Thursday, August 18, 2011

Excuse me, have you seen my Sanity?

I could have sworn I left it around here somewhere.  The last time I remember seeing it was on a Friday evening in October of 2002.  It was Happy Hour but I was at home.  I remember that because my first thought when I saw the little pink plus sign on the home pregnancy test was “Oh my God! I almost went to Happy Hour…I almost had a beer… I almost hurt the baby!”   Then, and only then I thought “Oh my God, I’m having a BABY!”   You see, I had baby stress before my brain even registered that fact that I was pregnant.

And that, my dear friends, was the last time I saw my Sanity.  I have it on good authority that my Sanity hopped a plane for the Caribbean, where it is frolicking in turquoise waters with my Patience while my Modesty is at the pool bar kicking the snot out of my Common Sense at beer pong.  That’s ok girls, live it up!  I’m fine up here with my Self-Doubt and Irritation, tomorrow we’re making brownies.

I don’t care what anyone says, motherhood changes a woman.  It makes us stare in wide-eyed wonder and adoration at a sleeping baby at 3 am when just minutes before we were sending up silent prayers through clenched teeth that said baby would just please sleep already!  It makes our hearts burst and our eyes well up with tears the first time we hear that tiny voice say “I love you Mommy”.  It makes us pee a little bit when we sneeze.  It makes our feet grow, our boobs sag and our nerves take a permanent vacation to Frazzleland.  Yup, motherhood changes a woman in ways that are unforeseen, unexpected and often unexplainable in terms of physics and modern science.  But change us it does, permanently and irreversibly. 

I often wonder what would happen if I had a time machine and went back in time to warn to my pre-child self about the perils of motherhood.  I wonder if she’d believe me when I told her that my someday sons would spew applesauce across the kitchen like an irrigation system on an Iowa cornfield.  Or that they’d have tantrums so long and loud and often that they’d make Mother Theresa lose it like a disgruntled postal worker at Christmastime.  Or that my new go-to fashion accessory would be an artfully arranged clot of spit-up and yogurt.

 I know my pre-child self wouldn’t believe these things even if I told them to her.  In fact I’m quite certain she wouldn’t even recognize me as the future her…what with the spit-up/yogurt bow tie, mis-matched flip flops and crayon wrappers braided into my hair.  Come to think of it, the pre-child me, upon seeing the vision of disheveled motherhood before her, would either reach for her pepper spray or ask if there was a responsible adult she could call to come pick me up and take me back to whatever facility I had obviously wandered off from. 

So I guess it’s just as well that the time machine my son built out of an empty paper towel roll, my cell phone and $150 worth of miscellaneous office supplies doesn’t actually warp the space-time continuum….  it does, however, create temporary black holes into which random things disappear forever.  Things like entire rolls of paper towels, my cell phone and hundreds of dollars worth of miscellaneous office supplies. 

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