Monday, March 27, 2006

What a relief!

The nonsense with Audrey's immunizations is over. She's back from the doctor's after getting her boosters at 7:30am. Well, that was stressful. What a royal pain-in-the-ass.

You know, when you are pregnant and have a baby shower, no other mothers tell you this crap is in the cards. At some showers they even have an advice-giving time where guests can let you know what you're in for. Do you ever hear about the times the baby has the flu and is oozing or projecting from every orifice? No. Do they tell you how to avoid jumping out a window from lack of sleep when the kid has his/her days and nights reversed? Hell, no. They just give you useless nuggets of advice like "sleep when the baby sleeps" and "enjoy every moment because it goes by so fast". Ugh. Not to say these things aren't true but it's still total B.S because it doesn't prepare a mother for the reality of what's to come.

See, a new mother has an image in her mind of immediate bonding, of her and the baby gazing lovingly into each other's eyes. Lots of sighing and cooing and smiling and smooshy luurrrvvve. God forbid you should tell her about the time your kid was about to throw up in church and the only thing you could think to do was catch it in your hands.

We should be able, as women, to be honest with each other about the sucky parts of being a mother. It's not all tickles, picnics and rolling around in the grass. Elliott, my 9.5 year old, is starting to hone his teenaged surly attitude and his feet smell. Bad. Audrey, my 7.5 year old, frequently tells me she hates me and has asthma attacks that sometimes wake her up at night. And Henry who just turned 6, still wears a Pull-Up to bed. Nobody told me I'd be in for this when I was pregnant. I want my naïveté back.

Please don't get me wrong. I love this mother gig so, so much. It really is cool to sit across the dinner table from three beings with your DNA from their hair to their toenails. To see, despite their flaws (and ours), how good a job we have done with them. And to realize that when they grow up they're going to be really nice adults. But it sure isn't much comfort when you're in a pew wondering what to do with your cupped hands full of regurgitated cheese omelette. We need to go into this motherhood thing well armed, prepared and supported with knowledge of the bad and the great so we aren't blindsided by reality. We have to spread the word. Who's with me?


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