Wednesday, February 3, 2010

never is a dangerous word for a mother to use.

I said "I'll never dress my kids in high-water pants" but that was before they started outgrowing their clothes faster than we made money.

When I promised myself "I'll never let them watch movies all day long" I hadn't yet encountered the total exhaustion that came along with my third baby.
"I will always be prepared for... (insert kid emergency here)." Regretfully, I've thought this and similar statements when I've witnessed other mothers in distress.
"I will feed my baby in a way that he doesn't get messy." (Still haven't figured that one out.)

"I'll always have snacks with me." (Unless I forget.)
"My kids will never wear their pajamas in public." (Does the grocery store count? How about church?)
Sometimes when it's rainy, McDonalds keeps me sane. We eat our peanut butter sandwiches in the car, buy cookies for desert (3 for $1), and hang around the play-place for a while.

Today there was a mother talking loudly on her phone while her two young girls played. I was eavesdropping, just a little.
"We just got done at the doctor's." She said. "They've ordered a chest x-ray because her cough is so bad and her fever won't quit." I could hear rampant coughing coming from inside the play structure. I had just sent Iggy climbing up that way, darn it.

A little girl stumbled out of the entrance holding her stomach and began to vomit all over the floor. The mother watched. And stayed on the phone.
Now, looking back, I wish I had jumped at the chance to help a fellow mom. I wish I had comforted the little girl and gone to get cleaning-crew help.

Instead I was consumed with fear for my own children: My one-month-old, sitting in his car-seat feet from the puke. My boys, in the enclosed space of the tunnels, becoming infected.

I called for them to hurry, we were leaving NOW.
As I thought to myself, "I would NEVER bring a child who was that sick to McDonalds" I realized that "never" is an awfully dangerous word for a mother to use.

That poor woman must be having the worst day of her life.

I really could be that woman on some horrible day.

I wish I had helped.


Lacey said...

If I had a nickle for every time I said, "I'll never.... (fill in here)" I'd be rich. And then, of course, you do it probably the next day without thinking about it. Isn't life wonderful?

Kat & Paul said...

Oh Megan! I love when more moms join the "three and above" crowd and the knowing starts to set in. I was so judgemental and "I never..." was so me and now I just inwardly smile at those who look at me and my no shoe no socks in the middle of winter kids and think..."you just wait" i was once you. (side note: the shoes and socks always go on...what happens between the time I put them on and the time I get to the store...who knows!)

Chasey and Cash said...

Oh my gosh! I feel your pain! I was totally the "I would NEVER" mom...all that has changed!

Last night Cash threw a fit and pulled his sisters hair...We were at my aunts house...I overheard my aunts friend say "I would NEVER let my child behave like that!" UGH! I wanted to punch her...Her kids are teenagers now...I'm sure her son NEVER acted up and her daughter has always been as good as gold. I think the wine has destroyed her brain cells! ...I wanted to say that OUT LOUD...but I refrained! haha...hope your kids stay healthy!