I really like gifts and my husband will, undoubtedly, give me something for Mother's Day this year. He will do it because he loves me, appreciates me, and wants to bless me. He is Mr. Fantastic, after all.
I suppose there are many reasons I have earned this kind of love and gratitude. However, there are just as many reasons I deserve absolutely nothing. Among my acts of kind gracious mothering are some dark quirks that can't be overlooked.
I offer myself up as proof that there are no perfect mothers. Therefore Mother's Day isn't about making much of our greatness or perfection, but a merciful celebration of us as women who overcome many selfish tendencies in order to love and serve the least of these.
Here are 10 reasons I deserve nothing on Mother's Day:
10. The pitiful "Baby's First Year Journal". Yesterday I found the journal I started after Boy 1 was born. There were exactly six entries and they ended abruptly when he turned ten months old. (Way to go on the "First Year" theme.) Most of the content is about how cute he is and how much I love him. Duh. Where are the specific details? What is he doing developmentally? How big is he? Give some specifics, woman! This is no "First Year" journal. This is more like "Random Thoughts of a Sleep-deprived Woman Who Also Has a Baby". Also, since there is no such sad offering for any of my other children, none of them will never see it. Because then they'll think I played favorites, even though I just lost the will to document anything because I needed a shower and a nap so badly.
9. Cereal. It is possible that my kids think cereal is a major food group given the volume of Chex, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Golden Grahams that they eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. We generally have about six to eight boxes in he house at all times. Why? Because it's easy, they can fix it themselves, and it says it is part of a balanced meal right there on the box. Bon Appetit, my little ones.
8. Stashes. The hidden candy is in the high kitchen cabinet that houses vases and glass casserole dishes. Don't touch it. I know exactly how many gummy bears are in that 7 pound bag. I also have hidden books. If there is a lull in the action, I go sit on the floor by my bed and read a quick chapter of the book on my bedside table. In moments of great distress, I even stash myself away for a quick breath of peace and a prayer in the bathroom, the garage, or the front yard. Motherhood means you do what you have to before you wind up crouched in the corner crying.
7. Allowance Slacker. No I can't remember to get a stack of one dollar bills at the bank. No I don't pay them Sunday morning like I'm supposed to. Yes I do have a hard time remembering how much back-allowance I owe them. No I don't think this will ever change. Maybe I could just pay them the whole year's allowance on New Year's Eve. That might be easier.
6. Laundry loser. Even though baskets of clean clothes loom over our lives like omnipresent bullies, we still find ourselves digging for baseball uniforms in the dirty baskets on Saturday mornings. I am awful at this job because it never ends. Ever. It is unbelievable the way these people seem to wear new things every day. I can't keep up. I now tell them if they want something washed quickly, put it directly in the empty washer. It has come to that.
5. Unmagical tooth fairy. I put the kids to bed, they tell me their tooth is under their pillow, then I go read or watch a movie or sit and chat with Mr. Fantastic, and I forget teeth ever existed. In the morning I hand them a quarter and tell them they can keep the tooth, too, as a bonus. They seem happy enough, I guess, but I'm pretty sure this isn't how it's supposed to go.
4. Sorry quitter. I think the inventors of the game Sorry developed this game in some sort of diabolical experiment to ruin families. (Note: Why are the kids in the commercial for Sorry always laughing? NO ONE LAUGHS WHEN WE PLAY SORRY!) The goal of Sorry is clearly to cause the players to hate one another, be offended, and enact cruel revenge, thereby causing greater hatred. Once someone starts crying, I always want to quit. My miserable, wounded children always want to keep playing. Soooorrrryyyyyy.....
3. Project chica. If I get a wild hair and decide to paint a room, reorganize a closet, or replant a flower bed, I cease to be Mama. The children run wild, and I pay zero attention until my project is done. They may trash the living room, jump on the beds, or break things in the kitchen, and I do not care. We will clean it up, make it right, and bring order back when the project is done and I am Mama again.
2. Sugar pusher. I've seen the posts my healthy friends share on Facebook about sugar causing the end of humanity. I know it causes all kinds of horrendous problems. And yet. Donuts before church? Yes! Cookies on a Tuesday? Absolutely! Candy at the baseball game? Sure! Why? Because sugar makes life better. As do white flour and bacon and queso. So, clearly I don't play favorites in the toxic-for-you food department.
1. Total sucker. If my kids call me Sweetheart, they basically get whatever they want. If they are being kind to one another, they can play almost anything, anytime. If they ask kindly and promise to clean up the mess, the answer is yes. I can be completely manipulated by kind words, the batting of eyelashes, and generous love for one another. Sure, build a fort out of blankets that spans the length of the house! Absolutely, do an experiment using all my pots and pans! Yes, you guys can play in the hose, make mud forts, and jump off the roof. Because you're being sweet, and I like that so much I won't ruin this moment.