We all have deep dark secrets and I’ll confess one of mine, if you don’t judge me.
Sometimes I feel superior and smug. Like I’m a GOOD mom and I have my life all sorted out and my children are well behaved. Until the inevitable cosmic smack-down puts me firmly back in my place, reminding me that I am NOT such a good mother and my life is NOT so very in order and my children are DEFINITELY NOT well behaved.
I’ve had this feeling the past few weeks...
I’m whipping up homemade pancakes like one of those “good moms” on an after-school special. Fresh! Healthy! Fluffy! The pancakes are a lot of work but that’s the kind of mom I am. I mentally pat myself on the back as I set a plate of hot cakes with a side of neatly chopped fruit and a frothy glass of milk in front of the children.
I turn back to the kitchen to clean up my mess (because that’s what GOOD MOMS do.)
ZING! Just barely, out of the corner of my eye, I see it… something flying through the air.
I whirl around, spatula in hand. My imp-ish little four-year daughter is eyeing me warily. Her eyes nervously jump from me to the rug near the kitchen sink where a freshly cut piece of syrupy pancake lies face-down.
“Princess Booger!!!” I bellow and immediately she’s up and negotiating,
“But Mommy! I was just throwing it at D!”
“YOU KNOW YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO THROW FOOD AT YOUR BROTHER”
She smiles nervously. slyly. “But mom, I DIDN’T know that.”
“THIS IS DISRESPECTFUL TO ME TO THROW THE PANCAKES I MADE FOR YOU ON THE FLOOR! IT IS DISRESPECTFUL TO OUR HOUSE TO MAKE MESSES LIKE THIS! AND IT’S NOT NICE TO YOUR BROTHER!”
G’s smile has gotten smaller, but it’s still there. Hopeful. Amused.
“GO TO YOUR ROOM!” I howl and pick up the piece of pancake, mumbling obscenities. G slinks to her room, pouting.
I stand by the sink, fuming.
Time goes by… enough that I’ve calmed down and told G what I think about her behavior. I pull out my to-do list. I’ve been meaning to wash the rug and kitchen floor for a week now, and there’s no more putting it off.
Later, same day…
Breakfast dishes are clean. I am on my second, or is it my third?, load of laundry. I am feeling in control again. I am a GOOD MOM. Listen at how happy the children are playing together while I manage our household.
Now that I think about it… those perfect little children have been awfully quiet for quite a while. I haven’t heard a peep out of them for minutes.
I start to get a sinking feeling in my stomach as I cross the kitchen towards the children’s bedroom. The door is almost closed. Another foreboding sign.
I peek around the bedroom door.
My angelic children have markers in their pudgy, little hands. MAGIC MARKERS.
They have decided to decorate the bunk bed frame with some of their darling doodles, as well as each others skin… and clothes… and maybe a bit on the bed sheets too.
And it’s only 1:00.