I am never gonna be Perfect Mom. Don't have a chance at being Super Mom or Graceful Mom or Pinterest Mom. I don't even think I am in the running for Adequate Mom or Pretty Good Mom. Most days I probably come in second to Almost-Has-it-Together Mom, and she sends her son to school in pajama pants with marshmallows and candy corn for snack. And, I am mostly cool with that. I am just not naturally gifted in the maternal arts. We can't all be. If we were, all childhoods would be perfectly normal and functional. Goodness, that would drive all those therapists and self-help book writers out of business. Can't have that now. So, I am good with owning it; I am not a naturally great mother.
But what I am is a fighter; I don't give up. The gestating Super Fetus is testament to that fact. I am gonna keeping on moming until I get it right. Or even if I never get it right. I'll be like that karaoke singing mom that all the really good moms just roll their eyes at as I mount the stage. That's OK. I just like being a mom; might not be one of the shiny moms out in front, but I am happy back here mouthing the words in the chorus.
However, tonight was different. Tonight I left the chorus for a rare and quick moment in the hot spotlight. And I'll be honest, I was shining like a star. It hurts a little to brag about it, but I really was amazing. It was the standard long day. Awkward Dad was due home at 8pm at the earliest. No one napped. Everyone went nuts from 4-6, per usual. And yet, I got all children fed at a remarkably normal dinner hour, dressed in weather-appropriate clothing, and herded into the van for their 6:50 flu clinic appointments. (Which is an insane time for a flu clinic, but that isn't my call to make.) I trooped them into the waiting room. I cooed over the fish tank to distract them. I urged them to pay no attention to the toddler freaking out in the lobby, who was hurling books at her mother and screaming that "the shot was gonna kill" her. I resisted the temptation to tell the Supers that she was behaving badly and that shots hurt more when you thrash around anyway; no judgments from this corner. I was being extra mature tonight. I raised an eyebrow at her mother's promise to buy her a new toy if she calmed down, but I couldn't help that, I am not Perfect Mom, after all. I filed them all into the little examine room. I removed pants and shirts. I lined them up in a row and kissed them all repeatedly when they started to whimper. I was patient about the fact that the 5 minutes we were told to wait turned into 30. I told stories about warrior princesses and sensitive but brave knights that would have made the Brothers Grimm and Mother Goose burst with pride; I was Scheherazade and my magic story-telling keep 3 children sane and calm for 30 minutes. Which is a spell-binding eternity in toddler time. When the nurse came in, I, stoically yet kindly, held each one down while she prepped the site, which everyone knows is the worst part. I braced them during the lightening fast shot and then let them cry out their betrayal into my chest, while bandaids were applied. Then I gently set that one down and caught up the next one, trying to escape under the examination table. I was equal parts efficient machine and supportive rock. Not a one was crying when presented with their suckers, and as they all sedately walked back through the waiting room like the little angels they really are, they drew every eye in the place. One father nudged his whining son and said, "Look at those little kids. They're not crying. It's no big deal at all." I smiled at him and didn't correct him. After all, I suppose he is technically right. It was no big deal. And it wasn't a big deal because, for one short moment in the hot bright spot-light, I was the big deal.
Let her have this. She is in charge of 2 Halloween parties this week and the only Halloween craft the woman knows how to make is the Tootsie-Pop/Kleenex ghost.
See that mom there?
No, not the appropriately spiderwebby one.
The other one, the awkward one.
You might not know this,
but every once in awhile,
that mom is actually a very big deal.