I've had plenty of experiences where I think
about my own mom and what she went through in raising my
siblings and me. Some things, you just have to be a mom
to understand. Can we talk about annoying stuff that we used to love as kids? I guess I have to
endure these things because my mom endured them before me. And thus,
the long chain of annoying kid stuff continues.
Kids: I love this sound, I want to hear it all
Moms: I have no one to blame but myself.
You're watching your kid explore the music shop,
and you envision all the wondrous stuff that must be happening in their
brains. There's a connection between music and math, right? Well,
then you're coming home with a pair of maracas. Better get used to
the shake-shake-shake, because it's going to be the soundtrack of your
life for the next few days. Until the maracas mysteriously
disappear. Hey kids, how about we sit and read these nifty books
everywhere, and I'll never be able to get rid of it.
Now I'm the person making the soup, and I realize that the sick
days I relished had to be managed by my mom.
Glitter sounds like a good idea—its shimmer adds magic to crafts and
art projects. The problem is, it sticks to everything. Whenever my kid
uses glitter, a little always ends up on my hands and face. I'm then forced
to wear it out in the world so that everyone can know that I, too, am a
mother. Or really upping the dazzle.
3. Watching the same movie over and over
Kids: I need to
watch my favorite princess movie again!
Moms: Let it go, please
let it goooo.
I remember watching the same Disney VHS movies over and over
again. My daughter is the same way
with her favorite programs—she doesn't want to watch new ones, she
wants to watch her favorites on repeat. Did my mom think, “Again,
really?” as much as I do?
4. Sugary cereal
Kids: Mom, please!
Moms: I'm avoiding
the aisle entirely. You'll get multigrain O's, and you'll like it.
I was a kid during the early nineties, back when companies were
already aggressively marketing to kids. We loved all the sugary cereals,
and they were a regular part of breakfast. Here, I differ from my
mother, because I'm one of those label-reading moms who usually avoids
the candy-colored cereal aisle entirely.
As I think back on the annoying stuff my mom withstood for me, I feel grateful.
5. Sick days
now I need someone to cover me at work and manage emails from home,
while also coaxing a child to take medicine and
wipe noses. All day.
days used to represent a day in bed, watching TV and your mom's
soup. Now I'm the person making the soup, and I realize that the sick
days I relished had to be managed by my mom. Not every mom has a
flexible employer, which makes me that much more grateful for my
mom's ability to make it work.
Paint sets are the sort of gift idea that sounds great when you're a non-parent (and are lots of fun when you're a kid). But moms are the ones who clean hands and faces, and wash clothes post-artistic expression. I don't want to deprive my kid of a creative outlet, but the clean-up isn't fun at all.
As I think back on the annoying stuff my mom withstood for me, I feel grateful. So the next time my daughter runs up to me excitedly because someone gave her a sticker book (ugh, stickers), I'll smile back in appreciation of what stickers once meant to me.
And maybe one day in the future my daughter will give me a call, like the ones I made to my mom, in which she'll say, "Hey mom, thanks."