The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Thursday, January 31, 2008



My husband seems to have a direct line for understanding our three-year old son that annoys me.

I say this because I am a much better parent than he is; at least I put more effort into it than he does.

I certainly read more about it and lose more sleep over it than he seems to. Nothing seems to interfere with his sleep, and this is another thing that annoys me. Ever since the kids were born, I have not been able to sleep through the night. He snores, steals the covers and wiggles the mattress, while I wake up and poke him as he rolls over and stops whatever offended me.

This happens a dozen times a night and in the morning when I am bleary-eyed, I ask him how he slept and he says, “Great!” with that chipper, cutesy smile that used to make me woozy when we were dating, and that annoys me now.

Recently, my three-year old was getting ready to take swim classes without mom or dad in the pool with him, and he was a little anxious. I bought him new orange goggles and a hooded towel with shark fins and teeth, and explained that his class would be called The Jellyfish.

My six-year old girl was enthralled with the name and she started to dance around the room pretending to float, so my son joined in chanting and marching, and we had a little sea creature parade.

Then my son stopped and stared at me electrified with some marvelous idea. He poked out his index finger and said wide-eyed and lisping, “Do I get to sting people?”

He looked very fragile, as if I might say no. I stared back at his great black, vulnerable, tender, impish boy eyes and said, “Well of course you do, you’re a jellyfish!”

So then he and my daughter stuck out their stingers and bzzz, bzzz, buzzed each other and anything that came near them for the next week until class started.

The class went fine, much to my surprise, since he usually takes a while to adapt, but the teacher was giggly and dimply, and the other two kids were perky and confident in the water so he jumped right in.

After class they all went into the hot tub. My son was alert and pleased, and he chatted happily to the teacher whose name was Erin, and whom he called, “Errand.”

After class he skipped with me to the locker room where I stripped him down and threw him in the shower. As soon as he stepped into the water he started to howl and wail. He threw himself on the floor crying and screaming, and my heart stopped.

Was the water too hot? Did he step on glass on the floor? Had he bitten his tongue? I could not calm him down, and I went through every possible explanation in my head. Was it epilepsy? A spider bite? Maybe I had done something in the wrong order?

Finally, I calmed him down and he sobbed, grief stricken: “I forgot to sting people!! I fo-or-r-or-go-o-o-t!!” Choking back my laughter and hugely relieved, I cleaned him up and we walked back out and buzzed his teacher who said my son was “adorable!” and he said, “You are dorable, too.”

When I told my husband this story, and I got to the part about Collin screaming on the floor of the shower room, he said, “Oh, he forgot to sting people. Right? He wasn’t sick. He was angry.”

And I just stopped and stared at him shocked.

I was stuck between being amazed that he understood so quickly, and being annoyed that he had stolen my punch line. Finally, I decided that I am so frequently annoyed at my husband, that JUST THIS ONCE, I could overlook it and be amazed. So I looked at him appreciatively, and said, “Wow. You really understand little boys, huh?”

That was a real adult moment for me.

By Lianna McSwain


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