When Thing One was born, my husband and I couldn't wait to bring her home and welcomed our new roles, as mother and father to our brand new baby daughter, celebrating each milestone of "firsts" with equal amounts of enthusiasm and trepidation.
Then, I became pregnant with Thing Two and - though, I couldn't wait and called my husband, at work, and gave him the results of the pregnancy test, while in the middle of a meeting with a client - I soon started to worry whether or not I was ready to separate myself from being "the world" to Thing One and having to share, well, pretty much everything, from my toes up, with TWO babies!?!
Soon, my fears were put to rest and the mommy in me sort of just, you know, kicked into high gear and there seemed to be plenty of me to go around.
Until, they grew up and NOW my husband Garth (not his real name) and I combine our super parental powers and it takes every bit of that strength...NOT to bite their little heads off.
Like, last night, for example.
"I hate ribs."
Mini-me is our youngest daughter and, I swear, she IS my ticket into heaven.
"Well, you've eaten them before."
[pushes plate away]
"Tonight, I hate them."
I'll spare you from the rest of the dinnertime drama (you're welcome) but, it wasn't until Thing Two pushed her plate away, ran for the bathroom (she claimed to have a "gas bubble") and my son decided that he was also, you know, full (of what, is anyone's guess) that I decided NOT to save my three youngest children from their father's appetite for whoopass, this time, and imagined all the wonderful things that would go well...with their heads.
"Something's wrong with Thing Two!"
"She's on the potty and crying."
Poor Thing Two - cursed with her father's bowels - still, to be totally honest with you, I was NOT in the mood for anymore drama, especially, from my surly 12-year-old. Dang, but she's been in a mood. This week, alone, she managed to get on my nerves...um...wait a minute...uh-oh.
[eyes go wide]
[speaking a lot slower and nearly whispering, now]
"Uh...Mom...I think she got her...ahem...ya' know!"
"What is it NOW?"
I pushed away from the dinner table so fast, the dog jumped and nearly knocked my husband right off his chair.
"Never mind, I got this one!"
Well, I won't go into specifics (you're welcome, really) but, you can probably imagine the rest.
[one beat...two beats]
Okay, here's what happened.
This is a Public Service Announcement: About to head into female territory and references to lady parts will probably come up, once or twice.
"I think I got my period."
Now, we've had false alarms before (being female can be quite icky, sometimes) but, all the signs (sore, uppers and crampy in the nether regions) they were there, allright.
"OMG...it's here...it's really here!"
DAYUM...it's about time, too!
[wiping tears from face]
I kissed Thing Two on the top of her head, knelt down on the bathroom floor, uncapped the Lavender-scented bubble bath and started to fill the tub with water.
"Rule number one, of being a woman, taking a nice, long, hot bath makes almost everything better."
We talked and, as she let me wash her back, I was struck with the memory of a much younger and balder Thing Two. Hair covered in bubbles and standing on end; sucking on a wash cloth, smacking her feet, splashing everything within reach and giggling at the mock of horror on my face.
It was only yesterday, right?
"Now, I know how you feel?"
I shook my head, tried to breathe through the lump that was slowly growing in my throat and allowed the memory to drift away.
"About what, baby?"
She screwed up her face and tapped the base of her belly.
"This bloating crap sucks!"
"Amen, sistah - don't worry, you can stay home from school tomorrow!"
Yes, they do grow up quickly and sometimes you don't even notice it's happening, until it's too late.
"Thank you, Momma."
But, if you're really, really lucky, it happens in a heartbeat.
"You know, for treating me so special!"
It's the childhood memories, like this, that will help us BOTH through the long haul.
[knocking on wood until knuckles bleed]
One can only hope - in the meantime, if anyone needs me, I'll be out treating my middle girl to lunch, and pretty much like a queen, for the rest of the day...hold the drama, thankyouverymuch...please leave your message at the beep.
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