Moms Do the Strangest Things
Connie Werner Reichert
I am over the edge. My days have become chaotic and unpredictable. The past seven years I have done strange things I never would have done before. I am a mom.
I recall cooing proudly at my baby’s first fart.
I have been puked on, spit-up on, and peed on, changing my clothes six times a day.
I have driven down winding country roads with four hours of sleep and no latte.
I have changed eleven diapers a day almost without swearing, and I have folded three loads of laundry every day for the past few years while throwing my hands up in despair.
While certain diaper commercials and greeting card ads leave my mascara running down my cheeks, I have learned to chop onions without shedding a tear.
I have sat Indian-style on the cold linoleum floor, impersonating Yogi Bear as I string fruit loops into colorful necklaces.
When my little darling, Lauren, was a toddler, we went out on an afternoon excursion to the outlet mall and she somehow managed to shove a yellow flower blossom up her left nostril. As an audience gathered, I competently managed to extract the honeysuckle flower out of her little nose with my little pinky finger.
When Lauren turned four, I sat on a tiny wooden step stool while allowing myself to be “made-over.” My little girl happily applying cold cream on my face and tied my hair in knots, only to be secured by hair barrettes until I resembled Medusa. She, of course, said I looked beautiful.
I am tickled by the Teletubbies, liking them even more than she does. She gives me a sideways glance when I laugh at Teletubbie toast.
I have become an obsessive collector of empty egg cartons and orange juice concentrate cans. Since every household object can be turned into a wonderful craft, I am inspired by three-dimensional art made with dryer lint and Styrofoam meat trays.
I have become a chauffeur. Not only can I sit through a full hour of Alvin and the Chipmunks on the compact disc of my Camry without a nervous breakdown, I can count all the blue cars I see on the freeway and wipe my child’s dirty face at the same time without driving off the road.
My husband stares at me, as I am a sight to behold. His jaw drops to his shins as I knead the dough into bread, sweep the kitchen floor, talk to my best friend on the phone, pay bills, and clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen, all in 15 minutes. And that is before I pack our daughter’s lunch and send her to school in the morning.
I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled out one afternoon a few months ago, and smiled at my oral surgeon. When he looked at me puzzled, I explained to him, “I went through childbirth, and it is so much worse." Then I lost consciousness.
I participate when I can in my daughter’s classroom, memorizing all 26 of the children´s names and their favorite zoo animals. However, being a mom has catapulted me into the early stages of Alzheimer’s. I can never find my car keys and my driving glasses are always misplaced. I attribute this to the birthing process, I am convinced significant amounts of brain cells exit the body along with the placenta.
Last week, in order to get my daughter to help me with chores around the house, when sheer bribery would not work, I instigated a game of Cinderella. “You don’t get to go to the ball, child, unless this counter top sparkles,” I cackled with a sneer. And it worked!
Just yesterday, I helped dress our Shetland Sheepdog in a stylish cowboy outfit, complete with a red bandanna. Plus, last night, when my husband James had indigestion after I prepared an enticing vegetarian entree, I threw him over my shoulder and burped him before I realized what I was doing. Nevertheless, he belched beautifully.
Yes, I am a mom. I am no longer single and self-absorbed. I am just plain strange. This is my life, and the person I have become. Funny thing is I would not trade all this weirdness for anything else in the world.