Fighting for Z’s at the O.K. Corral

14 May

It was only fitting that in the small hours just after the closing bell on Mother’s Day 2012, I found myself doing one of the most motherly things imaginable.  I sat crammed on a loveseat with a sick five year old on my lap, trying to hold him just upright enough to keep his cough at bay but allow him to sleep.  Whether or not I got any sleep was unimportant, which is a handy factoid because I didn’t.  Initially there was a bit of twisting and turning, a settling in to the novelty of being out of bed at a forbidden time, a casual suggestion that we watch Scooby Doo.  The one thing there wasn’t was more coughing, and sometimes that’s enough to ease a parent’s searing leg cramp and stabbing neck pain.  Then he said it, and my heart became as toasty and gooey as a marshmallow over a summer campfire:

“It’s okay that you interrupted my sleep.”

In that instant, I knew we’d done at least a few things right.  Was he just born so magnanimous?  I don’t think so.  And I have to say, even though my eyes feel like they’ve been scrubbed with Comet and I swear the two cups of coffee I had this morning actually laughed at me, he’s inspired me to do the same.  I love you so much my sweet boy, it’s okay.

It’s okay that you used my bladder as a trampoline for the better part of 40 weeks.  I know now that I would be way less clever if I’d never had to figure out how to handle it when I peed my pants in public.  It was your remarkable ability to use all of your body and maximize small spaces that helped me learn how to find the sweet spot between ignoring and explaining.  I think I could totally pull of an infomercial now.

It’s okay that the lady in the grocery store with the cute little blonde bob has seen so many of your meltdowns that she automatically greets me with a sympathetic head tilt and looks like she might go in for a hug.  I’ve never been one to turn down a thought hug, and having this relationship with her does have its benefits.  On the rare occasion when I bring in a coupon, I’m pretty sure she illegally doubles that noise.  By my calculations, each of your freakouts has saved us 55 cents.

It’s okay that my car looks and smells like a preschool dumpster.  I think the Cheerio/Lego combination points to a certain joie de vivre not found in cars where guest passengers can just come in and sit down without staining something.  How boring their pants must be.

It’s okay that you screamed a request for “I’m Sexy and I Know It” at an Elizabeth Mitchell concert.  I’ve thought for some time now that she really needs to sing less about birds and more about tanning her cheeks at the beach.  Don’t think I won’t be asking for royalties on your behalf when she releases her new album, Wiggle Wiggle (Put A Bird On It).

It’s okay that you decided to eat an unidentified mushroom on the playground a couple of weeks ago.  Trying to get you to drink that big cup of charcoal and Hershey’s syrup in the emergency room right after made getting you to eat your dinner look easy.  It’s almost like you knew that having multiple conversations with the Poison Control Center was on your dad’s Bucket List, and the only thing that topped it, awesome-wise, was the way you asked if we could have mushrooms for dinner that night.

I’m not sure how I got so lucky, but I ended up with two of the best kids who ever landed in this crazy place.  Sure, they smell funny, break something almost constantly, and cost more than all of the vacations they make me want to take.  In spite of all that, I wouldn’t trade them for a suitcase full of unbroken things and weeks of tanning my cheeks on the beach.

It’s okay.  Really.

7 Responses to “Fighting for Z’s at the O.K. Corral”

  1. Caryn May 15, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Everything about this post is my favorite. I am almost laughing to hard to type!

    • juliesaysyay May 15, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      Aww, thank you Caryn! You can interrupt my sleep any time. 🙂

  2. Kate@and then kate May 16, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Oh, man. That whole “got to laugh so you don’t cry” thing? Someone knew what they were talking about.

    (My “Mother’s Day picnic” took place on a playground. Somewhere SOMEONE’S plan went awry.)

    • juliesaysyay May 16, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      Oh, sister. Unless it’s “alone in Fiji drinking something out of a coconut” it has gone awry.

      My favorite Mother’s Day moment was a couple of years ago from my BFF’s son, who didn’t get to do what he wanted that day. He screamed “This is the worst Mother’s Day EVER!” as he stomped up the stairs. As if we need any more confirmation that *every* day is Kid’s Day.

  3. julie gardner May 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Oh my this is my favorite post about Mother’s Day and I’m like two weeks late.
    How did I miss it?

    I think your posts come into my inbox labeled WordPress instead of the name of your blog so I sometimes think it’s a message from my own blog…

    Anyway, I came looking for you because it had been a while since Hakuna Matata.
    And I find this loveliness. (And hilarity. Which is what motherhood is, no?)

    Hope you’ve gotten some sleep. For heaven’s sake.
    We’ve got like 50 more weeks to go until the next Mother’s Day after all…

    • juliesaysyay May 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      Miss Julie, you are at least 45 steps ahead of me for doing the whole “keeping up with blog reading” thing at all. Between all the coughing in my house and having to shave my legs again, I’m nearly drowning. Happy belated Mother’s Day to you, darling.

  4. WordyDoodles June 20, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Ah, this is so good, so good. As usual, Julie! xoxo

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