Awhile back I mentioned on here that one of the things I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and finally doing is to submit something I’ve written to a contest. The early bird deadline for the contest I have chosen is coming up in less than a month, although I won’t hear any final decisions until after the Summer. I’ve written one item to go into the Personal Essay/Memoirs section and have an idea for a second (based on a blog post I’ve done recently). The work has to be original and unpublished, however the rules state that having been shared on your personal blog is not considered to be published.
SO…….I’ve decided to give ya’ll an advance reading of what may someday be the piece that kicked off my writing career! Or the first of my rejection letters – although actually they said they have too many entries so they don’t actually send out rejection letters. Basically when my next birthday rolls around if I have not heard anything, I will know it flopped.
This post is already going to be one of my longest due to this story – so without further ado – here is my first Masterpiece – based of course, upon my three wonderful “angels” Note: in this story my youngest has been renamed from The Instigator to the Fearless one due to the context of the story. Keep reading and you’ll understand the change.
TALES OF A NOT SO SUPER MOMMY
I have a confession to make. Are you ready? I am NOT a perfect mom! (Insert shocked emoji face here!) I wouldn’t even label myself a good mom at times. I try very hard and have great intentions, but the problem is my children just refuse to get on the perfect family bandwagon with me.
I’ll tell you another secret – I cuss in front of and sometimes at my children! I know! It is a horrible thing to do. However, in all honesty they can be little shits! Why sugar coat the truth?
You see I was blessed with three independent, curious, smart and creative children. And while I am very grateful for these characteristics in my offspring, they are the same things that keep derailing my grand plans for that Super Mom of the Year award.
The reality is I love my children dearly and they are really good kids for the most part. Even well behaved kids, especially when they are at someone else’s house (let’s keep it real – as a parent that is what you really hope for – that they behave when they are with other people!) But they are kids. Three very different kids. My daughter (we call her The Girl) is 16 and actually pretty easy going and usually low drama. At least compared to most teenage girls. This should score some Mom of the Year points in my favor, however this is not the end of my story. Her biggest issue is her tendency to put ideas in the heads of the other two kids – The Boys. They are 11 and 13. The oldest is a true middle child and our Drama Queen. That is bad enough – but then add to that my youngest, the Fearless one. The two of them together are the reason for the sparkles (aka gray) that has magically started appearing on my head in the last couple years. It has to be them because I am only 29, and have been for the past 14 years!
Let me give you a few examples of the dynamics of our household so you’ll better understand my reasons for falling short on my quest for perfection. You can try to keep score if you’d like. I just ballpark the deficit anymore.
A few years ago Fearless came in the house with a giant goose egg bruise on his forehead. After a bit of questioning I found out the Girl had invented a new game for the three of them. This game consisted of her swinging on the swing set while Drama Queen and Fearless ran back and forth in front of her trying to dodge her flying feet. After a couple of runs she managed to nail Fearless in the forehead. Apparently he was the loser for that round.
A few days later I happened to look out the window to see the boys on the swing set and the Girl was standing a few feet in front of them, a soccer ball in her hand and her arm cocked back ready to throw. As I stepped out the back door to tell them this was probably not a wise idea, the Girl chucks the ball as hard as she can. Of course, it hits Fearless in the forehead. I think the bruise from a few days before was like a flashing neon target too hard to resist. The poor child had no chance and went flying backwards off the swing.
As soon as I got out the door and the other two saw me, they ran over and drug Fearless by his armpits behind the play house. As I walked over I could hear them whispering to him to not cry and I could hear him choking back his sobs. I turn the corner to see all three of them standing there, arms around each other with big smiles on their faces. “Hi, Mom!” they all chorus innocently. Even Fearless smiled as big as possible while tears ran down his face and his forehead flashed red. Instances like this definitely put me in the negative for Mom of the Year points, BUT I’m going to give myself bonus points for having kids that rally together in times of trouble. Yes, I know I’m reaching here, but I have to go for everything I can get!
It would not be so bad if these were one-off instances. Unfortunately though, this is just a typical day in our life. The bruise finally healed, however the shenanigans have not stopped. I could go on and on with examples and probably will take the time to write them all down one day. If nothing else, it will be fun to read over them again with the kids if they survive to adulthood and have children of their own. But to date, the one that stands out the most is what we have begun to refer to in our family as the “Pepper Spray Incident”. I think this will make things a bit more clear as to why I will always fall short of being a Super Mommy. No perfect mom would ever have children this crazy and “adventurous”. Just keep reading, you’ll see.
Two summers ago, my boys walked with a friend down to a little park located near our house. They were gone less than 20 minutes when they both burst through the front door and ran past me. Fearless ran to the refrigerator and proceeded to pour himself a glass of milk and start guzzling it. Looking back, I should probably be thankful he used a glass and did not drink straight from the carton. After a bit of interrogation on my part, I was able to get the following story out of the boys.
While at the park they saw what they assumed was a can of spray candy on the ground near a trash can. Even if they had been correct, the next step flabbergasts me, but then I am not a pre-teen boy and can’t even begin to follow their logic. Nor would I want to, to be perfectly honest.
Fearless apparently decided the best way to test it out and make sure it was spray candy, was to spray it on his arm and then lick his arm. As you may have already guessed based on our title of this incident, it was NOT spray candy. It was in fact, pepper spray. I guess I should be thankful that he did not spray it directly into his mouth.
Later I asked him why he would do such a thing. I asked, “What if it had been poisonous?” His response was a very matter of fact, “Well, I was hoping it was not.” Ugh, boys!
Once I realized what had happened I told Fearless to go take a shower and to scrub his arm really well where he had sprayed it. And NOT to lick it again. You would think that would be obvious, but I was taking no chances. I then turned to Drama Queen and asked if he had touched the can. He admitted that he had touched it so I told him to wash his hands in the kitchen sink and to make sure not to touch his face. So of course, he immediately rubs his eyes and drops to the floor, curled in a fetal position, screaming that his eyes are on fire.
After staring at him a moment in disbelief, I pick him up with one arm while grabbing our kitchen folding stool with the other. As I try to open the stool with one hand I drag Drama Queen over to the kitchen sink. I finally get the stool open and lift him onto it. I’m trying to get his head in the sink so I can rinse out his eyes while he is alternating between the stiff as a board and limp as a noodle routines. At this point my husband walks in, asks what is going on and then comes over to assist me. He forcibly holds Drama Queen over the sink while I use the spray nozzle to rinse out his eyes. Of course he is fighting the whole thing which results in water going up his nose.
At one point I swear I had an out of body experience. I’m looking down on my kitchen to see the three of us wrestling over the sink. Water is flying everywhere! My husband is yelling “Hold the Fuck still!” while Drama Queen is screaming in a high pitched shrill voice that we are waterboarding him and trying to kill him. And as I look down on this scene I realize it is the middle of the summer, which means every window in the house is open. The summer breeze blowing gently through our house is carrying this fiasco out into the entire neighborhood for their enjoyment and entertainment. At this point I am so far in the negative for Super Mommy points I can’t even see the light at the top of the hole I’ve fallen into!
I probably should have been worried about getting a knock on my front door with a couple of uniformed officers asking about the welfare of my child. However, I knew my neighbors were already used to these type of events at the Smith house. I think it may have started when Drama Queen was about three and ran out the front door one day, butt naked, smiling and yelling “Don’t beat me mamma! Don’t beat me!” Now when they hear yelling from our house they just smile, shake their heads and go about their business. God forbid, anything serious does ever happen where we need help.
So needless to say, I am not a perfect mom nor do I have a perfect household or perfect children. But I’ve decided that is okay, because we have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. Sometimes we may not laugh at the time, but we can always look back later and laugh. And that is what memories are made of – not the perfect moments – but the imperfect, crazy and insane moments. So here is to all the Not So Super Mommies out there and those insane crazy memory making moments! May our lives be forever filled with them.