Category Archives: motherhood

Zombie

I’m in the shower, all soaped up when suddenly there’s banging on the bathroom door. I see the door handle rattle back and forth in vain against the lock.  If I don’t shut and lock the bathroom door I don’t get a moment’s worth of peace.  There’s always someone wanting to get in, demanding my attention. If it’s not my husband (no, you can’t hop into my shower) then it’s my son, the dog, or in the case of one day last year, a partially deflated mylar Darth Vader balloon that caught some current in the air and floated, eye level to me, into the bathroom while I watched in horror and tried to suppress a scream (calm down. it’s just an air current, not a ghost. there are no ghosts. how would you know?  you can’t see them…maybe it IS a ghost dragging that balloon… if it gets any closer, then surely it’s ghost…. RUN!).

And so I lock the bathroom door.

But that doesn’t stop people from banging on it.

“What?” I demand.

Muffled sounds come from the other side.  The fan is running, the water is streaming down my face.  I can’t make out what he wants.

“WHAT?” I holler again.

But again, I can’t make out the words on the other side of the door.

Soapy and perturbed I shut off the water.

“What do you want? I can’t hear you.  I’m in the SHOWER!”

“MOM.  HOW OLD WERE YOU IN 1902?” Snags scream-asks.

Now I’m really annoyed.  This wasn’t an emergency.  And REALLY!?!

“I wasn’t even BORN yet,” I holler.  “I wasn’t born until 1968!”

“Oh yeah!  I forgot!” Snags yells back.  “I was thinking you were born in 1868!”

I roll my eyes and turn the water back on.  I’m careful rinsing.  I don’t want my rotting flesh and bones to disintegrate in the stream of the shower and clog up the plumbing.  I thought that Darth Vader balloon was kind of scary.  I can only imagine the horror a plumber would feel upon finding zombie parts in the shower drain.

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Filed under ghosts, humor, motherhood, parenting, zombies

Baby Wants An Answer. And Wants It Now.

Last night, I sat near my seven year old son as he drifted off to sleep.  The lights were off, the room was quite, and I was about to leave when he rolled over and suddenly said, “Tell me a telling story, tell me about something funny I did when I was a baby.” 

“Okay,” I said.  “But only a short story.  It’s already past your bedtime. Let me think for a moment.”

But before I could begin to think of which baby story to tell, he interrupted my thoughts with, “How do babies get born anyway?  How do they come out?  Like how did I get out of YOU?”

My mind reeled.  I was frantically searching for answers.  For lies.  For anything I could use on this curious child to change to the subject and get him to go to sleep.  I’d already used “Shhhh! Be quiet and watch the movie!” when he’d asked that question during one of the opening scenes of Narnia: Prince Caspain the previous weekend.  Having already been used, that option was out.  Besides, we weren’t watching a movie at this particular time.

“Uh, uh, um…” was spiraling through my head. Not very helpful, I might add.

“Look!  Monsters!” I could have screamed.  Even, “Shhh… I hear something.  Did you hear that howling?”  I thought to ask.  “It sounded like a werewolf, don’t you think?” 

I contemplated any number of his fears, something to steer his mind in another direction entirely: fires, burglars, tornados, earthquakes… but he’d gotten SPECIFIC.  “How did I get out of YOU?” He’d asked.  And then also, I kind of wanted to get some sleep myself.  Scaring the shit out of him right before bedtime wasn’t really in my best interest.

In my desperation I considered this reply:  “You know, I don’t really remember, that was SEVEN years ago. Now go to sleep.” But even I knew that was lame. In fact, at the exact moment I thought of it, I could hear in my mind his likely response, “Mom! You remember. Tell me!”

And so I went with the only thing I could think of and tried to tell the truth as much as I could to my seven year old son.  And as I did so, I related things to a prayer, to squeezing muscles and to water balloons, and my son laughed wide eyed and wondered about poop.

“Well,” I said.  “You know, babies don’t really grow inside a mommy’s tummy.  At least not in the same place the food goes when the mom eats.  The mom has something inside her called a uterus.  It’s also called a womb… like in the Hail Mary prayer, the part where you say “…of thy womb, Jesus”  The womb is the uterus where the baby grows and it’s small and empty inside the mom’s body at first but as the baby grows inside the uterus, it stretches.” 

“Like a water balloon,”  I added.  “It’s small when it’s empty but when you add water it stretches out.”

“Okay,” my son said.  “But how does the baby get OUT?”  “Well…” I said, stalling to gather my thoughts.  “When the baby has been growing in the mommy for 9 months and is ready to come out, the body’s muscles squeeze really tight and push the baby out.”

“Like a water balloon,” I added again.  “If you fill the balloon with water but don’t tie the end of it, the water shoots back out again.” 

“Like POOP?!” He giggled wild eyed and nearly manic. 

“Well… uh… um… sort of like that, but the baby doesn’t come out in the same place that poop comes out.”  He was still giggling and, I could tell, slightly mortified at the thought of a baby coming out covered in poop. I imagined he was thinking about the woman on TV who swallowed her engagement ring whole after her boyfriend hid it inside a milkshake.  She had to retrieve the diamond ring days later, after it had made its way thought her digestive system.  She had to clean her own poop off the ring before she could wear it.

“What do boys have?”  I asked.  And he eyed me suspiciously and said with some alarm, probably imagining a baby emerging from one, “A PENIS?!” 

“Right,” I said. “BOYS have a penis. But girls don’t.  What do girls have?”

“A vagina!” He said. 

“Right!” I said.  “The mother’s body pushes the baby out of the uterus and it comes down a little tunnel and out the vagina.”

“Babies are small but they are kind of big.  So how do they FIT?” He wanted to know next.  So I explained again how the tunnel stretches just enough to fit the baby through and then once the baby is out, the uterus and the vagina shrink back to normal. Like an empty water balloon.

(A special thank you to whomever invented water balloons, by the way.)

“Oh, okay.”  He said, sounding bored now that he knew the baby didn’t come out the poop hole.  “Good night, mom.”  And just like that he rolled over and went to sleep.  This morning, thankfully, his questions were all about polygons.  Not babies.  

But just in case, I think I’d better go to the library and look for some age appropriate books.  Ones that hopefully will have some better explanations than I was able to come up with.   And the liquor store.  I think I’d better buy something to make myself a stiff drink.  I may need it when his classmates’ parents start calling tonight demanding to know what I told my son and why he’s repeating it to their innocent seven year olds who all know the stork delivers the baby.

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Filed under babies, children, kids, life, motherhood

A Letter to Lauren’s Mom

Dear Lauren’s Mom,

Hi.  So, listen, I understand from my son, Snags, that your daughter, Lauren, was watching the news recently and heard that “a man is PREGNANT!”  What a sweet daughter you have and how very kind of her to share that news with Snags and his classmates.  His kindergarten classmates.

Snags didn’t really have many other details to share.  It sounds as if Lauren was supposed to be doing her homework? And you made her turn the T.V. off right in the middle of that groundbreaking report? Snags thought the idea so prepopsterous that it might have been a joke, that the news people were trying to make people laugh, right? I suggested that perhaps the whole thing was an April Fool’s Day joke.

And might I suggest to YOU, that you, oh, unplug the friggin’ television set for the next nine months or so?  Unless, of course, you plan to come to the elementary school and give a big detailed  presentation about this to Snags and his classmates?  Hey, maybe you could even work with the children to collect money to throw this man a baby shower…

Look, I’m actually a pretty liberal minded gal.  I don’t particularly care which way the wind blows when it comes to personal preferences about how people live their lives.  I think it’s nice that this man is pregnant.  I hope the pregnancy goes smoothly and that baby sleeps though the night from the get go.

I just really don’t want to have to explain how a person gets pregnant to a six year old.  And I especially don’t want to have to explain how a man got pregnant to a six year old.  A six year old who knows that only women have babies…

When Snags is in middle school, well, sure then I’d be happy to explain this stuff.  He’ll probably be picking up free condoms from the nurse’s office by then anyway.  But right now, I’d just rather not go there.  And so that is why I keep the television news turned OFF in my house.  You might want to consider doing the same.

Oh, by the way, did Lauren tell you that I got my nose pierced?  I didn’t know if Snags had mentioned it to her yet.  If not, that’s okay.  I’ll be chaperoning the upcoming planetarium field trip and she will get to see my nose piercing then.  I’ll be sure to tell her ALL about it, and how she can be cool like me and get her very own nose piercing, too!

That should give you something to talk about over dinner Thursday night, don’t you think?

Sincerely,
Snags’ Mom

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Filed under babies, kids, Kindergarten, motherhood, parenting, Snags

Journey Into the Unknown

There are no books, no articles, no manuals, no sage advice from friends or family that can adequately prepare you. No matter how many millions of women have embarked upon this journey before you, no two adventures will ever be alike. It’s a non-stop head long dive into something different every day…

When my son was an infant, motherhood was about crying.  His AND mine. His because he was hungry or tired or wanted to be held or put down or had a dirty diaper that needed to be changed or a sock that was too tight or a light that was too bright. Or maybe he just liked the sound. Mine because HE was crying and I worried I’d never figure out the reason and what if I couldn’t stop him and I was so very, very tired and what had I gotten myself into and why didn’t my friends tell me motherhood was so hard and a kind neighbor asked how I was doing, and why wouldn’t he breast feed properly and was he gaining enough weight, and what was that rash on him, and why couldn’t I sleep if I was so tired? Why did I sit instead, anxious and waiting for his next cry and oh by the way, I had post partum depression.

When my son was almost two he threw a mighty tantrum and threw himself to the ground hitting his face on a plastic toy.  He cracked his forehead open and for one horrible moment motherhood was all about his disfigurement and the cut that had opened above his eye that looked like another eye oozing blood and OH! MY BABY WAS RUINED!  And it happened in the middle of a snow storm and where was the ambulance? Would it ever arrive? It was about the ambulance coming and taking us to the hospital where it was about fear, and would they think this was my fault?  It was about stitches and bandages and his smiles and flirtations with the nurses after he was all patched up and then it became about getting home safely through the storm that raged outside.

Last week it was all about starting Kindergarten and what time we would have to leave the house in the mornings to walk to school so we wouldn’t be late and what constituted an appropriate school night bedtime and what to pack for his lunch and what to pack for his afternoon snack and would he make new friends at school and would he measure up to the teacher’s expectations and would he have a lot of homework? It was about filling out paper work and joining the PTA and becoming room mother and reading all of the papers that came home in his backpack each night.
 
This week it’s about the crayon left in the backseat of my car which melted in the summer heat. It was a red and the color’s soaked in and now it looks like a horrific blood stain and how do I get it out?  It’s about his obsession with Star Wars and Harry Potter and LEGOs and fountains.  It’s about taking walks and hearing about his day at school, playing on the playground, learning sight words and counting down.  It’s about starting soccer on Saturday and taking him to his very first practice and his first time wearing cleats and shin guards and it’s about worrying will he even like soccer, will he get hurt, will he make friends on the team, and will the coach be nice?

Next week will be different yet again.  Motherhood cannot be predicted with any certainty beyond knowing it’s about love, it’s about worry, it’s about frustration, and it’s about love again. It’s an over-the-top adventure that cannot be understood until it’s experienced and it’s experienced only as it happens. 

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This essay was written as part of the September MommaBlogga Group Writing Project.
 

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Filed under group writing project, kids, life, MamaBlogga, motherhood, parenting