To most people, I’m this wild woman who juggles flaming torches while riding a unicycle and cooking supper, blindfolded. Wild-yes. And I’m not afraid to break out my juggling skills, just don’t light them on fire. But I’ve decided that my life really consists of yelling, “Where is Harrison?” every 5 minutes.
A few nights ago, I was elbow deep in e-mails, lists about lists and text messages, while trying to get my work schedule ironed out. So I didn’t even look up when I yelled, “Where is Harrison?”
I heard his little voice from around the corner, “I’m done!”
I looked up long enough to make eye contact with one of my older kids, “go tell your dad.”
It’s my favorite response to anything. One says: “Mom, did you know the yellow bellied platypus…” “That’s great, Hudson, go tell your dad!”
“Mooooommmmm, Heath hit me!” I sigh under my breath and yell back, “Go tell your dad!”
“What is Hoss’ dog trying to do to Jesse?” I won’t even hesitate on that one, “Well, you should go ask your dad.”
But my favorite is when Harrison yells, “I’m done!” And the man is home. Now listen, before you go taking away my mom-of-the-year award, I know he works hard all day and should get to come home and relax. I try. I cook, clean, wash clothes, all the good wifey stuff. But one poop a day keeps him humble. I’m just helping him out.
Anyways…I glanced up as Jason walked across the living room, giving me the stink eye. “What? I have to get my schedule done, bro.”
Next thing I know, Jason is yelling, “Why is there macaroni in their shower?”
Crap. I forgot that on Thursday, Harrison had taken his mac and cheese in their bathroom and left it in the shower. I’m sure I was busy catching up on my shows and eating bon bons.
I yelled my explanation and went back to my schedule. Next thing I knew, Harrison was standing in front of me holding a blue bowl, eating macaroni. I put on my most intense mom voice, “Harrison Adam, what are you doing?” He kept chewing, “I’m eating my macawoni, Mom.” Duh. “That macaroni is 2 days old,” it was Saturday, “go put it on the island right now, and don’t eat anymore.”
He took another bite while he moped to the island.
I watched him set it down and then stuck my nose back in the computer. My schedule doesn’t plan itself.
A few minutes later, Jason came out of our bedroom, “Why would you tell him to eat two day old macaroni?” I shot him my normal are you crazy look, “Now, why would I tell him he can eat two day old macaroni that’s been in the shower?” I’m sure I sounded just like my Dad, same sarcastic tone and all.
“He said you told him he could eat it.” So I guess we are suddenly believing the three year with the blue bowl, hiding in our room?
“HARRISON! Get in here! I told you to put that macaroni on the counter and to not touch it again.” He eased around the corner, blue bowl and all. He looked like I had just told him Curious George had been deleted from Netflix. I almost felt bad for the guy. Almost.
He stared at the floor, “yes ma’am?”
“I told you no more, why are you still eating it?” His eyes rolled up toward mine, “But mom, it’s so dood.” I kept a straight face, “You’re in trouble for not listening.” He sulked as he turned to head toward his dad in the kitchen. I don’t know if he was more upset over his punishment or that he couldn’t finish the mac and cheese.
Then it hit me, my other kids hadn’t had a shower in 3 days. My husband noticed the mac and cheese in the tub and then left it sitting there. And inside, I secretly hoped that Harrison had eaten enough to hold him over until supper. Motherhood.
You know you’ve arrived to motherhood when you no longer care what anyone is dressed like and you yell, “do ya’ll have on underwear?” One yells back, “no ma’am,” and you don’t even bat an eye, “get in the car anyways.”
You get to said car and open the back door, trash falls out, and you throw it back in and shut the door really fast. “Y’all get in on the other side!” You ain’t got time for that.
You make it to Kroger, you’re half way through your list and all of a sudden over the speaker blasts, “Everybody dance now”, so you do. In your brown sweatpants that you’ve had since 2003. Don’t make me Roger Rabbit down the chip aisle. I lost my sanity 2 kids ago.
Everyone is accounted for, you pile groceries to the ceiling since every grocery store run these days is a big one. Because these kids eat everything. Everything. You get in, look in the mirror and one is eating already. A booger. Well, at least I don’t have to feed him a snack. I mean, surely there is some nutritional value there.
You pull in the driveway, run inside, sit down on the toilet and breathe a big sigh of relief, only to look down and see little fingers wiggling at you beneath the door. How did they find you so quick? You unwrap the candy bar slowly or they’ll be beating the door down to get in. Peeing while eating chocolate is normal here. Welcome to motherhood.
And there should be a welcoming to motherhood. An embrace where we throw our arms open and say, “I don’t have it all together,” and then wrap another woman tight and whisper, “and it’s okay if you don’t either…none of us do.”
There should be a safe place for every woman to meet non judgy eyes and feel free to throw her head back and laugh because she ripped one in Target and blamed it on her 4 year old. A place where she can cry because she doesn’t know how to make it another sleepless night because the little one is teething. Where she can come and feel okay because she fed them chicken nuggets for the third time that week and she can’t remember the last time she washed her hair.
So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it. -1 Thessalonians 5:11 MSG
This should be the mother of all hoods. A group of women who lock arms and declare: We are in this thing together. Women who aren’t afraid to rise and cheer for each other or sit down in ashes. Because supported people learn to support people. And every mama could use some support.
Throw your arms open to another mom, you don’t even have to check if you put your deodorant on first, just let her know she’s got an ally in you. Let’s do motherhood together.
And hey, you can join me anytime, I’ll be in the chip aisle, droppin’ it like it’s hot.