Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails and Peas, Pubes and toenails.

Being a mom is one of the greatest feats I have ever conquered. I can’t profess to having perfected it. I’ve failed many trials, even on my second, third and fourth try. That being said, the laughs, giggles and, yes, heartache I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I’ve been peed on, pooped on, thrown up on. So has most of our immediate family. Alex had the flu at our first dinner party in the first two weeks of buying our first home. My mama pushed me into it and it was really stressful. My favorite cousins were in attendance and they knew Alex before he was out of the womb. Bob picked up Alex and bounced him on his knee and Alex promptly shit all over him. Luckily, it was clear and smell-less (as he had been doing it all day), so we feigned urine, gave him a change of sweats for Bob while we laundered his khakis.

I have pulled peas, legos and erasers out of each child’s nose. There is a reason that you have to change your child’s diapers until up to the age of three. It is to give you the opportunity to get a view up their nostrils that you would have not had without said diaper change.

We’ve rescued our child crawling in the middle of the street after he mastered the escape route of the not quite completely closed screen door. He ventured out during an open house at the local elementary school in which traffic was at its highest. It’s a wonder he wasn’t hit. Another child snuck out the door of the cabin to take a “hair cut” (a short cut) to our local lake. He was followed by our loyal dog, Heidi, and we found him in the parking lot.

We’ve done cloth diapers, pampers, huggies and generics. I’ve breast fed, pumped, leaked and resigned myself to formula.

I’ve held my children down for vaccinations, naps and tantrums only to inform the doctors/nurses that they can hold my child down, I’m there to love and nurture them. I still held them down for naps and tantrums (only for my sanity and the guarantee that I, too, would get a nap). I’ve held them when they were hurt, bandaged them when they were injured, and told them when they were wrong.

I’ve watched my child play Peek-a-Boo, in the bath tub with his uncircumcised “willy” (to my mother’s hysterics), I’ve picked up finger nail clippings off the coffee table, demanding a confession from one of the 4 males in my house to only be answered with, “they are not my finger nails, they are my toe nails”. I’ve checked lumpy testicles, given suppositories and locked my child in the bathroom. Their dad stating, “I don’t think that is safe for him?” With my response being, “It’s safer than if I did not lock him into the bathroom.” I have also conducted a six figure conference call in the toilet room to avoid 3 year old tantrum at high pitch levels. I’ve done time outs in restaurants, grocery stores, friend’s homes and our own home. I have never spanked my children, but have given them the high five on their ass as they walked by with their smart mouth.

I’ve watched my son give the Jim Carrey “Pet Detective” talk out of his ass, bare naked, in the front expanded windows in our living room, while another ran through the house in a negligee, I’ve gone through my child’s pockets trying to assist in finding his wallet only to find unlimited packets of condoms in every pocket in the jacket that he had (which was numerous). I’ve experienced a successful invite to homecoming to be followed by my child shaving his balls the very next day in anticipation. This actually happened twice. If it happened more than that, I really don’t want to know.

I’ve watched my children struggle through depression, heart break, death, divorce and failure only to watch them rebound in recovery, growth and acceptance. I’ve learned to give my children space, while silently, quietly stalking them to make sure they were OK.

I’ve had mothers’ day cards, birthday cards, I love you cards that I have collected over the 24 years that I have been a mother. Each of them individual, special and so never taken for granted. I’ve adopted their friends, who are a part of my own children’s story and are a physical and mental part of their past and future.

I have tried to teach them about life, love, sex, humility, fairness, responsibility. I have sucked at teaching them about money, but I try to recover in my later years. I have taught them to cook, to own their baggage, to say “I’m sorry”, to be nice, to hold the door open, to look a person in the eye and give them a firm handshake.

There is more to teach them, but meanwhile, I have learned so very much. My children teach me so many things every day, humility, fairness, responsibility, to be nice, to say I’m sorry, to say I love you. Sometimes I think they teach me more than I could possibly teach them, but the heartache, giggles and laughs on the way —- they are priceless and just part of the big circle we call life.

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