A childhood friend of mine is expecting her first baby in Feb 2020. She’s been following me for a while on my website and Facebook, and she thinks I know something about parenting. So she called me this past weekend to get the inside scoop.
Now mind you, prior to her call, this is what my day looked like:
Bargained, pled and finally got children to eat the healthy lunch I cooked. Lots of resistance, especially from my 4-year-old, Reya. Settled on half healthy food and half a pizza. Considered it a parenting victory and rewarded myself with 1 Kitkat.
Played nonstop in the backyard with 3 kids (2 human and 1 puppy) from 11.30 am-2 pm. We went through 1 giant Bubble solution bottle. Multiple tiny arguments from everyone: “Amma, he stole the bubble I wanted to pop”/ “Amma, I want Reya to go inside”/ “Woof woof, bark bark, something or the other.”
The next event on our dazzling calendar was a food break. More arguments cropped up, because the Puppy stole Nirav’s snack and he then stole Reya’s. Much barking and raised voices later, there was some calm, while I went to the bathroom and took 10 deep breaths.
We lazed around for a bit, while Puppy took a nap. Unfortunately, I sneezed one decibel louder than acceptable, so Puppy woke up and decided it was time to poop on my kitchen floor. Both kids were delighted, because poop is always funny when someone else is cleaning it. In a rare show of sibling unity, they both sat and had a long discussion on color, texture and other scientific features, while I shot angry looks at the puppy and got busy with baby wipes.
“Bath time!” I hollered. And had about 5 minutes of peace, before the “Amma Amma” began. The kids were in separate bathrooms, but still started 2 fights across walls. Impressive, right? Hey, I have talented children, so don’t be jealous!
Now all clean and a tad wrinkly, they ate an early dinner. Then began another round of who can make the most noise (clear winner Reya, with the Puppy as a close second), and who can ask the most questions (unexpected winner - Nirav!). I handed out prizes (SCREEN TIME! YAY) and escaped to my writing corner, where surprise surprise! Another brown shape waited evilly on the floor.
It was almost 8 pm, and I was having dark, dark thoughts, mostly toward my husband, who was away at a car show. I cleaned up the poop and took a deep breath (mistake!). After much gagging, I lit my favorite candle and opened my laptop, when my phone trilled.
Sakshi** calling. Remember her, my pregnant friend?
“Hey Pavi, how are you? Did you get my text message?”
I had forgotten all about her wanting to chat. But you know us moms. A little white lie hurt no one.
“Of course! Congratulations on your pregnancy again! When are you due?”
“Mid Feb! Wow, motherhood is something, huh?”
I’m human, so I rolled my eyes a little. She hasn’t even changed her first diaper! I’m not mean spirited, so I said nothing.
“So tell me, Pavi. How is it being a mother? Any tips? Things to avoid?”
I walked around the house, thinking of how to shape my entire parenting experience into one tiny conversation. I stumbled over toys; stubbed my toe on a racing track. Interrupted a few dozen times, by sticky fingers and squeaky voices.
Finally sitting down between 2 sleepy heads, fragrant with the smells of childhood and vanilla shampoo, I answered.
“Motherhood is something else, Sakshi. Most days, you won’t be able to stop smiling. You would do well to remember those happy moments and be grateful for every one of them. Also tr-”
“Arre Pavi yaar, tell me practical things.”
I giggled, because she was right. (I have a strong tendency to drift off into emotional side journeys😜😜).
So I closed my eyes shut and told her all about diapering and breastfeeding, choosing the perfect baby bottle and when to worry about an infant’s fever. Products to avoid, definite must haves. She asked intelligent questions, and I answered them.
Thanking me, she was about to hang up, but not so fast!
Looking around at my happy brood, I spoke the one sentence, that every mother needs to be told, over and over again.
“You will be an amazing mom! I hope you know that!”
“Aww! Aww thanks, Pavi. I’m so excited!”
When someone is starting a new journey, they don’t want to hear all about the bumps and bruises, the tantrums and drama. That’s a discovery they will make for themselves, like all of us did. Sometimes, it is ok to live in a little fantasy, because real life is coming, in some shape or form.
A large part of the parenting journey is finding your own groove and weaving your own story. Making mistakes and wiping tears as your children continue to fill your heart with so much love. Just like mine do, on the longest of days.
It was almost bedtime, so the kids climbed into bed, where they hugged each other and promptly drifted into dreamland. I grabbed some leftover pizza and settled back on the couch with the Puppy. My phone buzzed with a dozen hearts from my husband.
As I switched on Netflix, I stroked the Puppy’s soft head and whispered a silent thank you for every crazy thing. Life was big and messy and all kinds of amazing.
Life was good.
Until my foot touched something wet and sticky on the floor.🐶💩
**Name changed to protect her privacy.