And then I became a mother.
Oprah did a show about a year ago on the truth behind motherhood. She featured successful mommy-bloggers like Dooce who confessed their deepest maternal woes and suggested that no matter how bright and glossy the exterior, we all have a poopy diaper or two stuffed under the couch that we're hoping nobody notices. And they were about a year ahead of me. Sleep deprived with two colicky preemies, I watched with a vague interest and no real connection. My entire life felt like that poopy diaper desperately hidden away. The idea of shining up the surface and slapping on a smile seemed insane and potentially harmful.
Now I get it.
And if it's not a wadded, soiled cloth diaper under my couch, it's the fact that I'm writing this while slowly sipping a shot glass full of maple syrup because I'm feeling too responsible to drink anything really serious at 9:52am but dammit my babies are sleeping and if that's not a reason to celebrate and imbibe on sweet condiments, I don't know what is.
I'm a year behind on the uptake, but I'd like to join the collectively pleading voices from that Oprah episode and ask WHY WHY WHY is it that so many mothers make this business look like cinnamon and angel farts?
Motherhood may be wonderful, and I believe it is, but it is also beautifully and recklessly real. I feel like life should suddenly come equipped with air bags and seat belts and a very serious helmet. For me.
I'm not the mother I expected I would be. I call Kyle and beg him to come home from work early. Demand, even. I try to reason with thirteen month olds. "This behavior is NOT ACCEPTABLE!" It is inevitable that at some point in the day, somebody will get hold of their toothbrush and demonically chase after Bella in a desperate attempt to brush her teeth. She will be having none of that and thus will settle for having her tail lavishly brushed with a toddler sized spin brush full of baby Orajel tooth cleanser. The meal I've spent thirty harried minutes lovingly preparing will be thrown over the side of the high chair. I will swear. I will grit my teeth and mumble and grunt and in the midst of it all will not be able to resist kissing those cute and chubby and defiant cheeks as I walk by. Somebody will vomit in my car. I will let that vomit dry using the excuse that it will be "easier" to clean up that way. My babies spend half their life looking like baby hobos with food smeared on their faces and banana gumming up their hair and I will leave it there because really? I don't have the energy to fight over that and besides, people spend a lot of money on strikingly similar spa treatments. I hold on for dear life and offer a snarky laugh at the timid and perfect mother I thought I would be.
This mother, this real life, breathing mother, is a human being.