The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: motherhood (page 1 of 2)

I listened to my mother.

Last April I had the privilege of participating in a national show called “Listen To Your Mother.” Being chosen for the inaugural Atlanta cast and getting to perform one of my original pieces in front of a live audience on stage in a beautiful theater was a dream come true and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the day when I could share it with you…and see it myself.

(Emphasis on the word anxiously. Oy.)

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The one in which I enter into The Mommy Wars (Dun dun DUN!)

 

Oh snap! We’re doing a whole week about The Mommy Wars over In The Powder Room!

ERMAHGERD, Mermmy Wers!

source

 

This is an issue near and dear to my heart for the following reasons:

1.) I am a mom.

2.) I was a WOHM for 2.5 years, a SAHM for 10 years, and am now a part-time WAHM. (For my elderly and ESL readers those mean Work Out of the Home Mom, Stay at Home Mom, and Work at Home Mom.)

3.)  Who are we kidding? These all suck to some degree, if we’re honest. So we tear each other’s choices down to justify our own tortured minds…because being responsible for the lives of these tiny humans is the most terrifying and stress inducing thing most of us will ever do. And we are women, so we fight dirty.

i rock in the powder room

4.) But I’ve got a plan to end these Mommy Wars right now. Join me In The Powder Room today for the details.

See you over there, m’kay?

And bring your sense of humor, por favor.

Fondly and with no judgement,
Leslie

 

The Truth about Motherhood

read me in the powder room
I’m over In The Powder Room today telling my truth about Motherhood.

It’s a little bit of everything…kind of like those three freeloaders who came out of my vagina.

See you over there, m’kay? I’ll bring the hand sanitizer, you bring the air freshener.

-Leslie (aka Iris)

The best laid plans often turn to biohazards. No? Just me?

Damn. It. To. Hell.

I had big plans today! BIG plans to write something serious and heart wrenching and important.

And then my friend dropped her 5 year old son off at my house for an early morning play date and preschool carpool so she could go volunteer at her older child’s school.

Now normally, this would be a pretty uneventful morning. Bucket Head and his “Little Buddy” are really cute together. They play well, they take turns, they keep their clothes on (for the most part); they’re very low maintenance as a dynamic duo.

Well, there was that one time that I walked in on them taking turns touching our dog’s butthole and saying “It’s okay to touch it on the outside, but don’t put your finger INSIDE it. He doesn’t like that.”

Boys.

I like having Little Buddy around. He keeps Bucket Head busy so I can write. Which is exactly what I was doing when I heard him come out of the powder room and say to Bucket Head “You know what took me so long? I was pooping. And it was a little messy. But don’t worry, I cleaned it up.”

I rounded the corner faster than a pageant mom chasing her long lost youth.

There, in my hallway, stood Bucket Head and Little Buddy, holding hands and walking toward the play room.

{GASP!}

Suddenly everywhere I looked was tainted with a brown cloud of micro-bacterial filth.

“HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, BOYS!” I blurted, probably a little too loudly. “Buddy, did I just hear you say you had a messy poop?”

“Yes.”

“What exactly do you mean by ‘messy poop’?”

“Well, when I was wiping? I got a big blob of poop on the toilet paper. And also on my hand.”

(Oh my God.) “And then what did you do?…uh, Sweetie.”

“I wiped the poop off my hand with toilet paper. And then I used more toilet paper to wipe the toilet seat. And the handle. And the wall.”

(NOOOOOOoooooooooooooo.)

“The wall?”

“Well…I was reaching for more toilet paper and I accidentally touched the wall.”

“Oh…I see. Okay. It happens. Then what did you do?”

“I washed my hands.”

“With soap?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes ma’am.” (We live in the South. That’s considered good manners, especially when you’re scared and want a grown up to like you and not think you intentionally smeared feces on their wall like a rabid howler monkey. Uh, just guessing.) 

“Did you use LOTS of soap?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sure, Honey? Because we need to make sure you don’t have any poop on your hands.”

“Yes ma’am. I’m sure.”

“And did you dry your hands with that towel over there?” (As I pick up the hand towel by the very corner and carry it toward my washing machine like it might detonate any second.)

“Yes.”

“Okay. Just to be on the safe side, I think we should ALL wash our hands again, m’kay?”

“Okay.”

And so we did…in another bathroom, because I couldn’t even fathom the thought of touching those sink handles until after I had time to don a Hazmat suit and break the seal on a new bottle of Clorox.

So yeah. And that’s why I’m once again writing about poop instead of something more important like mental health, or civil rights, or The Bachelor hometown visits.

Poor Buddy. I hope his mom doesn’t mind that I gave him a Silkwood shower.

Or that the kids were late to school.

Or that we’ll only be doing play dates at public parks from now on.

Suddenly dog proctology seems so normal and sanitary.

Yours truly, and now with extra germ-killing action,

-Iris

One for all the Moms…

Father Bob read an abridged version of this Blessing for Mothers at mass today. Even though I had heard it before, it gets me every time. Sure wish I knew who wrote it.

This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, “It’s OK honey, Mommy’s here.” when they keep crying and won’t stop.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON’T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at football or soccer games Friday night instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, “Did you see me?” they could say, “Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,”…. and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet like a tired 2-year old who wants ice cream before dinner.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to but just couldn’t.

For all the mothers who read “Goodnight, Moon” twice a night for a year. And then read it again. “Just one more time.”

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls “Mom?” in a crowd, even though they know their own off spring are at home or have long grown up and left home.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips sometimes until they bleed -when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a buttonon a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M.to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying? For all the mothers of the victims of all these school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children’s graves.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation.

And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. So hang in there.

 

Or for you more visual people:


Wishing all the Moms in my life a beautiful Mother’s Day filled with love, relaxation, and much deserved appreciation!

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

 

 


ASSuaging the Guilt

Hold it right there, bub. This is a two parter all about my bodily-fluid-filled Live Nativity experience at church last week. If you haven’t read the first part, click here.

Back so soon? So I can assume that you are up to speed then? You get a gold star, sugar. Let’s continue then, shall we? And now, the riveting conclusion to Urine Angel:

So, as you can see, I was feeling purdy dang guilty about my poor, sweet, six year old daughter Mini-Me shivering in a pool of her own pee pee and tears for possibly 15 minutes or more, alone, uncomfortable, and scared in a church powder room while I was outside learning my part as the Behind The Scenes (BTS) Mom for the Wisemen/King Herod scene. Well, my Mama didn’t raise no quitter, and I’m fixin’ to do the same with my brood. So I took my baby home, peeled her wet costume and multiple layers of clothes off, stuck her in a steamy bubble bath with a mug of hot cocoa, promised her it would all be better in the morning, and smothered her with love until she drifted off to sleep. The next morning I called the director of our Live Nativity, told her why Mini-Me missed the dress rehearsal the night before, and requested that I be reassigned to scene # 8, the big finale to the Live Nativity in which Mini-Me was cast as an angel.

The director was more than happy to recast me so that I could be with my Tinkling Angel in the stable. But apparently that clever crusader for Christ had a hidden agenda, which I learned the hard way a few hours later.

You see, once she got wind of my ability to clean up a messy situation, she knew I’d be the perfect person to supervise the stable scene.

Cue the baby donkey.

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That’s right, people. We had a real live baby donkey in my scene.

I didn’t know much about donkeys before that night, but I do now.

For starters, I now know that donkeys like to kick. Pair that character trait with a stable full of animal loving children and you have yourselves a perfect storm in the making. I pretty much spent half the night keeping the kids from getting their teeth knocked out. I swear, if I had a nickel for every time I said, “Girls… please don’t hug the donkey from behind. She’s gonna kick you in the head,” I’d have at least enough for a Venti Latte.

The other main thing I learned about donkeys that night is that they poop A LOT. Good Lord Almighty… they surely are the most regular mammals I’ve ever encountered up close and personal.

So, in addition to running defense for ass-kicking in the literal sense, I also found myself on perpetual-pooper-scooper duty. You see, donkey poop is very stinky. I’m talkin’ STANK, ya’ll. And that cute little donkey would just lift her tail ever so slightly and let about a dozen or so sugarplum-sized balls of poop fall right out of her ass-ass and then she would stand right there as if nothing ever happened, stepping in it and thereby wafting the fumes everywhere. I was thinking that the donkey might end up kicking one of us at some point, and I didn’t want one of us to get kicked with a donkey-poop-covered-hoof, so I felt like it was the clear course of action. I’d much rather be kicked in the teeth with a clean hoof, than a poopy one, wouldn’t you? I mean really. But also, it was stench management. I just couldn’t have my audience focusing on the donkey stank and not on the message of our joyous scene!

DOH! Watch your step, Little Angel!

DOH! Watch your step, Little Angel!

Now, the two teens playing Mary and Joseph were just as cute as can be. Mary especially just captured my heart. She was so sweet and wholesome and good with the little angels. She would get up between scenes and high five the little ones and give them sugar cookies that she had baked at home and brought with her to share. But as cute and sweet and good as she was, there was no way on God’s green earth that she was gonna stop her texting and get anywhere near that beast of burden or his donkey-doody. And Joseph? Fahgetaboutit. He was all, “Uh, excuse me, Miss Iris? The donkey, like, pooped…” and “Uh, like, Miss Iris? The donkey totally, like, pooped again…. ” So clearly, it was me or nobody. And honestly, once you have a few babies, a little donkey poop is nothing. In fact, I’d venture to say that picking up after a donkey was perhaps the least repulsive thing I’d done all day. Yeah, motherhood… those with weak stomachs need not apply.

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But here’s the thing, like most parenting tasks, picking up donkey dung is tricky. I did not want to have MY pearly whites knocked down my throat by this ass while I was doing the dirty work, no-siree-Bob. So, I had to hold the donkey by the head, turn her around, and scoop with one hand while I held her head with the other. That takes skill, I tell ya. Who knew I was such an ass-whisperer? And all of this had to be done quickly, in between scenes, while keeping the little angles from wandering off or spilling hot chocolate all over their white sheets. Oh, did I mention that I did all of this with a kitchen towel on my head and a bathrobe over my coat so I would blend in with the cast and look like a shepherd? Shoot… if my life were any more glamorous, I’d be signing autographs at the Piggly Wiggly.

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My daughter and I were out there for 5 hours, freezing our tails off and bringing joy to the world. Between the tinkle trauma the night before and the mountains of mule mess, it kinda sucked for me, actually. But Mini-Me loved it, and that’s what it’s all about. We totally bonded, we got to experience the thrill of not giving up when things got messy, and we got to learn about the real meaning of Christmas and even more about donkeys. By the way, donkey coats are surprisingly soft. I would have thought that they’d feel kinda wiry or coarse. But no. Soft as a bunny. Just a joy to touch and a nice natural hand warmer too.

My family members who did the guided tour said that our scene was by far the best, and then they swore that they weren’t just saying that because Mini-Me and I were in it. I’m so glad I signed my baby up for this and got to be there with her to see her shine in her little halo and make the audience giggle when she upstaged Mary every time with her enthusiastic singing and improvisational dance moves.  We’ll definitely do it again next year and now that we’ve survived it once, we’ll be even more prepared. Of course, with my luck and skills, they’ll probably throw in a couple of spitting camels and some sheep with irritable bowel syndrome, but that’s fine… it will just make me feel more at home. Bring it on, beeyotch.

I hope ya’ll are having holidays filled with joy and love and the kind of messes that make family time so memorable and funny for years to come! Seasons Greetings to you and yours!

with love,

The Bearded Iris

©2008 The Bearded Iris

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