There are so many delightful things about motherhood that I didn’t anticipate.
I didn’t know, for instance, that my beloved firstborn would frequently bring me small tributes from the natural world. Painstakingly selected bouquets of heart-shaped autumn leaves; a knobbly rock from the beach imbued with mythical properties; a leaf from the garden partially eaten by a caterpillar “Mummy, this shows you gave a butterfly a life”
I was as yet unaware that her small brother would make his first intelligible phrase a declaration of love.
“Abubwoo” . And this would be reserved for me and me alone with that special head-on-the-side-beneath-the-lashes shy smile that will be guaranteed to dupe me into any shady scheme he may plan in future. (If he is anything like me there will be many.)
Oh the dizzy, giddy, desperate, helpless, foolish, besotted passion I feel for these children is near boundless.
Yes, that’s right I said near boundless. But I do have my limits.
I came back from dropping my cherubs at nursery today and decided I would tidy the house before settling back into my office (electric blanket -check, plump pillows – check, plug in laptop -check, change back into power pajamas – check).
It shouldn’t have been too bad, really. Just a couple of breakfast things to wash, groceries to put away, valentine chocolates to hide from myself etc.
The children had at some point taken it upon themselves to be ‘creative’ and had thus opened The Art Cupboard of Death while I wasn’t looking. (cue screams, thunder, sound of cackling witches etc)
You could say that I only have myself to blame. What kind of idiot puts crayons and play-doh within easy access of a one year old anyway?
*RHETORICAL QUESTION, DO NOT ANSWER, THANK YOU*
I didn’t want to limit their creativity, you see. I wanted them to be able to do nice pictures whenever they wanted and have lots of lovely fun with cutting and pasting and glue and that sort of activity that good mummies provide for their tots.
In my defence, Four never ate glue sticks. She listened when I told her not to draw on the walls with markers. I simply don’t understand why she is suddenly giving her brother “mascara” with a laundry pen! And why is that pen in there anyway? HusbAAAANND?!
Today they got the jumbo tub of playdoh open and made a ‘why-end pizza’ on the floor which involves taking a disc of dough the size of my head and jumping on it until it is flat and as one with the living room carpet (did someone say voodoo?) and then decorating it with bits of detritus that they find in dark corners of the room. Then they offer you a slice and you to pretend to eat it. Yum! (Note: One actually does eat it)
Plus there were stickers. Fucking STICKERS EVERYWHERE.
I hate stickers. How did they open the box that is padlocked with a kryptonite chain and get to the four billion stickers that they then plastered the legs of each chair and the table plus the baseboards of all the kitchen cabinets with? And how did this all happen while I was just doing a wee? Stickers are not even an‘art supply’. They do not encourage creativity, they just encourage the children to affix stupid shapes all over my bottom at Trader Joe’s while I try and pay or else they save them and put them on the inside of my car window where they will remain long after I have flown this mortal coil.
I rue the day these vile things were invented and I curse the seed of their creators!
They must be cast from my life if there is to be room for the golden light of my own pure thought! (nb Impure thoughts fine too, I’m not fussy)
So today, in honor of three writers* whose lives span as many centuries, I am creating a signature space to store the things about motherhood which I loathe and fear most and also don’t have anywhere else to put because my house is full of ghastly toys and machines that go ping.
I don’t exactly want to throw them away forever because, frankly, they’re such good material, but on the other hand I don’t want them lurking around my every day life making everything so damn messy while I’m trying to keep up with the Stepfords.
I plan to slip into the room alone, the pen as my foil, and prance about with these horrors until I can successfully write them off. Touche! Then I will emerge calm and triumphant, you can read all about it, and all that will be left is to check my stats obsessively while I am supposed to be making supper.
There is a slim chance , however, that if I lock enough of my neuroses into the chamber I might forget about them completely and become one of those smug, contented ladies who bore the tits off the rest of us by reporting only the good news (have a nice day!) because that is all there would be left of me. If this happens, please alert me via nuclear missile and I will unlock the door and eat everything inside.
But I’m getting ahead of myself..
*(Virginia Woolf, George Orwell & Me, obviously)
Mothership’s Room 101 of Her Very Own.
In it I place:
Playdoh, Stickers, Whining, Disney Princesses, ELMO and his song (Husband, are you paying attention?), Vomit, Amusement Parks, Non-washable markers, any toy that makes music not created by the child, books for children written with poor grammar (yes their are lots that are real bad), the visible trauma of pregnancy on formerly stonking bod, Observer Woman, Dr. Laura, Signing Times videos with that lady with the enormous mouth, the endless snot that streams, unchecked, from the noses of small children, and many more..
Oh! Pardon me, I need a break to wipe the froth of remembered rage from my chin..
While I do that, please, tell me: