You never realize what you have, until it’s gone.
I am a girl in need of courage.
And not just to help me face the boy’s bathroom that DESPERATELY needs to be cleaned. See, I have three boys. Two of whom have autism and consequently POOR gross and fine motor skills. You get the picture. My oldest son, Alex is especially gifted at hitting anywhere but inside the toilet bowl. Seriously. Even after YEARS of Occupational Therapy, he doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I can gage his progress (or lack thereof) based solely on the early morning sound of urine hitting the tile, when I know what he’s aiming for is the water. I lay in bed, thinking how Alex’s peeing sounds like one of those sprinklers from my childhood that sprayed in slow, steady, arching steams of precision: chick, chick, chick… then in a flash switched to machine gun fast hydra bullets chickchickchickchickchickchickchik I’d race, crouching low to the ground in an attempt to dodge the artillery of H20-ammo hitting the sidewalk.
“He’s like a camel.” I say to no one.
“Aim!” I yell through the wall.
“I AM!!!!!” He yells back defiantly.
I know he is. Which is why I hear him hitting
Was that the ceiling?
And the dismount flush!
I pull the blanket up over my head and for a minute contemplate how different my life would be if really POOR aim was an olympic event. Then I’d be THAT parent… instead of…that parent. Mother to the original wiz kid! My son! The one reporters would call “The Golden Child.” I just know McDonald’s would offer him a spokesperson contract! The Sports Illustrated cover story headline would read; “From Golden Arches to Golden Arches; one athletes journey from potty training to olympic training.
Angel soft would feature me as an Angel mother; and make tear inducing commercials about all the times I wiped up his messes, and ignored my own desire for sleep to bring him an extra glass of water in the night. And I wouldn’t have to worry about how to pay for psychologists or medication or electrical shock therapy (don’t worry that’s for me) because GoodNights Pull Ups would sign him on for a multi-million dollar five year contract! I mean, come on! Bullseye BBQ sauce would want him. Lysol. Scrubbing bubbles. Tilex. We’d need an agent, preferably someone who could get Lifetime to pick up my story. I’m thinking they could call the movie,“Sometimes love is warm.”
I push the blanket off and sit up, pausing on the edge of my bed, my feet dangling, waiting for inertia to kick in. It doesn’t. But I shove my feet into my slippers anyway. “Just like Cinderella.” I say to the empty room. “Who are you talking to?” Alex asks, his super sonic hearing picking up the low undertones of my voice from all the way down the hall. “Did you just call me Cinderella?”
Time to get up.
Raising an olympic athlete is hard work! Raising couch potatoes? Also hard work! No matter who you are raising, even if it’s just your husband, the day in day out grind of parenting, aka Chinese water torture, can make even Jane Goodall want to stay in bed. The constant drip, drip, drip, drip of “Mom? Mom? Mom?” The endless reminding them to brush their teeth, throw away their wrappers, do their homework, say please, stop choking their brother. #exhausting
It’s the never being completely dry that gets old.
I used to think happiness/contentment/fulfillment could be measured based solely on your attitude to your environment; is the ‘glass half full or half empty?’ For the record I actually DO buy into this concept. I try to respond positively to whatever circumstance I find myself in. Even though it might take more effort to smile and take the high road than, say, doing what my child would do when faced with unexpected disappointment and simply hurl the glass against the wall. But in fairness, he DID ask for a drink in the Spider Man cup and I stupidly thought a Captain America cup would work since they are both superheroes, so that’s on me.
However, over time, life has revealed the harsh reality that even if you ARE a glass half full kind of girl what it all boils down to is not just how you view the glass, but also:
1) how long have you been holding the weight of the glass in your outstretched arm?
Which always makes me think of when we used to do arm circles in 8th grade gym class and Ms. Paddington would yell, “Feel the burn girls! Don’t stop, let’s count it down from 5….4….3…..2….1 and now BIG circles!!!”
2) Someone ALWAYS has to wash the glass.
What is me for $500 Alec?
(3) the wall.
Which is why I need courage.
Courage and valium.
Annnnnd a multimillion dollar contract with AIM toothpaste. That way I can hire a maid. Preferable one with a weak gag reflex who does floors.