Mommybloggers & thoughts for Mother’s Day

I’ve been reading a bunch of Mommybloggers lately, and all my synapses are shooting fireworks in different directions inside my head. Some of these mommy blogs are hilarious, some sobering and heart-wrenching, and some…, some are so esoteric – like you’ve found yourself mysteriously inside someone’s thoughts and they’re talking to themselves so it’s really quite difficult to follow along, and yet still oddly fascinating. Some are tedious, and some are vulgar. But all are part of the complex experience of mommyhood. I can’t pretend to share all of their experiences, but some feel pretty darn familiar, even if told in unfamiliar words. Some get hooked on a cause, such as telling off some corporation or politician. For me, the details of my personal life consume my energy and my thoughts, leaving little left for loftier goals. Mr. Tot tries to keep me informed on worldly matters much like a person trying to add water to an over-saturated sponge. His efforts are noble. I hear, and then, more often than not, I usually forget. My mother is repeatedly amazed that I have no recollection of some piece of my life she remembers all too clearly. But then she takes pity on me and says I have too many other things crowding those memories out. After a full, or even partial day of mothering, I feel like so much mush that I find it amazing I can interact with others and not be identified as a sodden lump.

As one who has come to mothering relatively late in life, I never gave mothers credit for the exhausting nature of the job. And even having a child, I STILL truly do not understand how a simple outing to a hospital to pick up a piece of paper, when done with a 2 year old in tow, becomes an utterly exhausting task. It is really not so difficult. I took Tot to said hospital yesterday to pick up documentation to prove that her birth was indeed a valid medical expense (don’t get me started on healthcare spending accounts!) and I ignored that ominous feeling that I was doomed. I had high hopes that I could breeze in, grab the paper, and have Tot mercifully fall asleep on the way home. My biggest worry was that, despite the fact that I called ahead, they would have no idea what paper I was talking about and I would have to wait for some significant fraction of eternity.

Things did not play out as expected.  The universe did some weird inversion process on my thoughts. Getting the piece of paper took about 30 seconds… everything else took an eternity.  Getting out the door was a challenge to begin with.  Just as I exited the highway, I noticed Tot’s eyes close. Let the games begin! You better not be falling asleep on me!!! I started singing Lallalala LAAAA at high volume and high pitch, which if you have heard me sing would make anyone open their eyes in a hurry just to get me to stop. Smiles, giggles even, but no way was she opening her eyes. I figured I could keep her awake the few minutes we had left, but only if I continued the antics, which I did while trying to figure out where the heck I was supposed to go. I had never been to this hospital before and spent some time wandering the intersections around it, before penetrating the defenses and finding that the convenient parking lot was, of course, full, and I had to drive to the other end of the universe, I mean, campus. Tot insisted, of course, on walking the whole way, AND taking with her the freshly painted and most precious ladybug that the “Playplace” staffers had helped her make for her MOTHER for Mother’s Day, but chances are slim that she’s parting with it just for the likes of me. You’d think she had just painted the Mona Ladybug Lisa.

Artiste  (The Artiste, herself!)

This is not just a pebble mind you, it a big, heavy ROCK, covered in still-damp red and black paint, with two googly eyes ready to fall off, which they did much to Tot’s dismay. After I got a map from the information booth to navigate the half-mile trek, and detouring to talk to the fish, I mean, REALLY talk to the fish, we headed off down the hallway at the pace of a handicapped snail. Getting passed by about 247 people, I determined that Tot’s smile-inducing capability was about 96.3%. We finally got to our destination, or so I thought. Waiting in line with Tot on the loose, only resulted in one high-speed chase scene, only to find out, I was in the wrong place. The customer service door two feet away miraculously had no line at all.

I entered and sat down, preparing for the worst. Tot immediately sat herself at the small toddler entertainment area, enchanted with all the books, and promptly fell off her chair. I showed the woman my paper with the important numbers, and she immediately got up. I figured she would be leaving to track things down and leave me hanging for a good long while. This is my experience with hospitals. But no, she was just picking up my papers from her printer and handed them to them. Alleluiah!!! Now for the long journey back. I felt like I was back in the days of “Little House on the Prairie” where journeys to the house next door could take days.

Upon reaching the lobby, Tot discovered some funky-shaped mosaic benches in rock beds. Nirvana! She immediately started picking up a rock in each hand and arranged them on the fish bench. I settled in against the railing to witness the inner workings of my daughter’s mind, figuring that rushing her away would prove fruitless and painful. Given that my energy level was ebbing quickly, I opted for the path of least resistance. She created a single unbroken curving line of rocks the full length of the fish, and then added clusters of rocks on each side of the tail and on the eyes. It was fascinating, but I got impatient, and feared I would never make it home again. I yearned for my ruby shoes. I gave her a deadline which sent her into a tizzy as she rushed to finish her masterpiece. I’m not sure what more she would have done given her freedom, but I wished I had my camera to capture what she did. Once outside, I did break down and carry her, despite vehement protests, because I was already dangerously close to my limit, and I do not do well in hot sticky weather. We managed to make it home the same day miraculously, though I did drive next to the same black Mercedes with USMC skull and crossbones sticker on the back window on the same street, other direction, as when I left home. Do you hear the Twilight Zone music?

The whole outing was a novel experience for Tot and as such, was entertaining to watch. And yet. It. Was. Exhausting. Why? I do not know, except that it involved Tot. I think her energy source must be me. She somehow sucks off my energy to power her torrential lifestyle. It doesn’t even seem all that torrential at times, except that, it exhausts me. More so some days than others. I live for those other days, when I feel like I still have a life…

With Mother’s Day coming up, I can’t help but think that I have completely and overwhelmingly underestimated my mother all these years. And I have the sinking feeling that this realization will only get more and more exaggerated as the years pass. Mom, have your chuckle. Smile that knowing smile, but please, PLEASE, come and take the tot for a while!!

Forget that, I’ll bring her to you. See you soon. For Mother’s day, I’m giving you my daughter. Enjoy. And know that finally, I appreciate your efforts, and your sacrifices in a way I never truly could before.

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