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Humor for a Mom's HeartStories, Quips, and Quotes to Lift the Heart
Howard BooksCopyright © 2002 Various
All right reserved.
I Am Mommy, Hear Me Roar1
A long time ago, I gave up using the name on my birth
certificate and just started referring to myself as Mommy. As in:
Come give Mommy a kiss.
Tell Mommy where it hurts.
I told you Mommy's ears can't hear whining.
Mommy's face looks like this because Mommy just found out that somebody used
her lace tablecloth to wipe off fingernail polish.
I knew I wasn't alone on that either. I know for a fact that none of my friends
have names. We greet each other in the market:
Hi, Sarah's mom!
Hi, Laura's mom!
The vet even calls me Blackie's mom.
I may not have a real name, but you know who I am. There's a container of Gak
dumped in a corner of my living room carpet and the moldy remains of a peach
deemed too gross to eat stuffed in the cushions of my couch. I walk around the
house with dryer lint and used Q-tips in the pocket of my robe. I spend the
majority of my day behind the wheel of acar-traveling hundreds of miles to and
from softball practice, cheerleading practice, and trips to the market-yet never
leave the city limits. I can't do a quadratic equation, but I can tell you how
to get to Sesame Street.
My prayers are often frantic and generally specific. (Lord, please help my
child throw up in the bucket and not on the wall.) At times I pray to be made
invisible, like during PTA meetings when they need someone to chair the fifth
grade fundraising car wash or during the Christmas program when it's my child up
on stage singing, Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me, as she
proceeds to slug the boy standing next to her.
I know you know me. I wash my children's faces with spit and my thumb. Pick at
the dirt behind their ears. Whine about their whining. Nag about their nagging.
Worry that I'll never live to see the day they'll change their underwear without
coercion or threats of bodily harm.
I have eyes in the back of my head and a nose that can sniff out doggy doo-doo
on a sneakered foot fifty yards away. I have ears that can hear Oreo cookies
being eaten underneath the covers by a child who is supposedly asleep. With just
one sideways glance, I can tell who sharpened her crayon with my eyeliner pencil
sharpener and who accidentally-on-purpose let the bathroom sink overflow.
A few years ago, you would have recognized me as the one with strained chicken
and peas plastered in my hair and a faraway look in my eyes, as I dreamed of a
life that was not planned around nap time and late night feedings. I was the one
who, when asked by a poll-taker to name my favorite male television performer,
answered without hesitation, Ernie from Sesame Street.
Once upon a time I had a stomach that didn't fall to the floor. Once, I had hips
that didn't serve as a baby saddle and a shelf for grocery bags. Once, I could
even take a bath. Alone. All by myself. Without someone pounding on the closed
door, asking if she could use the blue food coloring or just wondering if
Super Glue ruins dining room tables.
If you looked in my closet you'd find baggy sweats with elastic waists; big,
long sweaters; and pull-on pants. Forget Bill Blass and Anne Klein, give me
Hanes Her Way any day.
You know who I am. I eat standing up. Breakfast consists of the soggy cereal
left in bowls on the kitchen table, the ends of bread left in the bag, and blobs
of strawberry jam scraped from the counter. I grab lunch on the run from a
drive-through window and nibble on dinner as I cook it. I finish everyone else's
ice cream, then wonder why I can't ever seem to lose weight.
Don't tell anyone, but I live for bedtime. I yearn for the sounds of a child's
slumber. I long for my own head to hit the pillow. I pine for (yawn) zzzzz.
You know me. I'm the one with the knot in her stomach, praying her child will
figure out how to turn over on the playground turnover bar so she won't be
humiliated in front of her classmates during gym class. I'm the one who drinks
the powdered milk so the rest of the family can have the real stuff. I'm the
one who eagerly counted the days until both daughters went to school, then cried
when that day finally arrived.
I'm the one who willingly suffered through morning sickness, swollen ankles,
uncontrollable crying jags, and overwhelming desires for lemon meringue pie and
out-of-season blackberries. (Not to mention pushing a bowling ball through a
part of my body a bowling ball doesn't normally fit-twice.)
I'm the one frightened voices call for in the middle of the night. I'm the one
who changes wet sheets at three in the morning, rocks a nightmare-stricken
preschooler back to sleep at four, then gets up at five to let the dog out.
I'm the one who, despite an utterly selfish nature and a propensity toward evil
(in addition to an inadequacy in and of myself and a definite lack of
experience), God chose as caretaker, teacher, and nurturer for two totally
dependent little sinners.
With apologies to the Peace Corps, I have the toughest job anyone will ever
love. I am battle-weary from refereeing squabbles over who did or did not do the
dishes last and battle-scarred from getting smacked in the thigh by a
line-driven softball during backyard batting practice. Still, I endure.
Who am I? I am a cooker of oatmeal and cleaner of soap scum. A taxi driver,
spider killer, purchaser of folders with pockets and prongs, pencil finder, and
dental appointment maker. Loudest cheerleader and most fervent pray-er,
encourager of dreams and holder of hands. I am a tear wiper and boo-boo kisser,
the toothbrushing gestapo and an example of faith. You know who I am.
I am a mother.
1. "I Am Mommy, Hear Me Roar" taken from Mom on the Run by Nancy
Kennedy. Copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission.
Excerpted from Humor for a Mom's Heart by Various Copyright © 2002 by Various. Excerpted by permission.
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