It’s understandable really that motherhood is both a wonderful gift and at the same time, earth shattering in it’s blows to sleep, clean homes, personal hygiene, cool tempers, patient attitudes, and general self esteem. We start out with a tiny little embryo that grows into a watermelon, stretching skin into impossible places that never properly return, then we squeeze the watermelon out, or have it surgically removed only to have leaky boobs, endless months of sleep deprivation, cleaning poop, pee and other bodily secretions up to and including breast milk vomit. Just when the watermelon starts to sleep through the night it begins to thirst for independence and for the next few months you are having to follow around behind it to make sure it doesn’t fall when it tries to sit, crawl, and eventually walk. Just when they become stable on their feet and the burden eases a fraction the watermelon begins to talk… in nonsensical babble that you are meant to understand and when you don’t, you experience the force of a child’s newly found temper. Just when they begin to sound more like walking humans and not the watermelons that you grew inside of your small uterus they begin with the questions, the demands, and yes, sometimes even the screams that break the sound barrier. They lose things and you are expected to know exactly where they lost it and that’s if you can even figure out which ‘green & blue’ car it is that is lost (out of the hundred other blue and green cars that live under the couch, bed, and yes sometimes even your shoes), they won’t eat or at least they won’t eat the meal you provide, they decide that even though they want independence they actually need your help to go to the potty, regardless of wether or not they have been doing it solo for months, they wait until you have cleaned all the toys of every corner in the house before they pick up the toy box and empty it everywhere and redistributing the said toys to the same corners you just meticulously cleaned and squeezed your stretched and flabby body into places that only one as small as this little human can fit into, they want you to leave them alone if the TV is on but so help you God if you try to go to the washroom for two seconds and do you remember that peaceful shower you used to enjoy?… Yeah, I don’t either.
Let’s not even begin to get into what happens when you decide (with a sleep deprived mind I might add!) to make the wise decision to spawn yet another watermelon! As one is screaming every two hours during the night and the other is making you chase them through the house trying to avoid a fall down the stairs or a bonk on the coffee table you are also expected to clean the house, fold laundry, keep both human and watermelon fed, clean and entertained! Then the watermelon sprouts into a human too and the toys (still placed in every corner, under every conceivable surface and in places your now doubly stretched and flabby body will never begin to squeeze into) are now fought over, the food is that one wants is the last thing the other wants, the potty is now a new thing to argue over, fists that once curled around your finger during a long forgotten moment of peace are now weapons of war, the thing one didn’t want a second ago, the same thing that the other human is now playing with, is now also the very thing they want, and it’s not the other human’s fault, somehow it’s yours. The cold that one brings home, the snotty nose, the cough, the sore throat and fever, that is the ONLY thing that these little humans are willing to share but lets’ not be fooled, they wait until they are almost better before sharing it so that your suffering is prolonged. They wake countless times in the night, to pee, to ask for a lost toy (probably the same blue and green car that you as a mother have failed to find), to announce that the meal they didn’t want at dinner time is something they might be interested in trying now, or that they would like a little sip of water, or maybe on the good nights, it’s just because they would like a hug. If they are so lucky as to have had the other humans cold shared with them you also have to deal with the 3am dose of medicine, and the run to the washroom because they haven’t yet discovered that coughing and vomiting are NOT the same thing. If you are the unlucky sort, as most of us are, your humans will feel the love enough to share the cold/flu with you as well but they don’t wait like they do with the other human, instead they share right away so that while your fever rages you are wiping snotty noses and checking temps, soothing grumpiness and any number of other disgusting things while also trying to clean the toys from every corner, under every surface in places you can’t fit, make meals that will be pushed away by at least one of the them, fold laundry that they will promptly unfold when they find that the laundry basket would make a great place to hide the blue and green car that you have been searching for days for!
All that to say that motherhood is a beautiful gift that is mysteriously disguised as the worst kind of torture. The CIA could take lessons from a these little humans to extract top secret information from foreign spies!
(and yet… we love them without end, cherish every single torturous moment, and forget it all when they whisper I love you, or give you a kiss…)