I think all little girls envision being mothers someday. We mentally name our children, and determine what birth order they’ll all go in, exactly like we have power over that.
(Don’t ask me about names. As a sophomore in high school, I announced to my mother that I was going to grow up one day and have a son named Wolf. I was a bit taken aback by her utter lack of enthusiasm over that.)
(Hubs and I have two sons. Neither one of them is named Wolf because WHAT WAS I THINKING?! It was obviously a dark time that involved a lot of teenage poetry.)
(And don’t even get me started on teenage poetry. I think I once envisioned myself to be a fifteen-year-old, poetry-writing prodigy, as I wrote about broken hearts and love gone bad, all before Taylor Swift was even born. And then life got significantly better, because I went to college and Nike introduced their first-ever sport sandals. Win! Not long ago, I was asked to judge a young authors’ contest in our state. Kids from every side of Old West State submitted their entries, and I was given first grade prose and twelfth grade poetry to read through. I think sticking a fork in my eyeball would have been less painful than reading some of those poems about broken hearts and love gone bad.)
(For the record? I don’t write poetry any more. I don’t even read poetry anymore, unless it’s featured in Where the Sidewalk Ends, because that is some excellent writing, let me tell you.)
Where was I?
Envisioning my future children, when I was little more than a child myself. I think that’s where we were. Sometimes I get sidetracked by shiny things. In fact, a friend of mine posted a picture to Facebook yesterday that had AD/HD written on a T-shirt in the same font that AC/DC uses for their band. Underneath of it were the words, “Highway to OH, LOOK! SHINY SQUIRREL!”
I might need one or six of those to wear with my pajama bottoms, because goodness knows, that’s all I’ve had on lately.
Before Hubs and I had kids, I had some pretty fantastic ideas about raising them. First of all, they were most definitely NOT going to eat fast food. I was going to make homemade baby food in a blender, and I was going to cook meals from scratch every evening, and our children would look like models for Ralph Lauren’s children’s line, and their arteries would be healthy.
By the time the boy was two, he could lean out the window in the McDonald’s drive-thru and shout, “Happy meal! No onions! I want a toy!” And that probably gets us into a whole issue about, “Why was he not restrained in a five-point harness and wearing a protective fire suit like all the NASCAR drivers wear?”
He was. He could just shout really loudly from his carseat. Because, even though I completely broke my own rule about never feeding our child fast food, I was (and still am) a seatbelt buckler. Our boys are tied down in all moving vehicles.
Unless they’re riding on the interstate in the back of their daddy’s truck. There aren’t any seatbelts there.
The other thing that I envisioned when Hubs and I eventually had children was sick days. Oh, I was going to have my little people camped out on the sofa with warm blankets and bowls of homemade chicken noodle soup. I would refresh cool washcloths for their foreheads. We would have straws for cans of 7-Up, and they would weakly smile at me and say, “Thank you, Mama.” I would sit beside them and read enormous novels to them, while they put their feet in my lap and had me rub them. In my mind, our sick days looked exactly like they would look if Normal Rockwell had painted them.
And then Hubs and I had children, and they had sick days. They puke in their beds. Their snot drips from their noses and their mouths, and they smear it across their faces, and I don’t even want to TOUCH THEM, let alone rub their feet. They throw up the canned chicken noodle soup I offer them, and they want nothing to do with large novels being read to them, either, because CAN’T I JUST WATCH THE PAWN STARS MARATHON ON TV, MOM?
That’s something that Normal Rockwell never signed his name in paint to.
Thing 2 is continuing in his brother’s footsteps this way.
He has crawled around the house, moaning today. He has enough snot to use as mortar on an eight-story brick building with a detached parking garage that holds seventy-nine vehicles. He is very efficient at wiping his snot with the back of his hand, before I can get to him with the Kleenex, and he leaves it everywhere. I gave him orange juice in a bottle this morning, which he thought was a novelty. And then he pushed the bottle away, sat up in my lap, coughed up a storm, gagged from all the coughing, and threw up six gallons of orange juice into my lap.
This was exactly twenty minutes after we had both gotten a bath in… after we both had put on clean pajamas for the day.
(I am currently wearing my fourth pair of pajamas since this morning. I keep expecting Stacy London and Clinton Kelly to show up on my doorstep, announcing that I’ve been turned in by “meant-well” friends, who just want me to DRESS IN SOMETHING OTHER THAN A 2009 5K RUN SHIRT AND PINK JAMMY BOTTOMS.)
(For the record? Races give out T-shirts for 5K runs sometimes, and you don’t even have to do the running part.)
(There’s a sign currently circulating on Pinterest that says, “I never run with scissors. And those last two words were unnecessary.” It might become my life motto.)
(Which is code for THE COUCH TO 5K APP ON MY iPHONE HAS DUST ON IT.)
Real sick days for kids are messy, people. I’m not going to lie to you, if you haven’t birthed some children yet (or even had God hand-deliver them to your front door without the contractions and epidural and threats to just punch your husband right between the eyes for knocking you up in the first place). I feel like I’ve needed a Haz Mat suit today and a package of matches to just burn our house down and be rid of all the germs.
But then that would make us homeless, and I certainly didn’t envision THAT for my children when I was young, which is probably why I used the Clorox like a maniac today. (That’s code for MY HANDS LOOK LIKE I DIG GRAVEL, BAREHANDED, FOR A LIVING, AND ALL OF MY DREAMS OF BEING A HAND MODEL IN A JEWELRY CATALOG HAVE FLOWN OUT THE WINDOW. Clorox is not gentle on hands.)
And the epinephrine in the nebulizer has helped reduce Thing 2’s cough a bit today, but it continues to jack him up like that hummingbird at an espresso-sampling bar. (Which is code for NO DRUGS BOUGHT ON THE STREETS COULD PRODUCE A HIGH LIKE THIS ONE IN A MAMA WHO NEEDS TO BAKE SIX HUNDRED CUPCAKES FOR A SCHOOL FUNDRAISER. Ain’t nobody got time for that.)
I’m off to run myself through the Germ-X mister that I’ve asked Hubs to install above all of our doorways, and then I’ll probably soak in a Clorox bath for a bit before I go to bed.
And then I’ll stop in both of the boys’ bedrooms and kiss their sweet little cheeks. It’s because, even in the midst of a valley of snot, their adorable faces lift my heart with love to the mountaintops.
Carry on, and y’all have a merry Wednesday night.