Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Survivor: Suburban Mom Edition

You’ll have an hour-and-a-half to go to the grocery store and the library, to stock up on everything you might need for the week. You’ll be stuck in the house for three days with two preschoolers and an infant; one of the preschoolers and the baby will have a stomach virus, while the other preschooler will be healthy and full of energy. Your spouse will be away on business.

You’ll be expected to keep up with the laundry—the baby only has four sleepers that fit. You’ll change sheets endlessly, clean toys, and wash your hands until they’re raw in an attempt to stay healthy yourself.

After being up most of the night with a vomiting child, you’ll be expected to carry on cheerfully with your duties, and have endless patience and nurturing for each child. The baby will whimper and moan when you put him down, so you’ll be expected to hold him for most of the day. Oh, and you’ll need to stay in touch with the pediatrician and keep everyone hydrated.

You’ll do housework three minutes at a time, so decide in advance the most important things and leave the rest. Neighbors will stop by unannounced, so you’ll get lots of experience in swallowing your pride—after all, the living room floor will be covered with pillows and blankets and tinker-toys, a make-shift bed/airplane, and you’ll still be wearing the sweatpants you slept in last night.

You’re watching your weight, so calories will be limited. By one o’clock you’ll have eaten most of your calories for the day in M & Ms in an attempt to stay awake and cheerful. It won’t work.

You’ll read stories, pretend to be a passenger on the couch-cushion plane, and change endless diapers. You’ll fix snacks and bottles, constantly aware that everything you dole out may come back up. Definitely skip the red jello and go with orange.

By three o’clock, you’ll want to collapse. You must keep going. You’re allowed to phone a friend or family member, but you’ll be knowingly exposing them to a highly contagious virus. There is no prize at the end—in fact, nobody will even notice or say “thank you.” Though in the middle of the night, while holding a cool washcloth to the face of your feverish preschooler, his little arms will slip around your neck and his eyes will lock onto yours, “You’re the best Mama in the whole wide world,” he’ll whisper. Your heart will skip a beat and you’ll go to sleep strangely contented, ready and willing to get up in a few hours and begin all over again.

17 comments:

Jen said...

Amen.

A perfect post. I give it a 10/10.

For now... said...

What channel and time is this on? Can't wait to watch!!

UGH!! I know how hard this is! Love ya!!

23 degrees said...

Love is beautiful.
Each day a tax and a prize.

Llama Momma said...

Jen - thanks for stopping by. There's no adventure quite like motherhood, is there?

for now - thank you for listening to me gripe on the phone the past few days. You're a true friend.

23 degrees - deep. ;-)

Ben's still pathetic, but the noisy boys are going full speed ahead. And i'm still healthy, so, woo hoo! Of course, the house is trashed. But isn't it ALWAYS trashed? ;-)

Dan said...

As a father who gets worn out watching two healthy kids for a couple of hours by myself, I salute you and mothers everywhere.

Yvonne said...

Ain't it the truth....

Llama Momma said...

dan -- thanks for dropping in! Your blog through Matthew has been a blessing to me.

yvonne - you said it! ;-)

A Musing Mom said...

Okay, somehow you can work that into a book chapter, can't you?

clc said...

you forgot to mention that you never, ever get voted off the island.

:)

Llama Momma said...

clc - "you forgot to mention that you never, ever get voted off the island."

Unfortunately! I can't get fired either! :-)

AMM - No, but I have a variation of this that I've been meaning to send out to a few pubs. (Not sick kids, just every day Mom life!)

Charity Singleton said...

Now that would be a show to watch. Forget eating bugs, I'd like to see them change a few diapers!

What a great post.

L.L. Barkat said...

sounds like a test... are you sure there's not a nanny camera somewhere on top of the cabinet?

Christy said...

Oh, so true! Only in my case, the husband is deployed overseas and calls to talk for the first time in over a week exactly one hour after you finally fall asleep!

FrazzMom said...

'you never, ever get voted off the island'

Loved that comment!

Laura said...

A Great New Survivor show coming your way...oh, wait...you've already survived this challenge!

Great post!!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

This was great - not many could "survive" that...

Crafty Mama said...

Stay at home mom is the best and worst job in the world, and you've summed it up nicely.