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10 Things Every New Mother Should Know

Posted by Mary Webb on April 18, 2015 at 4:25 PM

Yesterday afternoon, my oldest niece made the ultimate transformation to adulthood: she became a mother.

Just after her delivery, my sister texted me a brief video of Melinda holding Marley, aka Lil' Asteroid, who was wailing like her namesake's band (pun wasn't intended; it just worked out that way) and flailing her naked right arm all around like she had some major point to prove. Between her adamant I'm-here-and-you-better-take-notice-ness and the she's-here-and-she-has-my-total-attention, reality-is-setting-in-look registered on her mother's face, I decided an edit to my regards were in order. Instead of a heartfelt "Congratulations" when I burst through the hospital room door, "Welcome to motherhood!" seemed more just.

This might be like pissing in someone's Cheerio's. But, I like to think of it as, what was the line in Top Five? Rigorous honesty! Yeah, that's it.

Hell, she reads this blog (I think) and chose to spend her last night of Just Me status at my chaotic home sans air conditioning, but avec one child who was crying and mumbling about me liking the other child better and the other child being totally extra, showing off for a friend plus said neighborhood friend who was walking a groove between my home and hers, and who I would have sent home earlier for "letting all my cool air out" if I had any cool air to let get out.

But, I digress The most decent thing I can do is offer rigorous honesty.

So, Melinda, here we go:

1) Kids will always have something to say, even when they have nothing to say. Proof? Marley is still probably crying now as I write this.

2) Kids will make you talk in riddles. (See above.) But, it will make perfect sense. (Again, see above.) Especially to other women with scrambled brains, which is a side effect of motherhood.

3) Kids will give you cavities. My dentist assured me the crackhead's teeth I had going on in the back of my mouth when she got ready to put my crowns in was on account of all the nutrients a woman's body loses during pregnancy. Proof? I never even had a cavity until I became a mother. Double proof? I had no idea what a crown even was. Thought it'd be something cute going on top of my tooth, not something to fill the shards I had left.

4) Kids will tell you they feel sick at the last minute. Like come away from their seat at the table to you and deposit all their stomach's belongings on your dress shirt. I won't incriminate the culprit; after all, he or she was sick.

5) Kids will relegate your breakfast to a strip and and half of turkey bacon. Proof? They see you putting strips in the microwave, and at no point do they ask you to throw one in for them. And, as soon as you sit down to the table, they ask for a "piece". Seemingly, less is more.

6) But, to be fair, on the 8th (or is it the 10th?) consecutive day of rain, when you swore you just couldn't take one more, single, solitary drop from the sky, kids make you welcome it with open arms. Proof? Jory brought me a bowl of grapes, and then, got under the cover with me and watched a movie with me this morning. Only thing better was when we finished our fruit, and our arms were free to wrap around each other. Only thing better was when Quentin joined us in bed to play a couple hands of UNO.

7) And, kids will tell you "Good cooking, Mama!" with fervor even when you serve them something way less than gourmet. Proof? They chowed down on smoked sausage sandwiches I made quickly so we could get to the hospital with time to spare visiting like it totally hit the spot. And, no one even mentioned the fact that we were out of chips.

8)  Kids will, also, make you feel like the most mundane things you do for them are the super-coolest. Proof? Quentin made it a point to tell Jory how I helped him to clean out his backpack when all I did was dump its contents on his floor and suggested a few things he could toss.

9) Kids will make the simplest things a lot of fun. Proof? A few weeks ago, we celebrated Quentin's transplant anniversary with a meal out. He suggested we play a game called "Categories" on the kids' menu. It called for you to pick a category, i.e., sports, fruit, etc., and go around the table naming something in that group. People were eliminated if they failed to respond quick enough or repeated something someone else said. My kids were worthy opponents, and the game made for one of the best conversations I think we've ever had, as well as some of the best laughs. I know people at the next table were stealing a line from When Harry Met Sally and wanting to have what we were having.

10) The fact is kids are maddening. But, you find yourself wanting them to stick around anyway because they bring you unspeakable joy. Funny how the two go hand-in-hand.

You know what? Kids kind of remind of me of tattoos. Just when you think you can't stand the pinch of the gun a second longer, the artist lifts the pen and gives you a reprieve. Just when Quentin and Jory are at the verge of making me go berserk, they chill out for me.

Also, like tattoos, children are permanent. I thought long and hard about the symbols I had etched on my skin with that in mind just as I waited until I was completely ready mind, body and spirit before deciding to procreate.

So, Melinda, congratulations on delivering such a beautiful baby! Be prepared for the absolute worst, but know that there will be many incredible moments on your journey through motherhood with Marley, too!

 

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