A few stints of babysitting the grand-nephew has reminded me what exhausting work it is to "mother" a very small child. Wow! I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have a houseful of littles. You may be the mother of a toddler if...
1. You speak in sentences of five words or less. And all the words are monosyllabic. (Don't worry - you'll understand that last word when your baby becomes a teenager.)
2. Your house is devoid of any decorations below waist level. However, shelves above waist level are crammed with all sorts of interesting decorations: the TV remote, Martha's knitting, the book Dad is reading, the potted plant, the family cat...
3. You pick other people's noses...
4. ...and you get genuinely excited about poop.
5. You can quote "Inside, Outside, Upside Down" from memory.
6. You know at least three toe ditties. This little piggy went to market...
7. You fall asleep in the rocking chair the third time through singing "The Farmer in the Dell."
8. You have ever chewed up a bite of food, and then put it in someone else's mouth.
9. Ring-a-Round-the-Roses, Peek-a-boo, and Patty Cake are the top three on the list of games you play.
10. You always keep a supply of Cheerios, apple juice, graham crackers, and bananas on hand. Always.
11. Your spine is permanently mis-aligned, with one hip jutting to the side.
12. You can cook an entire meal with only one hand! And your left bicep is ginormous from lugging around that 30-pound bundle of joy the entire time you were cooking - who needs to lift weights at the gym?
13. You seem to always smell like sour milk or dirty diapers, and the front of you shirt is often smeared with jelly or dribbled with juice from a leaky sippy cup.
14. You understand that, despite appearances, small brown pebbles and crushed dandelions are some of the most precious things on this earth.
15. At the end of each day, your house still looks like a disaster area, the laundry still isn't folded, and your brain feels like a bowl of yesterday's oatmeal. It doesn't look like you've accomplished very much with your day - so why are you falling into bed feeling so completely exhausted?
Young mother, resist the temptation to flee from this labor to the safety of something tamer, something more predictable and less messy. Persevere. Don't be deceived by appearances - yours is a noble calling. Yours is the care and nurture of eternal souls, souls housed in wild bodies with stumpy legs and over-sized heads.
"For anyone who makes himself responsible for one small baby, as a whole, will soon find that he is wrestling with gigantic angels and demons." - G.K. Chesterton
3 weeks ago