Some days it feels like my life is all about wiping: bottoms, counters, feet, noses, pets, floors, windows, tables, walls; you name it, I wipe it. I find myself asking, "How is there yogurt on the wall upstairs? No one eats upstairs! Why is there glitter in MY room? Is that pizza sauce on the couch? We didn't even HAVE pizza this week! And what IS that dried, crusty stuff on the bathroom wall?"
I must say, "We do NOT have a maid here! Clean up after yourselves!" about a hundred times a day. This, of course, leads to, "I sound like a broken record!" (which leaves my kids confused. They have no idea what a record is. They don't even know what a cassette tape is.)
I know I'm not alone; my mom tells me she felt the same way when she was raising four kids. We all say the strangest things, things that would shock our pre-mommy selves. Once, when my oldest was about a year old, I found myself saying, "No hands in the diaper at the table! NO HANDS IN THE DIAPER!" -- while I was on the phone. Yes, that's right, on the phone. (Luckily, I was talking to my sister. She doesn't judge.)
So I started wondering: What would someone think if they could hear only MY part of the conversation, out of context, like when you hear that annoying person on a cell phone in a restaurant? (You know who you are. We ALL know who you are. A sampling of my favorites: Cats don't actually like to swim, so let's not put Duncan in the pool. I know it looks like a dress, but no, your witch costume isn't appropriate for church. Just leave the sunglasses in the toilet! Mommy's keys are where? The cat box? No, don't get them. We'll take Daddy's car. Stop using your words. STOP USING YOUR WORDS! Why are there raisins under the couch? We don't even HAVE any raisins! Wait, no, DON'T TOUCH THAT!
A few years ago, I saw a movie in which the main character's sister asks her young son, "What is that all over your face? Is it poop or chocolate?" and takes a sniff and a lick. (If I weren't so busy wiping, I'd google it and find out the title of the movie.) Her single, childless sister is horrified. "What if it had been poop?" she wonders.
Well, let me tell you, that's not the worst thing I've wiped off my kids. Motherhood changes us. I used to gag at the mere THOUGHT of vomit. Now I can handle two vomiting kids while changing sheets, taking temperatures, and cleaning vomit out of my own hair. The smell doesn't faze me in the least. Smells don't bother me now that I'm a mom; I've had to get over it. Who among us hasn't done the "lift the baby up, sniff her diaper for poop" test? And we do it to our friends' kids!
Slacker Mom Says... my image of myself as a perfectly-poised, sweetly-smiling Super Mom has been shattered, but I'm OK with that. When you hear yourself saying bizarre things, things that you never thought would come out of your mouth, just remember: We've all been there. Our kids make us a little crazy, our husbands make us a little crazy, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Just try to put down the phone before you ask, "Poop or chocolate?"