Friday, August 17, 2012


Once upon a time I graduated high school and considered my career options. I very briefly considered being a nurse or doctor. (I had already given up the idea of being a vet after my dad pointed out that I would have to put animals to sleep). After some thought, these choices were definitely out of the question. I never liked blood or bodily fluids and considering that I would be dealing with sick people all day long and all of the gross stuff that goes along with that... well, obviously it wasn't a good fit.

Fast forward about 9 years when for some reason I decided that I was "qualified" to become a parent. Essentially, I had all the crucial elements in place:  a house, a husband, a job -- as a special education teacher, no less, which was surely good preparation for a kid, right?--, and our "fur baby," a deaf cocker spaniel we called Ruby. In other words, I had pretty much all of the important stuff, so I figured we were as ready as we'd ever be. Plus, we had the books, parenting magazines, hospital classes, family, and the entire Internet at our disposal to answer questions.

However, when Mia was born, I immediately learned the truth: there is absolutely, positively no real preparation for parenthood. It doesn't matter how many books or parenting magazines you read. It doesn't matter whether or not you took any or all of the classes that were offered at the hospital. Motherhood is hard work, full of thankless tasks and episodes of absolute panic.

The most ironic thing about it is that I have to do all of the disgusting things that I never thought I would be able to handle. Today for example, I was working on Icky, Thankless Mom Task # 1,852: removing dog doo from the tread of a tricycle tire (and a little girl's sandal). No sooner than this chore was completed, the same little girl accidentally spilled half of a gigantic bottle of bubble solution on the driveway. I was in no hurry to do anything about that.

Then, a crazy two-year-old, in typical boy fashion, decided to run barefoot (hey, it's summer) and jump into the puddle of bubble solution. I watched in horror as he flew into the air and slammed his head on the driveway with a resounding thud. Amazingly, I was more upset by this than he was. I took him inside and offered an ice pack from the freezer. He took one look inside and said "no," and then he requested chicken nuggets. I decided then that I didn't need to be too worried. If he's more concerned about eating chicken nuggets than he is about his boo-boo, he's probably going to be just fine.

So, I completed Icky, Thankless Mom Task # 1,853: removing wet clothing and mopping up sticky limbs and hair (while trying not to be upset about the large volume of bubble solution in his beautiful hair, which was just washed last night). Then, I called my husband to give him the low-down on Logan's injury, turned on an episode of Mighty Machines, and crossed my fingers that Brett would be home early tonight. I am so very glad that I do not have to do this insanely hard stuff all on my own.