In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day I thought I’d take this opportunity to share what motherhood has been like for me. My children have taught me more than I ever thought possible. And the parenting lessons I’ve learned would be wasted if I kept them all to myself. So, to honor the lessons taught to me by my little oompa loompas, I present to you…
What it’s like to be a parent:
Bedtime can be a struggle. Even the kids that start off as great sleepers can become quite the little boogers once they decide they have better things to do than waste time sleeping. Roman is that child for me. Thus, parenthood is a constant state of exhaustion.
Roman: Mom! Mommy! Mom! Mommy, I love you! Mom, I love you more than my motorcycle! Mommy. Are you up here? Can you hear me, mom? Do you love me more than my motorcycle???
Me: Yes, Roman. Go to sleep.
Roman: No you don’t.
Roman: Mom! Is Chinese Spanish?
Roman: Then what is it?
Roman: Oh. Do they make fire?
Me: Go to sleep, Roman.
Me: Go to sleep, Roman.
Roman: Can I tell you a secret?
Me: What is it, Roman?
Roman: Once upon a time there where three little bears. Do you like that story, Mom?
Me: Go to sleep, Roman.
Roman: I’m so scared.
Me: There’s nothing to be scared of, Roman.
Roman: Yes, there is. Are you upstairs?
Kids are constantly trying to figure things out. And mine are usually trying to figure out how to get me to understand how hard they have it so they can get out of doing anything that involves manual labor (a.k.a. picking up after themselves). Thus, parenthood is a constant state of frustration.
Bella: Mom, I have more responsibilities than you.
Me: Oh yeah? How’s that?
Bella: I have to stay clean, I have to check on Lola every morning, I have to check on Roman every night… Actually, I don’t do that. Mom, did you know unicorns were around in the 80s?
Me: Bella, you need to pick up your room before you go downstairs and watch a movie.
Bella: WHAT??? I CAN’T DO IT BY MYSELF!
Me: Uh, yes you can. You messed it up by yourself.
Bella: Well… You just don’t get me.
Me: Roman, why did you take everything out of both toy boxes?
Roman: Because I’m taking a bath.
Me: That’s not a bathtub. That’s a toy box. Please get out of the toy box and pick everything up so someone doesn’t hurt themselves tripping on one of your toys.
Roman: I’m taking a bath.
Kids are like little sponges. They soak up knowledge like crazy. Then apply their hilarious kid-spin. Thus, parenthood is constantly having to hold in your laughter so your kids don’t think you’re laughing at them. (Even though you are internally dying.)
Bella: Mom. The pee is the drink and the poop is the food. Dad told me that. Or maybe I misunderstood.
Bella: Mom, what’s a sweet tooth?
Me: it means you like desserts. I have a sweet tooth and so do you.
Bella: Oh! Which tooth is it?
Bella: Mommy, how do you spell “hath” like “I hath to do sonthig”?
Bella: No! I HATH to! Not THAT word!
Bella: Mom, how do you spell “nut”?
Bella: Thaaaank you. And how do you spell “case”? Nutcase. It’s a compound word!
Roman: Mommy, is this my lunch?
Me: No, Roman. Boogers are not your lunch. Get your finger out of your nose.
Roman: They’re from my nose!
Bella: Mom, no one knows if snakes are sleeping or not. Because they don’t have those things that blink. But I know. Actually, I don’t.
School can be challenging for “spirited” children, such as mine. Not scholastically but socially. It’s like trying to fit a super-smart hexagon-shaped peg into a boring, ordinary square hole. I discovered this last year when my Bella started kindergarten. Parenthood can be so vexing.
Bella: Mom, Melissa thought I was trying to cut her hair. But I wasn’t.
Me: Why would she think that?
Bella: I just wanted her to hear the scissors… Mrs Kirshner took my scissors away but she didn’t know I have an extra pair!
Me: Bella. Did you have to go to the Principal’s Office today?
Me: Mrs. Cope sent me an email and said that she sent you to the Principal’s Office.
(For the record, I cried when I got an email saying my kindergartener was sent to the Principal’s Office.)
Bella: No. It was Ms. Boyd’s office. She’s the Assistant Principal.
Me: Why did you have to go to Ms. Boyd’s office, Bella?
Bella: I didn’t pull the fire alarm. I just touched it.
Me: Bella! How was your trip to the zoo?
Me: What animals did you see?
Bella: I don’t really wanna talk about it.
Kids are incredibly, sometimes painfully honest. Parenthood is eye-opening.
Bella: Mom, you need a new look. An old-fashioned look. From the 90’s.
Bella: Mom, when you coach my cheerleading you should wear makeup. It covers up your crinkles.
Me: Bella, do you like my hair better curly or straight?
Bella: Curly. When it’s straight it’s kinda like, you know, like the way bad air smells? That’s how it looks.
Me: BELLA! I have to tell you something really important.
Me: I love you so much!
Bella: Mom, that’s not important. Breaking news is important. This is not breaking news.
They know exactly what they want making my job feel pointless.
Bella picking up a 10-pack of candy hearts at the store: Mom, these are my favorite candy! Be-be ma-be ma… I have no idea what they say.
Bella: Nonna, you can call me Bella. Or Flame.
Me: It’s important to decide what kind of person you want to be, Bella. For example, if you want to be a good person then –
Bella: Um no, Mom. Scratch that. I don’t want to be a good person. I want to be AWESOME.
And what they don’t want making my job, well, still feel pointless.
Bella: Mom, I am NOT supposed to be in cold weather.
Me: Roman, why did u wait until after I opened the pop tart to tell me u didn’t want it?
Roman: You talk funny and I’m a clown.
Sometimes it seems they have ALL the answers. Parenthood can be so confusing.
Bella: Mom, you have to circle a time you’re available for Roman’s celebrating cultures day.
Me: I’m from the US so I don’t know what my culture is.
Bella: No, you’re from Mississippi.
Bella: Mommy & Daddy sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love then comes Mary. Next comes Mary with a baby carriage. That’s not all, that’s not all. Here comes Mary with a baseball bat.
Me: Why does Mary have a baseball bat?
Bella: Cuz she stole the baby!
Bella: Roman, pick a number.
Bella: You’re getting married.
Roman: To you?
Bella: That’s illegal, right, mom?
Sometimes they just need a little reassurance. Parenthood just is what it is.
Roman: Mommy, where is Thor’s hammer?
Me: You have it, Roman.
Roman: That’s right!
Bella: Um, Mooommmmy, um, you know, um, you, um, Moooommy, um. Hey! Mommy, can I like um……. Can I, um, when is Brooke moving?
Me: She moved a month ago, Bella.
Kids can be very sympathetic. Parenthood is rewarding!
Bella: Mom, I feel sorry for you. It must hurt! Having two children!!
Me: Roman! Stop jumping on me!
Roman: I was just giving you a courtesy flush!
And adorably sweet. Parenthood is something I wouldn’t trade for all of the world.
Roman: Mommy, can I keep you forever?
Bella: Roman, you shine my day.
If you’ve never experienced a simultaneous feeling of love and nausea, try this one:
Roman: Mommy, you can go on a date with me! Get on my motorcycle.
And sometimes parenthood elicits a feeling that can’t be described. With words. Usually because I’m laughing too hard. Or just plain dumbfounded.
Roman: Bella, did you get your pajamas on?
Bella: WHAT? No! Do you think I’m ludicrous??? Mom, what does ludicrous mean?
Bella: Mom, what if Roman’s middle name was Middle Name?! What if my middle name was Middle Name. I bet my teacher would have a hard time spelling it!
Bella: I was literally throwing up in my brain.
Me: Bella, you may want a sweatshirt this morning.
Bella: Well, where is it?
Me: Probably in your bedroom.
Bella: Oh. Well, I’m good. No need to waste a good day!
Parenthood is a state in and of itself. Rewarding, taxing, confusing, self-assuring, empowering, deflating all mashed together. But when a little love nugget wraps her or his arms around you and tells you that you are loved… #imelt.