMMY, hear me roar.
I can nurse a baby and cook dinner at the same time. I can nurse a
baby, read a magazine, AND tie shoes at the same time. I can even
nurse a baby, AND talk on the phone, AND fold laundry AND watch
Oprah all at the same time.
You know who I am. I'm a Mommy. And I don't even need an American
Express card to prove it.