Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lessons from Motherhood

It's hard to believe that tomorrow I'll be celebrating my fourteenth Mother's Day as a mother.

Motherhood is the ultimate trial by fire. There's no practice runs and no do-overs. You learn to think fast and react quickly. Thanks to my girls, I've learned to how to deal with a wide variety of life experiences, many of them involving vomit and/or belligerence. Sometimes both.

When your baby pukes large quantities of minced beets all over her darling pastel Beatrix-Potter themed crib... Grab the baby and offer to bathe her while sweetly suggesting that perhaps your husband could "maybe clean this up and just toss the bedding in the washer." Move swiftly toward bathroom while suppressing your gag reflex.

When your toddler emits constant ear-piercing shrieks at the grocery store because you won't let her suck on an empty produce bag... Leave. Immediately. Do not be The Mom With the Air Raid Siren in Her Cart Who Blithely Continues Shopping. Nobody likes that mom.

When your toddler vomits all over your shoes at Target... Flee. If you see an employee, mention that you noticed Aisle 13 needs a clean-up. Do not break stride.

When your preschooler ambushes you (in front of the kid and his mom) for a playdate with the one kid whose mother you cannot stand, the one who smokes in her car in the preschool parking lot and uses words like "sexy" and "hottie" to describe her three-year old... Pleasantly agree to have the kid over to your house, but be ready with a long list of excuses why your child cannot go to his house. Ever.

When your first grader refuses to listen to her teacher's corrections to her math homework and steadfastly insists to the teacher that "No, I'm right. You're doing it wrong." ... Die a quiet death of mortification when the teacher calls you, then begin the three hour process of forcing The World's Most Stubborn Six-Year-Old to apologize.

When your preteen moans that everybody else's parents let them do X... Explain calmly that, yes, they probably do, but because your main goal here is to help her survive to adulthood/ruin her life, she's just going to have to deal with it. Or come up with a better argument, because that one? Didn't work twenty-five years ago when you used it against your parents.

When your children arrive beaming at your bedside around 6:30 a.m. bearing a cup of warm juice and a plate with two pieces of toast, each slathered with approximately one jar's worth of grape jam... You sit up and eat every bite. Despite hating grape jam. And even though warm juice makes you want to Brillo your tongue.

It's been quite a ride.

Bear and I, circa 1998.
Bug and I (with my Aunt Donna), circa 2001.
Over the years, I've picked up many tips and tricks from my own mother, my mother-in-law, my mom friends, moms who've written books, and moms who write blogs. Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there!


Jen on the Edge said...

Those are some powerful lessons to learn.

I've learned that one should have tissues in one's pocket when taking a tour of the White House or else the famous quotation of the tour-of-a-lifetime will be "Ellie DO NOT pick your nose in the Blue Room."

Happy Mothers' Day!

Rose said...

So cute! Happy Mother's Day to you too!

Cindy said...

Happy, happy Mother's Day!

Quilting Grandma said...

WOW! Now I really an glad I had Daddy Shorthbread. Boy's/Guy's are so much easier to raise and he was and is a real peach.

However dear Jenn, thank you for all you have taught me about raising girls. What a difference.

Happy Mother's Day!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

The manual for motherhood would be VOLUMES and too heavy to carry and too thick to ever read, wouldn't it? I've learned so much, too.

Anonymous said...

I love it! You should write a mom's survival guide, because you are right on the money.

Hope you had a wonderful Mother's day!

Country Girl said...

Lovely post....parenting is quite a ride, I agree. Love the pics. Hope you enjoyed your day despite the jam. I was served cold toast and eggs & toast with warm freshly squezzed oj...yum...the dog helped me choke it down ;)