- bed wetting
- toddler 'tude
- an allergy-ridden tot with her hair plastered to her cheeks by snot which requires a bath
- an epic blowout in the bouncy seat that mandates a bath and an additional load of laundry on top of the remaining...
- 3 loads of laundry
- speech therapy
- physical therapy
- technical problems that prevent access to the spreadsheet that holds the contact information for intended birth announcement recipients
- more toddler 'tude that really makes you think that Aunt Leanne had a point when she asked why we bother letting Thelma out of time out when she will inevitably need to go back in there. Just leave her in there. Duh!
- a chorus of three children crying at once
- plate/cup throwing during meals
- an attempt to write a grant during nap time (don't ask)
- an incredibly stressful albeit appreciated Skype session with Josie's behavioral psychologist to help us work through the aforementioned oppositional behavior at mealtime
- the discovery of dry erase marker all over the walls of the playroom thanks to a naughty almost-three-year-old graffiti artist.
It was the kind of day that made me miss my mom. For five weeks my mom put her life on hold and temporarily relocated more than 700 miles away to help me recover from my C-section while easing into life as a mother of three. For five weeks my mom dealt with days filled with the aforementioned challenges and she still woke up eager to do it again the next day. For five weeks my mom did my job and I never once saw her dissolve into a hormonal, blubbering mess. In fact, she managed to extract the humor from scenarios involving the unruly graffiti artist and the wake of destruction she left behind. She saws the therapists' visits as an opportunity to help Josie acquire new skills while celebrating small victories; not as one more obligation on top of an already hectic schedule.
She even commented that it's too bad that my dad didn't live to experience this because this is truly her favorite season of life. And I love that about her. When I'm having an impossibly overwhelming day, I share my struggles with her and she helps me filter them through the heart of a mother who has survived all of this and more, and who is left with wisdom, a sense of humor, and an appreciation for how valuable and fleeting these years are.
Who knows? Maybe part of her infallibly positive outlook comes from the intense satisfaction she gets from seeing me earn my gray hairs in the same manner that I made her earn hers. Goodness knows I will have a hard time wiping the Cheshire cat grin off my face the day Merryn gives birth to a "Thelma" of her own.
All joking aside, I hope Mama Hop will accept this meager blog post as a small token of my enormous appreciation for all that she did to help me this summer. My appreciation grows each time I experience a day that makes me feel like I'm failing miserably in my pursuit of maternal bliss. And even though I don't always stop and say it, her help is appreciated, her talents are admired, and her absence is felt.