There's this mom at M's preschool that I am fairly obsessed with. She has a son in M's class, twin daughters that are about two, and she's monstrously pregnant with her fourth. She also assists with classes at the preschool. She never looks stressed, harried, or strung out. I see her waddling around with what looks like a basketball under her shirt, herding her kids through the school hallways.
"This way girls," she sings. They follow. "Put on your hats," she songs. They put on their hats. "Come now. Time to go home." No meltdowns. No protests. No nothing. She's not remarkable in any other way except for her miraculous way of mothering.
We sat behind her during M's Christmas pageant during the holidays. Her two daughters, no more than two, sat watching the preschool performances, enraptured. Meanwhile, I had just finished running up and down the hall outside the chapel with my two-year-old in an effort to wear him out so maybe, just maybe, he would sit and watch his sister walk down the aisle before making a break for the hills. I just stared. In awe. I almost forgot to catch M coming down the aisle I was so dumbfounded by Mother Mary and her two angels.
I've been a mom now for five years. Still, I'm often reminded that I'm not one of those women hard-wired to instinctively know what the hell I'm doing in this crazy mixed-up world where, among other things, you're responsible for showing someone how to properly take a dump. Like not in his pants, but in a toilet.
Let's get to the ugly truth here. I'm fairly selfish, vain and impatient. When I had my first child, it wasn't just like the culture shock you experience when you move to another country. It was like, "Holy shit. Do they have oxygen on this planet?" I knew this tiny person needed me, and I was going to do my part to make sure I was there. But, other than that. Yup. No clue.
And here I am, several years later. Older and wiser? More of a mommy? Proof is in the pudding, bitches.
On dentist's orders, M has drastically cut back on sweets. So, for her Valentine's Day party at school, I made what you see above -- apples and peanut butter cut into the shape of hearts. Did M love them? Hells yeah. DId that make me feel like Mother of the Year? You better believe it.