I decided, after my last post, a little comic relief was in order. As the mother of six children, all adults now, I have a storehouse full of anecdotes. The theme of these is, well, I’ll leave it for you to discover. Forgive me, my children, I will change your names to protect your identity, but as you are my children, that’s as far as anonymity will go for you.
When one-year-old George received his first birthday invitation, we didn’t hesitate to accept. As the toddlers played together, we moms drank tea and gossipped about everyone and everything in the neighbourhood. Glancing over at the children from time to time, we all made sure they weren’t getting into too much mischief. They had already been given free reign to eat whatever was within hand’s reach, and the hosting mom had no problem with the ensuing mess. Toys were scattered amongst the food scraps and other miscellaneous debris. It was a lovely morning, thanks to that mom. (If it had been at my house you can bet those kids would have been in the backyard, with no chance of entering unless they had passed inspection at the door.) Imagine my astonishment the next morning, when, along with the expected contents of George’s diaper, there, poking out from you know what was a red balloon!
I was in the midst of changing nine-month-old Sarah’s diaper when the phone rang. That was back in the days when phones were attached to the wall. Having to choose between doing one thing or the other, I can be relied upon to make the wrong choice. After chatting for a while I wasn’t really surprised to return to Sarah, happily painting her crib, the wall and her body with this delightful new substance she had been left with.
After the birth of one of my babies, being completely exhausted, I was delighted when Greg suggested we go to McDonald’s on the way home from the hospital. (That was when we were all meat eaters, well, all except for the baby.) Hospitals sent you home the same day, no time to even unpack your bag, and I already had several children to be cared for at home. While we ate, the children went to play in the ball pit. After a while, one of the staff approached to inform us that one of our children had defecated in the balls. Poor thing, she had not meant to. I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that her diaper was full and sagging, so while playing, it had fallen off. The room was sealed and had to be sterilized before anyone could use it again. That was one of the few times when I left the scene and let Greg deal with the aftermath.
I was busy drying off one child while two others were still in the tub when I heard a tinny, clunk sound come from the bathtub. Looking in to see what had caused it, I discovered that Jenny had pooped in the tub, but that was not all. Apparently, she had swallowed a nickel and that was what made the clunk.
Children put things in their mouths all the time. It is our duty as parents to watch over them and keep dangers to a minimum, but we can’t prevent every accident, or remove every object from their reach. We do our best. I know I did. And I have been reprimanded by women for allowing my child to put a golf ball in his mouth, or should I say, up to his mouth. He couldn’t have gotten it in if he had forcibly rammed it in. So, let’s be kind to one another, and help instead of criticize. Nobody is perfect and maybe that mom who seems to be neglectful just needs a lift up. I realize how these stories make me look as a mother. All I can say is until you have had multiple children and have been afflicted with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, don’t judge. My children are terrific, talented, thoughtful and kind. What more could I ask for?