Congratulations to Jenifer DiB and Mikey DiG, who are our two winners of the Subscription Celebration Giveaway!  It was DiWinner night, obviously.  Jenifer and Mikey will be getting a grab bag of some of my favorite things soon.

Jenifer and Mikey are both moms, and I’m sure they never have mornings that go like this:

The scene opens on a happy mother and child, who have just enjoyed most of their morning rush-around.  The child has been given significant time to accomplish a task, and has then been sent to brush his teeth.  It is 7:05, and the two of them need to walk out the door in 20 minutes.

The Mother:  Brush your Teeth.  (pointing at clock on the wall)  You have 5 minutes.

The Child:  Okay.

(5 minutes later)

The Mother:  Have you brushed your teeth?

The Child:  (stops making faces in mirror) No.

The Mother:  Brush your teeth.

The Child:  Okay.

(5 minutes later)

The Mother:  Have you finished brushing your teeth?

The Child:  (stops humming into his toothpaste foam, while making faces in the mirror)  Mmno.

The Mother:  Finish brushing your teeth.

The Child:  Mmokay

(5 minutes later)

The Mother:  Have you fin–  Why are you not finished brushing your teeth?

The Child:  (stops licking toothbrush) Uh…

The Mother:  (shutting off water.)  You are finished.  (taking toothbrush)  You are finished.  (lifting child–gently, of course–and setting down in hallway)  You are finished.  (following child into other room where it becomes obvious that the first directive was not completed.)

The Mother:  Why didn’t you do [what child was told to do]?  What were you doing all that time you were in here before?

The Child:  MmIdunno.  Mmplaying.

The Mother:  (through her teeth) Get. It. Done. Now.

The Child:  MmbutIneedtospit!

The Mother:  (channeling Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men) You don’t get to spit!

The Child:  Mmbutyou mmhave mmnoidea what is inmm my nnmouth!

The Mother:  Whatever it is, swallow it!  It cannot be worse than the rage I am swallowing!  Now do [that thing the child was told to do] before my head explodes!


I’m not saying I ever have conversations, or mornings like that either.  No, sir.

I will say that I now understand why my mother used to want to wring my neck every morning, and recognize how much of her wrath I brought down on myself.  There are Mom-mornings when I feel like all the walls are closing in on me, and I have to find the off switch before I am crushed like so much space garbage in a trash compactor.  Then, the kid asks for a hug, and all of a sudden, I feel like this instead.

I’ve found that being a mother is equal parts adrenaline and stress, seam-bursting love and pride, crushing guilt for having missed the mark, and sheer terror.  There is very little resting space in between the momentum it takes to raise a child into adulthood in health, happiness, and retaining all his limbs.  This is why it is good for a child to have grandparents, and for parents to get a nap now and then.