Performed at Listen To Your Mother 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Video coming soon…..
A few years ago I attended a baby shower. I’m a sucker for these pastel-colored gatherings because I love to shop in the baby section and look at all the onesies, footie pajamas, and other tiny things. Plus, I still swoon when I smell Johnson’s baby shampoo. The only thing that smells better is the intoxicating scent of a baby’s neck. As the mother of an 11-year-old girl, and 15-year-old boy, I don’t do a lot of neck sniffing anymore. Oh sure, I still try but then I’m reminded it’s weird and I should respect their personal space.
During the baby shower we were all given index cards and told to write our best piece of advice to the new mother.
My pen hovered in the air as I looked at the six lines on the card. How could I ever tell a new mother everything she needs to know about this baby business in just six lines? That’s a lot of pressure. I mean, I thought I was going to spend a few hours looking at miniature socks, discreetly sniffing all the baby bath products and eating cake. I was not prepared to dole out advice of this magnitude.
Should I focus on her physical well-being? Remind her that even though her body is a birth-machine and milk factory, it still belongs to her and she should probably wash it regularly. Tell her that even though the experts say, “sleep when the baby sleeps,” that watching back-to-back episodes of House of Cards on Netflix can be just as rejuvenating.
My mind suddenly became a flip-book of motherhood scenes from the last 15 years. So many things that caught me by surprise, like cleaning the never-ending crevices on miniature downstairs boy parts. I don’t know how many times I shouted, “It’s like cleaning a friggin’ Shar Pei in here. That’s it. One more diaper explosion and we’re sending him to the dog groomer.”
Finally, I settled on the one thing I knew to be true about parenthood so I wrote, It’s all a phase. So get through the bad and cherish the good. Someday you’ll wonder where the time went.