12 Things a Mom Is Not
To my dearly mistaken children:
Over the past five and a half years, you have developed a skewed vision of my job description. When I signed up for a lifetime career as “mommy,” I wasn’t prepared to add numerous new skills to my resume, skills such as expert nose-wiper and dependable garbage-disposal.
That said, I totally understand your confusion. At times, I have openly volunteered myself for each and every one of these tasks. However, you need to understand that I did not sign an ironclad contract to be available at all times for each and every one of these menial jobs.
While I do love you with every ounce of blood flowing through my overly-exhausted body, your bodily fluids and tiresome demands for “right now!” are not as endearing. So, for the time being, please view this as a letter of resignation from the following duties:
1. Wipe rag. My shirt may be white, but it was not made by Kleenex. Next time you are in need of a tissue, I will be happy to point you in the direction of the nearest box.
2. Cup holder. (Thank you, Lisa Belkin)- Just because my hands may be empty at this particular moment does not mean that they are open for service. I would like to introduce you to a new concept: the table.
3. Teething toy. (Thank you Farah Miller)- When you were just a wee babe, I nursed you through the teething pain of your first few teeth. However, you no longer suckle at my breast, and my inner thigh is not a nipple.
4. Chauffeur. Although I may drive you around town from school to swimming to gymnastics, while you lounge in the back seat sipping water from a bottle and thumbing through paperback books, no one has ever offered to pay me for this service. Therefore, there will be no, “Mom, I need to go to my friend’s house right now!” until you tender me a healthy stipend.
5. Personal butler. Notice that only the highest of aristocrats on Downton Abbey retain their own personal butler. You, my dears, are not the Earl and Countess of Grantham, and I am no scullery maid. You can pick up your own socks.
6. Bean Bag Chair. When I am lying on the couch, relaxing after a long day of playing Super Kitties and Uno, this is not an open invitation to leap off the back of the sofa onto my unprotected stomach. Please no not mistake my squishy post-baby belly as any form of jumpable cushion.
7. Olympic Judge. I sincerely do not care who ran faster from the coffee table to the kitchen, and I am definitely not going to adjudicate which of your preformed the better underwater handstand. If you must make every sibling interaction into a competition, I will be in the other room.
8. Royal Food Taster. No one is trying to poison you with steamed spinach. It tastes fine. Just eat it.
9. Canvas for painting. My Scottish heritage may have bequeathed me with a pasty, white complexion, similar to that of a drawing canvas, but it is my pale skin, which I prefer to leave free of Crayola markers and water-color paint. You may use a piece of paper.
10. Short order cook. Not a fan of the dinner I just made? Well, I wasn’t really a fan of the present you left me in your diaper, but I soldiered on and so will you.
11. Make-up model. Yes, there was that one time I allowed you to apply blush and mascara to my face, but in my mind, it was really just a one-time deal.
12. Trash can. I understand that when you finish your kid-size Clif Bar, you truly think, “You know who wants this wrapper? Mom wants it!” Unfortunately, my lovely, little spawn, contrary to the food stains on my blouse, I am not a waste bin.
Now, that we have cleared up the confusion, please excuse me while I go fold your father’s underwear. He will be receiving his own letter soon.
Writer, wife, and mother of toddlers