The nice (more politically correct) way of saying it is “the unique challenges of motherhood”. The more realistic way is “the stuff that kids do that drives us absolutely crazy”.
You know. The stuff moms complain about, the badges of honor that moms share with each other in a twisted game of one-upsmanship. “My 3-year-old insisted on sitting on my lap through our entire dinner out!” The conversations that start with “If you think that was bad…” and end with the latest horror story in your life combining building a business with raising kids.
It’s the singular focus of the conversation in your mommy and me classes and the confession you share with your girlfriend at the Starbucks during your mom entrepreneur brainstorming coffee date with toddlers in tow. “Yesterday my son colored all over the dining room walls AND my new chairs with permanent marker!”
My motherhood badge of honor story is about my five-year-old daughter and her habit of climbing into bed with us in the middle of the night. She’s a master at kicking off all the covers, whacking us in the heads with sleepy limbs or wriggling little toes into places little toes do not belong.
Sleep in our household has become a precious commodity thanks to our midnight invader. The complaints range from laughing with our friends about our latest late night disturbance to grumpy declarations that children will not be allowed to sneak into bed anymore after waking up with a sniff back thanks to the all-night lumbar foot attack.
Laying wide-awake next to my daughter who had yet again shuffled into our bed reminded me of that song by Barbara Mandrell “You can eat crackers in my bed anytime baby!” Watching her sleep with her tiny hands pressed together in a silent prayer and tucked under her cheek, I flashed forward to the UGH! teenaged years and her growing up and going off to university, getting married and having a daughter of her own.
“You can eat crackers in my bed anytime baby because soon you won’t want to.”
Soon you’ll make me stop at the edge of the schoolyard so you can walk with your friends and not be seen with your weird mom. Soon you will be too big to fit on my lap (although I’d have you anyway in a heartbeat). Soon all the stuff that drives me crazy as a mom will be my happiest memories.
So cuddle the restless gourmand through the dinner with friends, find a more suitable venue for the little Picasso and get a bottle of Advil for the backache that you’ll wish you had back the moment they grow up.
What are your favorite “You can eat crackers in my bed anytime baby” moments with your kids? Please share your stories in the comments below!