You know you're in the Mother-Hood when...

You Know You're in the MotherHood When...

You've sniffed a spot on your shirt and been able to determine the origin of said spot with CSI efficiency.

You let someone see you basically naked because he said he was an anesthesiologist.

It's a good day if you actually had time to shower, without interruptions or an audience of any kind.

Your meal plan has consisted of eating whatever mac and cheese is left in the pot after you've served it to the kids.

A drawing of you with a head the size of a watermelon is the prettiest picture you've ever seen.

Everyone but you being asleep counts as "alone time."

You feel a sense of accomplishment if you read an entire article in People magazine in one sitting.

You can name 3 out of 5 Backyardigans - you know you can.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cheers, Tears, & Back to School Fears

If you are a parent, chances are you've seen the movie "Finding Nemo."
Chances are you've seen it so many times, that you've contemplated filleting a few cast members and serving them with drawn butter and a nice chardonnay, but I digress.
There's a scene before Nemo gets lost, when he wakes up exhilarated at the prospect of going to school.
"First day of school! First day of school! Let's go, let's go, let's go!"
His father, Marlin, reluctantly drops him off to venture out on his own and, in true Disney fashion, an incredible adventure ensues. After dueling sharks, riding the EAC with surfer turtles and mass transit via a pelican's mouth, Marlin is reunited with his son and learns the value of letting your children out into the world to experience life on their own.

Talk to (almost) any parent mid-August and you'll find they've not so secretly started a countdown to the first day of school. They can't wait to get their kids back on a schedule, and if they are stay at home-ers, they are envisioning all the projects they started over the summer that they can now actually finish. Or, more realistically, at least catch up on the laundry.
All those days when I was pulling my hair out, tripping over toys, praying that those Playhouse Disney songs would somehow find their way out of my head; all I could think about was how much I was going to get done once my daughter was back at school. Plus, I had the added bonus of my toddler starting nursery school, which meant two days a week, for two a and a half hours, I was on my own. All moms know that two and a half hours child free is like 10 hours to most people!

First day of school and I don't know who's more excited. Me or the kids.
Outfits picked out, lunch box packed, and I send my newly minted first grader on her way.
I think she waved goodbye before virtually sprinting toward the school bus. I guess the fact that she was dressed and ready almost two hours before the bus came was a good indicator of her excitement level. I know she's going to love everything about school, so the pulls on my heartstrings are limited and overshadowed by my pride in having such an independent, self assured little girl.
Then there's my son.
He's almost two and desperately in need of some peer group time not to mention time away from mom. When we get around to finishing our basement, I want it to be enjoyed by all, not the future home of my 40 year old son who lives down there and hosts Dungeons and Dragons tournaments. It's time to start slightly severing those ties that have become knotted as he's been at home with me for two years.
He's met his teachers, seen his classroom, which is a virtual wonderland for those three feet and under. I drive there Monday morning, confident that this is going to be so good for him, that he'll become more like his independent sister and his emotional and cognitive development have nothing to lose and everything to gain from this.
Two whole hours on my own! The possibilities were endless!
I could plan more elaborate meals using those dusty cookbooks.
I could finish (okay start & finish) some scrapbooks that I have been putting off for, well, ever.
I could be all Martha and reorganize my closets by color or season or at least what fits!
I could hit the elliptical and be Angelina's stunt double by next month! (then more would fit!)

As I pulled into the nursery school parking lot, I was giddy with the prospects of all my accomplishments that were just waiting to be achieved.
My son was excited to be there, literally ran to the door, his tiny personalized back pack the only thing slowing him down.
This is great! This will be a piece of cake!
He ran into his new classroom overwhelmed with the choices. Let's face it, it's hard to decide between the plastic kitchen, puzzles, and sit and scoot toys - just ask some past presidents.
I stood back by the door, so proud of him and ready to walk away feeling nothing but sheer joy (both for him and me and my coveted alone time.)
Then, of course, the inevitable. I literally see the realization cross over his face that I was, in fact, LEAVING him there.
So yes, there were tears and lots of cries for "Mama!"
But still, I left - not wanting to be one those mothers that stays, and stays and stays.
I left, knowing that, just like with babysitters, he'd be fine seconds after I left, probably knee deep in play-doh and happiness.

So, imagine my surprise, when I got into the car and felt the tiny stings of tears behind by sunglasses. What? You're going home to sit on the deck and soak up the sun, oh yeah, right after the hour long elliptical set. What's with the waterworks? This is the same toddler terrorist who bursts into the bathroom, interrupts every shower, takes EVERYTHING out of your make up drawer EVERYDAY, violently swipes magnets off the fridge in a rage over snack rationing... so what's the deal?

Here's the deal. As cool and collected and ready for some "me" time as I appeared to be. I couldn't help but feel the slightest bit, oh, ship adrift on the empty house ocean. As elated as I was that both my kids were going to make new friends and be learning things other than what I have been teaching them (like when I nearly broke my toe on the coffee table and taught them a whole list of words NOT to say at school); I had a bit of a mushy, Hallmark moment.
I remember hearing someone say that having kids was like having your heart walking around outside your body. I realized that as excited as I was for them, part of me would really miss them while they were gone.

Well, I'd miss the sweet, snuggly, freshly bathed kids that squeezed my neck and told me they loved me so much.
Those dirty, cranky, "Can't I have just ONE more cookie" kids can stay at school as long as they want.
To all you mom's who have released your Nemos back into the world, or who are still counting down the days; I say to you, go ahead, shed a tear or two and remember when they were just your tiny babies.
Then wipe those frickin' tears away, make a pedicure appointment and eat the rest of the raw cookie dough for lunch. That bus will be back before you know it!


Jennifer Bohnart said...

LOVED IT!!!! and could our boys be anymore a like??? sending hugs and vino your way! see you in a month!

Angie @ said...

Oh my gosh, I love u! U say it ALL so well! It appears we have a lovely mutual friend who gave us both blog love today ( Jennifer). But now that I see your fantastics blog in action and read your FAB writing, I am not sure how she puts us in the same boat!

#1 thing I learned from u today ... I need to WRITE more on my blog. Some things a picture CAN'T say!