“Momma, we hab a supwise fah you but I can’t tewl you what it is. Daddy said I get in big twouble,” my three-year-old confessed to me.
Sometimes my idea of a surprise and my husband’s isn’t quite the same— not to mention the opinion of my preschooler. I didn’t get my hopes up in anticipation of Mother’s Day. Instead I geared up for the last week of school with my kids, going to parties and award ceremonies. Alternately giggling with my older girls as Sadie shook her groove thang on stage to “Dinah Won’t You Blow,” and beaming with pride as Aubrey accepted awards at her school. I packed away lunch boxes, back packs and school uniforms. I looked forward to sleeping later, drinking coffee on the couch while the girls watched cartoons and long, lazy days at the pool.
Towards the end of the week I felt a cold coming on and had a sinus headache that nothing in my medicine cabinet could touch. I was tired and irritable and counting the seconds until nap time. I chugged a couple of over the counter pain relievers with a glass of water and rubbed my eyebrows.
“Are you tired Momma?” my seven-year-old, Aubrey, asked.
“A little, I think I’m getting a cold. Everybody finish your lunch then we are going to rest for a little while. Big girls don’t have to sleep but you have to lie down and be quiet for a few minutes.”
My five-year-old groaned and Sadie yelled, “I don’t WANT to take a nap!”
“I’ll put Sadie down for a nap if you want me to Momma,” Aubrey offered.
I put my hands on the counter to steady myself. “Are you serious?”
“Sure!” She beamed at Sadie, “Want me to read you a book in your bed?”
“Yeah! Sissy! Sissy! Sissy!” Sadie chanted.
I watched in awe as Aubrey and Sadie put their dishes in the dishwasher and walked out of the room holding hands. “Go potty and pick out a book,” Aubrey instructed.
Emma and I laid on my bed and I listened intently to the conversation drifting down the hall from Sadie’s room.
“I wanna wead dis one!” Sadie said.
“Okay, get in the bed.” Aubrey paused for a second then began, “Puzzled by Pink, by Sarah Frances Hardy… Sadie sit down.”
Sadie squealed and I heard springs squeak as she undoubtedly jumped in the air.
“I MEAN IT SADIE! Sit down now!”
Sadie laughed maniacally and I stifled a giggle in my bedroom.
Aubrey got stern, “I’m not kidding with you Sadie. If you don’t sit down and be quiet I’m not going to read to you!”
“Okay… I will…” Sadie said, right before she launched into, “Five wittle monkeys jumping on the bed…” the springs squeaked in time to the song.
I heard footsteps in the hallway and my bedroom door creeped open. Aubrey’s curly head poked around the doorway, “Will you please come deal with her? Sadie is making me CRAZY!”
Mother’s Day wasn’t a disappointment— I slept late and woke up to breakfast in bed, homemade cards from all of my girls unanimously declaring me The Best Momma in The Whole Wide World. My husband even came through with a gift I had been hoping for and we spent a lazy day around the house. The whole family piled up on a quilt under the pecan tree in our yard, watching kittens and little girls play. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect day but the best gift I received this year was that moment, when Aubrey volunteered to help me and I felt for a split-second that someone else in this house knew what it felt like to be The Momma— in a word– crazy.
Robin O’Bryant is a syndicated humor columnist and stay-at-home-mom to three daughters born within four years. She finally figured out where babies come from and got herself under control. Her first book, “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves,” is rated #1 by reader reviews on Amazon in two genres: Humor Essays and Parenting & Families. Visit her at www.robinschicks.com. Robin’s Chicks to learn helpful tips such as: how to breastfeed behind your back*, how to talk to your daughters about man parts, and how to write a proper gold fish obituary. *Only applies to lactating women with a DD cup or larger.