First, let me set the scene – Mom had a long day. Maybe it’s because my only conversations throughout a 10 hour period involved a two year old and a three year old, maybe it was the magnificent way my children’s colon systems seemed to be working throughout the entire day (aka an excessive amount of poop seemed to be oozing from these two) maybe it was just restless mom syndrome, and I’ll even chalk it up (only partly) to a possible PMS moment, but whatever it was by the end of the night I was feeling very over the whole day, specifically over the youngest two members of the family. We are dealing with an extremely weepy three year old when he doesn’t get his way and an equally stubborn and opinionated two year old when she doesn’t get her way; needless to say, I was fried by the end of this day. The night began with the end of dinner which is always loud, fast, and under appreciated by all. Chores were completed and the big kids were outside playing. The babies decided that they also wanted to join the big kids outside but the problem was that just as they began putting their shoes on it began raining, soft and slow at first and by the end of the last lace being tied, it was pretty fast and furious. They were NOT excited about being told “No, they wouldn’t be going outside anymore.” So instead they were told to “go play,” however, they did not appreciate this idea, so the tears, real and imaginary, came upon demand, along with the attitude and the sulky lower lips and mama saying, “How about we take a bath?” and more tears and more attitude and many, many proclamations over and over again adamantly declaring, “no bath! no bath!” and hanging on mom’s leg and mom saying “fine, cry if you must, but I’m going to sit down while you’re all crying and throwing big baby hissy fits and drown out the world with this book” (Yes, I’m capable of doing that). So that’s what I did and guess what, they of course both wanted to take a bath the instant my rear end hit the chair – shocking! And then their mother said what any sane, normal functioning mother would say, “Nope, you both said you didn’t want to take a bath and now mom is sitting down so you’re going to wait until I’m ready to give you a bath,” back to my book, more crying, more attitude, more pouty lower lips. I allowed this to go on for about 5 minutes to prove my point and then turned to the two little dictators of the home and said loud and clear in my most authoritative voice, “Ok, NOW mom is ready to give you a bath.” I had proven my point, for sure… Up we go, running the bath water, two voices simultaneously chanting over and over again, “No mama, me do it, me do it, me do it……” off came the shirts, off came the pants, off came the diapers and into the tub two grungy little bodies went. I took my place upon the throne (the toilet) and attempted to drown out the silly chatter which of course quickly took a turn for the worse when Jada took something that Josh was playing with. I looked at the two of them, just really stared through them with this helpless look mingled with “don’t you care about your mother at all???” and then a long, drawn out aghhhhhhh……. came out of my mouth and that’s when “she”, drenched hair, mud covered sweatshirt, all 7 years of little mommy came swooping in to save the day; my oldest daughter, bless her soul, took over without batting an eye, with a happy heart and a sparkle in her eyes, “Mom, I’ll give them a bath, “ she chirped and with that she shut the door, almost shooing me out and began barking orders like a seasoned veteran, “Josh, sit down, Jada give that back to Josh, Josh, we need to wash your hair, Jada, you have enough toys…” and I slowly, silently, and reverently walked back down the stairs to civilization; for at least 10 minutes or so. I don’t know if she could feel the heat rising from my head, or see my arm hairs standing on end, or my big eyes bulging as these two, precious little people continued to push and push and push my buttons or if it’s just something innately built within her, but whatever it was, here’s to you Mya, my very own little mommy in the making. This is a role that you never asked for but instead it was thrust upon you inadvertently through the birth order of the family, you, my dear, are my inspiration at times. You are called upon to be the mother when it’s convenient for your own mother and to not be the mother when it threatens my own entitlement in any way. Please ignore my snide remarks of “you’re not the mother” in times when you are butting in, and I am not appreciating your helpful advice in the moment; I don’t entirely mean it, I need you and I need for you to continue to lift me up in my time of need. You, little mother, are at times more needed than my own husband, if that’s even possible. It’s a contradiction of terms, an oxymoron really, being one of these gifted, dear souls in a family. On one hand, the matriarchal figure is often telling you, “you are not the mother” but on the other hand, this same matriarchal figure EXPECTS you to be the second mother on so many occasions. It has to be a confusing role, and yes, I apologize for that, it’s not fair; I want you to help and to be just as good at mothering, if not better at it than I am at times. I, as your mother, look at you and marvel and your ability to keep it together, to not only listen to the same question, over and over and over again but to actually give an answer, over and over and over again. I only nod, or um hummmm, but you actually listen to the littlest beings in the family. You hear their nonsense and respond as if they have a legitimate point to make; an amazing ability really….. You put up with the indecisiveness when they can’t decide for precious minute upon precious minute between this pair of socks or that pair and then even after you put the decided upon pair of socks on their dear little feet and they change their minds you just smile and happily replace them with the new pair. What you don’t realize, thankfully, is just how much power you hold in this family. This family would often crumble without your daily assistance of playing with the babies, changing diapers, bathing, picking up, helping with dinner, helping dress the younger kids, setting the table, putting laundry away, folding laundry (and enjoying it? your mother doesn’t understand that), and generally doing it all with a happy, joyful attitude. You, dear little daughter are an enigma to me. I also was once in your role, big time being the oldest of 10, so I, in essence, feel like I deserve you. God did good in giving you to me as a gift for this family, and I’m so thankful that I not only get to be your mom but I also get to watch you grow and mature into such a responsible, helpful, caring little girl. Thank you Lord, for the precious gift of this second little mommy in the Ronne family.
Just keep livin!!