“I always wondered how you do it.” A friend said those words to me over lunch. She was speaking about my ability to birth and raise three children without completely losing my sh*t. Sure, back in the day it was common for women to have 5, 6, even 7 children. Times have changed. According to the “World Fact Book” on the CIA’s website (it was the first page to come up on a google search) the average American has 2.01 children. I don’t know, nor am I sure I want to know what a .01 child looks like. Did the person who organized the data in this survey skip the lesson in school about rounding numbers?
I don’t pat myself on the back enough.
Being a mother is the hardest job on the planet. Believe me, I have had some tough gigs in my life. Working as a hotel maid at the age of 15 ranks up there. You grow up real fast when you have to pull a stranger’s pubic hair out of a drain. Still, being a mother is more difficult.
I left our luncheon feeling confident. You know what? I am a damn good mother. My kids aren’t a**holes. They are thoughtful when they are not fighting. They are kind when they are not fighting. They are polite when they’re not fighting.
My daughter and I stopped at a wholesale club to finish some last minute Christmas shopping before heading home. There is no better gift than a 100 count pack of Slim Jims to mark the birth of our Savior. Actually, I needed a tub of nacho cheese, six pack of toothpaste and gallon on mayonnaise.
I was walking past the king size boxes of cereal when I felt a pang in my stomach. The French onion soup I had an hour earlier wasn’t agreeing with me. I needed to get home. I directed my daughter toward the cash register. Then, another pang and another. I wasn’t going to make it out the door. Hell, I was close to squatting near the guy handing out olive samples. “Honey, let’s go,” I told my daughter. The problem is a 5-year-old has no sense of urgency. She walked even slower, pointing out everything she saw. She even tried to sound out words. “Ca, ah, l, ga, at, e… CahlgatE” Colgate. The word is Colgate. “Mommy needs to use the bathroom.” Speaking in the third person is another chapter missing from the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” series. I lost the ability to use pronouns when the afterbirth dropped on the hospital floor. “Mommy, really needs to go.” We made it in the knick of time. If you’re glass is half- full this would be considered a success story. I survived another outing with a child where I didn’t lose my sh*t.