Those mornings…you know them, Moms. The ones where the alarm goes off and the dream that included you, a fruity cocktail, a beach with a blazing sunset, and sparkly Edward Cullen ends. Much too soon. You feel like crying when those tiny fingers tap your arm. Your eyes open. He’s staring at you, a trail of snot running down his nose.
4…3…2…1…the crying starts. He’s lost his binky and his Elmo blanket smells “weird”. You realize so does he.
You throw your legs over the side of the bed, your head woozy. Coffee. You need. Want it. Crave it. If you don’t get a cup within the next 10 minutes, someone will lose a finger. The one that’s stuck up his nose digging for a booger that he will then wipe on the wall as he rounds the corner of your bedroom, darting towards the kitchen to reach the cereal box before you have a chance too.
He’ll stick his boogery hand in it as he fishes for the rainbow marshmallow in the Lucky Charm’s box. He doesn’t like the other marshmallows. They taste weird. So he only eats the rainbow ones. You’ll never undertand the reason why, nor does he. You don’t care at this point, booger or no booger, he’s quiet for all of five minutes until he realizes his blue sippy cup with the yellow top is dirty in the dishwasher. He falls to the floor like his legs were broken. Maybe if they were broken he’d quit throwing tantrums over silly things.
Then again, he’d cry that his legs were broken, and that his shoes don’t fit. He has them on the wrong feet, but he believes they are on the RIGHT feet. They are the shoes that were too small for him six months ago but he still insists on wearing them. So you let him even though he complains his toes are “smooshed” every time he takes a step. You explain they are too small for the 50th time, but he glares at you, an Iron Man figure with a missing arm in his tiny hand. The same hand that had a booger on it only five minutes earlier that has now disappeared. It must be in the Lucky Charms box.
You put your ratty robe on. The one with the coffee stain from 2006 when you tripped over the dog’s leash at 2am while tending to a child with projectile vomiting. It’s a badge of honor, that stain. You’ll never wash it. It would only mean you would have to add another item of clothing to the growing piles of laundry already splayed out across the laundry room floor giving you dirty looks.
You know the dirty look. The one that makes the bottle of laundry detergent on top of the washer give you the middle finger. Don’t say you haven’t given it one back some days. It taunts you, you deserve to taunt it back sometimes. If you didn’t someone would wish you would have later in the day when you lose it over the watercolors left out on the kitchen counter that you asked be picked up 1,567,543 times already. The brush is still wet. It’s lying on top of the cable bill.
Yeah, the cable bill that’s due today. You shake your head. Mommy brain passes over you. You left sticky notes, a calendar reminder on your phone and texted yourself a message to remember to pay that darn bill…but you still forgot.
You forget the pot of coffee, darting for the computer to pay the bill to avoid a late charge, but more importantly, to avoid losing Nick Jr. today. You need Bubble Guppies…he needs Bubble Guppies. If he can’t watch it, the day will be ruined, naptime will be spent crying in his “big boy bed” without “walls” as he calls them. He still misses his crib, especially when he’s tired. Overly tired and mad about Bubble Guppies.
You don’t want a fight today. Wrestling with a two year old is like sticking your finger in a lightsocket. STUPID.
You need that two hour nap so you can sit alone on the couch, the quiet surrounding you, only to remember that you still haven’t had a shower and it’s nearly two in the afternoon. So you tiptoe to your bedroom, pull a pair of yoga pants and a tank out of your closet, and jump in the shower. You realize you haven’t even begun to think about dinner, so you make it a “quick” shower.
Lather up, rinse.
Shampoo your hair, rinse.
Condition the ends, skip the razor, hubby will be home late anyway. He won’t realize your legs feel like barbed wire tonight. You’ll be passed out in bed before he even has a chance to finish brushing his teeth. Tonight will be designated as “cuddle night”, nothing else. It’s not on the schedule, and if it’s not on the schedule, it ain’t happening…
You climb out of the shower, towel off as the howling starts. Not a wolf howl, the howl of a rousing child who only napped 36 minutes out of 120. You wrap the towel around yourself and stand still. Like he can’t hear you. A two year old has the ears of bat. He knows when you’re in the middle of something. That’s his favorite time to call you. When you’re busy. When you’re not in the middle of something, it is no longer fun for him.
The crying grows louder. You throw on your clothes, half dry, your right pant leg stuck to your calf. You’re not sure if it’s because your leg was still dripping wet, or because you skipped the shave. Moving on…
He’s up. Nap’s over. You take his hand. The one that had the booger on it earlier in the day. You lead him to your room, and put him on your bed with a bowl of Cheerios. You are promptly scolded for giving him the WRONG colored bowl. He wants “lello” <—yellow, not “bu” <—blue.
By the time you get back with the “bu” bowl, he’s climbed off of your bed, and is going through your underwear drawer. He has found a pair of pink thong panties. They are hanging from his left ear. “Earring, mama. Yook at it! Yook at it!” You smile, out of disgust, or love, or a little bit of both and remove the panties that you never wear because cotton panties are just more comfortable and practical as a mother. Or so you’ve led yourself to believe. He cries when you take them away, so you give them back. He hangs them on his other ear, Bubble Guppies are on…don’t disturb him! Let him wear the thong…he’s QUIET.
Dinner arrives. You thought roast and potatoes, but realize the potatoes have grown sprouts because they’ve been in the refrigerator for the last two weeks. You haven’t been to the grocery store in 10 days. The menu is limited. You opt for mac and cheese and breaded chicken breasts that have been in the freezer for a while. But they’ve been frozen, so they should be fine. You sniff. They seem edible.
Hubby calls. He’ll be late. You reason with your tired monster who has his finger up his nose again, and has now transferred your pink thong to his right shoulder. It’s his purse. Iron Man with the missing arm is hanging on for dear life in the crook of the crotch of your panties. You ask him to put it away while you eat. He refuses. You don’t fight. You let it go as you dip your chicken in a mountain of ketchup to suppress the freezer burn taste.
Bath time. He’s happy. Bubbles. EVERYWHERE. He plays. You sit on the lid of the toilet, head against the wall as he repeats the same line over and over, “Pick him up and ‘fro him at the cat! Pick him up and ‘fro him at the cat!” You ignore him, eyes closed until you realize your cat is now covered in bubbles, crouched in the corner trying desperately to get away from the miniature madman that won’t leave him alone. You laugh. So does you son. Your cat scowls. You let him out and don’t see him again for three weeks. He hates this new little person you’ve brought home.
Bedtime. He crawls in your lap. He tangles his fingers in your hair as you read “Good Night Moon”. He loves your hair. You swear you’ll never cut it because it soothes him.
His binky moves rhythmically to your tone, his blanket with the odd smell held against his cheek. His eyes flutter…finally. You lay him in bed. He doesn’t stir. You watch him. Realize he is growing up too fast. Wish you were still pregnant with him…even if only for a fleeting moment. You miss the tiny toes, the hungry grunts and the fingers that would grip your thumb during his bottle.
THIS is motherhood.
THIS is your life.
THIS is perfection.
You climb into bed, exhausted. Anxious to do it all over again tomorrow. Because that’s what MOTHERHOOD does to you. It makes life worth living, loving, cherishing. Even when he picks his nose and wipes his booger on your new silk shirt.
Love & Motherhood Hugs ~
**Mother to three little loves, wife to an amazing man who is funnier than a five year old at the zoo, author of fiction because she loves living in a non-realistic world, social media director for IntelliGender who loves her job more than chocolate, and thinks baby pigs are cuter than kittens.