and I'll now gladly admit that Handy Manny is the best friend
At any given moment, I might be carrying a wad of ABC gum ("already been chewed") or the remains of whatever's yucky from a child's mouth -- or nose.
Small children throw up on me regularly. I wash my children's face with spit and my thumb.
Show their rashes to ANYONE and EVERYONE who'll look. Wipe their noses with my shirt - or theirs - depending what shirt they are wearing vs. which one I'm wearing... ehem -
I'm sure you've seen me at the market. I'm the one with the permanent stain on my shoulder from baby spit up. The one with dirty footprints on my shirt from nonstop kicking in the stomach by the child sitting in the grocery cart. The one who didn't have an answer to the (loudly) asked question, "Do we HAVE to eat dog food again tonight like Daddy said we did?"
You've probably seen me at the grocery store trying to bag my own groceries with a baby that is pitching a fit and I'm chasing my toddler, the only child in history who can be in 12 places at once. I'm the one carrying cars, dinasaurs and a football. The one shouting, "Don't touch!" I said, "DON'T TOUCH!" The one with the red face after discovering that it is MY child who's using the display toilet at Sears. The one muttering, "I'm NEVER doing this again."
You know who I am.
I'm the one with the glazed look on my face after answering for the millionth time, "I don't know what happened to Nemo's mama - - - She went to be with Jesus." I sniff at a baby's diaper -- on purpose. Eat leftover baby food smeared on toast for breakfast. Consider myself lucky to get a shower by noon. I eat standing up. I drink leftover milk with graham cracker crumbs floating in it. I eat the crusts nobody wants.
Once upon a time I had a stomach that didn't fall to the floor. Once I had hips that didn't serve as a baby saddle. Once I even had breasts that weren't on call 24 hours a day -- and "will it show milk stains" wasn't my criterion for choosing an outfit.
If you emptied out my purse, you'd find: diapers (new and used), a plastic bag of Cherrios, a leaky Tommy Tippy cup, a handful of napkins from McDonald's, a sandy pacifier, a soggy piece of toast, a bottle of baby Tylenol, and a rectal thermometer.
You know me.
I'm bleary-eyed from being up all night with a teething baby and teary-eyed from worrying about a toddler that refuses to eat anything but chicken and french fries. I'm damp with baby drool, and I have oatmeal in my hair. (I think my sweater's on inside out, but hey, at least I'm dressed... right?)
I can't remember the last time I had a whole night's sleep or a HOT cup of coffee. The only book I've read in the past 6 months is "Good Night Moon."
I never get to finish a senten....
I love my husband, but (yawn) ... zzzzzzzzzz. Don't ask me if I've seen any good movies lately. I have if you count Cars, Toy Story, and Brother Bear. I know all the names of all the characters of most all the Disney movies and so does my son as the first thing he says when he wakes up in the morning is,
"I need to watch a movie!".
I used to be reasonably intelligent, pondering the deep secrets of the universe. I considered myself quite prepared for the great challenges of life. Now I find myself wondering such things as: If Ruby and Max are brother or sister or is Ruby, Max's mom? If she is his sister - where are their parents?
I remember when getting together with friends meant stimulating conversation about current events, love and the meaning of life. Now we talk for hours about the color of the contents of our babies' diapers. Should we go from breast to bottle to cup? Skip bottles altogether? Which is better, cloth or disposable? Pacifiers or thumbs? Know any good potty-training tips?
Maybe you've seen me at church. I'm the one with my skirt on backwards, or the entire inner-facing of my dress hanging out. In my rush to get everybody else dressed, I often forget to check my own appearance. (Oh, I want to thank you for not laughing at my one eye made up and my other one bare. In the middle of doing my make-up, someone emptied the flour canister onto the kitchen floor and I never got around to finishing my eyes.)
I know you don't know my first name-- I don't have one anymore. I answer to my child calling Mom, Mommy, Mama, or WAAAAAAAAAAAHHH! To be honest, I don't even remember my first name -- I've stop using it myself. When speaking, I simply refer to myself as, "Mama." "Mama says to stop poking the cats' ears." "Mama's ears can't hear whining." "Yes, Mama's wearing her angry face." "If you don't stop kicking Mama, Mama's going to lose it."
Maybe you saw me lose it one day in the Wal-mart parking lot. With one child kicking the back of my car seat, and another one chanting "I wanna go to the park! I wanna go to the park!" I lost it. Slammed on the brakes and ran out of the car screaming, "I'm gonna eat them!!" The kids still refer to it as "the time Mommy went cuckoo."
They're just lucky that human mamas don't eat their young.
But I have my good days, too. Days when we get through breakfast without Cream of Rice on the wall. Days when heads don't get dipped into the toilet. Days when everyone takes a nap at the same time. On those days I feel powerful. In control. On those days, I can do it all.
I am Mama, hear me roar.I can nurse a baby and cook dinner at the same time. I can nurse a baby, read a magazine, AND blog at the same time. I can even nurse a baby, AND talk on the phone, AND fold laundry AND watch Oprah all at the same time.
You know who I am. I'm a Mama.
And I don't even need an American Express card to prove it.
(edited by me to make it more.... Mama-like. Original version found here)