Here we go again. The look. Oh, you know the one. We’ve all gotten one at some point in our mothering career. Or given it. The scornful glare from the grandmother whose thoughts blare like a loudspeaker across her furrowed brow, “What is wrong with parents these days? My children NEVER acted that way!”. Or the dismissive pat on the shoulder from the middle-aged mom who announces, “Oh honey, enjoy these times. It’s only going to get worse. Wait ’til they’re teenagers!” then tosses her head back and laughs enjoying your new epiphany of perpetual motherhood shame. In haste, you scan this nightmarish scene to find some source of comfort, understanding, or an ally. At last you spot her! Another young mom wrangling toddlers. But as you fix your gaze on her hoping to spot compassion in her eyes, you can’t help but notice her feverishly biting her lip to hide the smirk she’s hopelessly trying to conceal. And you get it. She’s deliriously happy that today it’s your kid causing the scene- and not hers.
I’ve lived this scene more times than I care to admit. And in honor of throwback Thursday (my kids are 9 and 10 now), I’ll share on of my finest moments with you: May 10, 2008.
I just finished drowning my sorrows in a bag of Cheetos (baked at least) and was going to move on to the chocolate drawer, when I thought I would try something a little more productive and share my day with you.
It all started by being a good Samaritan: I volunteered to be the Room Mom for Eliana’s preschool class. The meeting for the Room Moms was today at 2:00 pm. This is not generally a good time in the Wiggenhorn household as Nathan, God bless him, gets busier and busier the more tired he gets. Well the flyer for the meeting said to meet outside the chapel doors. So I packed up the tricycle, 2 balls, some bubbles and a bag full of snacks and drinks and headed out the door. (I was actually prepared and not running late!!) I thought, “This will work, they can ride around in the circular courtyard and bounce their balls, at least I have trained them not to wander off.
Well I arrived at school and lucky us, we got to have our meeting inside the chapel. Now I didn’t think it would be appropriate to let my children ride their tricycle in the chapel, so I grabbed the snack bag, said a quick prayer and hoped for the best. I should have known it was going to be all down hill when Nathan, talented soul that he is, managed to collect all of the pencils out of the pews and dump them in my purse before the principal even finished the opening prayer and Eliana wrote her name on all of the offering envelopes. My thoughts raced, “I’ll quickly put them back when we’re done”. Well, the trouble was, we didn’t finish our meeting in the chapel, we moved into the Narthex, so the band could come in. This was actually a blessing because the kids playing their instruments helped muffle Nathan’s wails as I kept wrestling him back to the floor next to me. The other super mothers in the narthex kept giving me their half smiles: some saying “Your kid today, mine tomorrow” but most saying, “WHY can’t you get control of your kid, lady??!!” Believe me, I ask myself that question multiple times a day and I know, I know, you would NEVER allow your child to act like that!!!
I bit my tongue and held back my tears as I tried to listen to the mothers talking about all of the things you could volunteer for and how it was “no problem” if you wanted to bring your kids along with you (Ha ha!!)
Then, Eliana had to go to the bathroom, so I kept shushing her and telling her to hold on for just a minute (for the love of God, how much longer is this meeting going to last, people?!). After a couple of shushes, she didn’t like that answer anymore and proceeded to begin pulling her pants down screaming, “I can’t wait Mommy, I can’t WWWWAAAIIIIIIIITTTTTT!”
Needless to say, we did survive the parent meeting, we’re all back home now and my little angels are sleeping peacefully in their beds and I am beginning to laugh just thinking about the craziness of my day today! And thinking as much as they can make me insane I can’t imagine loving anyone in quite the same way that I love my children. So the next time you have a moment where you are at your wits’ end with your kids or you think, “Am I the only one who suffers from these moments of madness when I work so hard to teach my kids right from wrong?” remember me and remind yourself: NO! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! And if I were with you in that moment, I’d put my arm around your shoulder and whisper in your ear, “You’re a great mom, with a great kid, and there’s a great big God out there Who could’ve chosen ANYONE to raise your children, and He picked you!”
My kids are still far from perfect. I still get “the look” occasionally. The hour of difficulty is now 5:00 pm in the Wiggenhorn home and I’m still tempted at times to dig into a bag of Cheetos after a particularly difficult day. But motherhood still is the greatest job in the world, I still love my kids like crazy, and believe or not, I still volunteer at my kids’ school!