I Am a Mother

2 05 2014

Since none of you losers were at Listen to Your Mother on Tuesday night (close family excluded), I thought I’d post what I read. You’re welcome. 


I Am a Mother

“Why aren’t you wearing any underwear?” I ask for what feels like the millionth time.

“But mom, my underwear has poop on it!”

“Why does your underwear have poop on it? Did you wipe after you used the potty?”


“How on earth did you forget to wipe your bum after you used the potty?”

Let’s be honest here—there’s no acceptable answer. What could he possibly say that would make me understand such a lapse in memory?

So ends another average day in the Smith home.

I believe certain women are born nurturers—something within them is programmed to mother every child who crosses their path. These are the women whose homes become the neighborhood hub; children enter and exit in a never-ending stream. Cookies are baked. Commercials are filmed.

I am not one of these women. I never particularly enjoyed babysitting or holding babies, and as I matured I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have children of my own. Obviously my views changed, and I’m now the mother to two wonderful boys.

Still, being a mom is something that doesn’t flow naturally through my veins. I have to work at it every day

Please don’t interpret this as me saying I’m a terrible mother. In my moments of stunning clarity, I will tell you I’m a great mom. My boys know they are loved. I get angry at them and they get angry at me and still they know that I love them. I believe that knowledge will serve them well in life.

But there are moments.

Moments when bums haven’t been wiped. Moments when tantrums are thrown over the plastic water holder for a grocery store carnation. Moments less like doing homework and more like climbing Mt. Everest.

Moments when I’m sitting at the park watching my kids play and it hits me—I’m so very lonely. Yes, I have friends. I spend time with them and I talk to them, but still, I feel isolated. It’s like I’m in a bubble with my children and even though I can reach out, a thin film will always separate me from others.

Moments when I wonder what the hell was I thinking, becoming a mother?

I think of all the things I could be doing if I didn’t have children. Perhaps I’d actually have my college degree. I’d certainly have more money—maybe I could travel. I’d be so carefree and glamorous and charming and I’d never be caught off guard by the random appearance of a penis or an unhygienic rear end.


Then I sit on the couch and my eight-year-old comes to sit next to me. It’s been a long day, and we’re both exhausted and ready for bedtime. “I got ready early,” he tells me, and burrows up under my arm. He closes his eyes. “You’re my favorite mommy,” he murmurs as I stroke his hair and he drifts into oblivion.

The next morning my five-year-old slips his hand into mine on the way to the car. I’m amazed by how small and warm his hand is, and how well we fit together.

This. This is what I was thinking.

Is it what I expected? Heavens, no. None of my contemplations on motherhood ended with me hiding in the bathroom, running the fan to drown out the screaming. There are days the reality is more than I can bear, but I’ve come to realize that’s just part of the package. Some moments are gloriously scrapbookable and others, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t mind a device or a potion that erases specific memories.

I wasn’t born to be a mother. I’m okay with that, because it doesn’t change the fact that I am a mother. Motherhood colors my thoughts and shapes my actions.

Now if you’ll hold that thought, I need to break up the underwear-clad wrestling match in the next room.

After all, I am a mother.



5 02 2013

“Mommy, why did Maggie die in your tummy?”

The simple question takes my breath away.

“She didn’t die in mom’s tummy,” says Big G authoritatively.

“Yes she did!” insists Little G.

I see Car about to step in, and I take a deep breath. I need to handle this.

“Big G. Little G. This is something I’ll explain to you when you get older.”

They look at me curiously. I’ve never used this line with them before.

“But why, mommy?”

Because mommy had to kill Maggie to save her own life.

“It involves a lot of medical stuff, and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to you right now. When you’re older you’ll be able to understand it, but right now it’s not something I’m going to talk about. Also,” I decide to address the real topic at hand, “it makes mommy feel sad to talk about it sometimes.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t get medical stuff,” says my ever-sensible Big G, and the conversation moves forward.

A reprieve, but now I realize that the day will come that we’ll have this talk.


How to Suffocate Your Brother

7 12 2012

A tutorial by Big G.

How to suffocate your brother

In case you don’t read first grader, allow me to translate:

First you throw a blanket over your brother.
Next you throw a pillow over your brother.
Then you throw two stuffed animals.
Last you throw two blankets.

Should I be concerned?

*Omitted: Then you tell your parents it was your brother’s idea. Then you pretend you’re sorry.

Preschool Picasso

30 08 2012

So Little G is going to preschool. I know. Actually, he’s going to two different preschools, which is pretty awesome. (For me!)

Anyway, on Tuesday he brought home something he made in preschool #2. I’m not exaggerating when I say I almost dropped it when I pulled it out of his bag:

Hold me. I’m so very afraid.

Jeepers Creepers

8 06 2012

Actual text conversation yesterday:

Me: Little G informs me he’s going to use his new binoculars to “spy on baby Ian’s mom.” Little Creeper!

Me: If it makes you feel any better, it’s so he can find out what you’re getting Ian for his birthday.

Me: That child is getting cut off from Curious George.

Rachel: Hahahahaha! Holy crap, that’s hilarious.

Rachel: Aren’t you proud of your little peeping tom?

Me: Very.

Me: FYI, You’re getting baby Ian a very big big big box. Inside that box? A blue go-cart.

Rachel: Good to know!

Me: You really ought to get him something more age-appropriate. What is WRONG with you?

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

We visited my brother in St. George and just got back yesterday. This morning Little G said, “I miss my uncle.”


“I miss your uncle too, but he’ll be visiting soon.”

“No, my other uncle.”

“Which uncle, buddy?” Car has six brothers, so saying his “other uncle” wasn’t necessarily unreasonable.

“My uncle in the mountains.”

I stopped and thought about every one of Little G’s uncles. “You don’t have an uncle who lives in the mountains.”

He looked at me as if my IQ had suddenly dropped 80 points. “Yes I do. My uncle in the mountains. I go and visit him. He lives in a cave in the mountains.”


“Little G, you don’t have an uncle who lives in a cave. If you’ve been visiting someone in a cave in the mountains something is very wrong.”

This, of course, prompted a five-minute dialogue on his visits to his uncle in the cave in the mountains, including all the animals he’d seen. (Fun fact: there are apparently flamingos in the cave in the mountains!)

Oh, Little G. You adorably creepy boy. Never, ever change.

Firetrucks and Piñatas and Stitches…Oh My!

1 05 2012

Four years ago this happened:

And it was pretty amazing.

On Saturday we commemorated the occasion with a little party.

And it was pretty memorable.

You know it’s a good party when, less than 30 minutes into the festivities, this happens to the birthday boy:

Yes, I took a picture. What? I had to text a crappy cell phone picture to my doctor sister-in-law to see if she thought he needed stitches. SHUT UP.

No, it wasn’t a tragic piñata-related injury. That would be a far more interesting story. It was a “my child has a giant head that throws him off-balance and his foot caught on the carpet and sent him flying into the corner of the door frame” injury. Not as cool, but he still ended up with four stitches for his fourth birthday. Good job, Little G!

Of course, no kid wants to miss his own birthday party, so Little G opted to have some bacitracin and a bandage slapped on his gaping head wound. After all, there were presents! And cake!

And a piñata!

When everything was over, we packed up and went to the doctor, where my brave almost four-year-old didn’t even cry when they injected the lidocaine into his forehead and stitched him up.

Oddly enough, it really was a good day.

Now he’s four.

And it’s pretty amazing.


So Tell Me

16 04 2012

Little G turns four in 15 days. I know. Don’t ask me where the time went—I’m as stumped as you. Today I got an email from Fisher-Price, because of course they want me to buy his birthday gifts from them.

Question: Do all children now magically turn into girls when they turn four? Because that’s kind of the vibe I’m getting here:

*Still no final diagnosis for Big G. Just waiting, waiting. All the time waiting. Losing my mind waiting…

**Also, I’m sick again, because the universe hates me.

***It’s possible I’m slightly depressed.

****But that’s okay. I’m going to plant a garden.

*****I realize that’s not at all related. I just felt like saying it.

******Plus I have to plan a party for a four-year-old, so I don’t really get to sit around moping. Dammit.

*******Is it really spelled “dammit” and not “damnit”? That doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what the WordPress proofreader claims.

********Why do I suddenly trust the WordPress proofreader? The sickness must be eating my brain! I must immediately take to my sickbed!