I am the girl, who in sixth grade asked embarrassingly in the gender separated sex talk, “So, what do you do about your period when you’re pregnant?” Thankfully, not quite grasping the concept of the female menstrual cycle when you’re twelve doesn’t preclude you from getting pregnant eighteen years later. The fertility drugs helped. Twelve year old Michelle and my Catholic grade school teachers would be in awe of the mad reproductive knowledge of thirty-six year old Michelle.
I do find myself trying to navigate this whole motherhood thing though and some days I feel as confused as twelve year old me.
I say really bizarre things.
Great helping Tay, but we do not use dog water to sweep the floor.
Spit those fish out right now!
We do not hit daddy in the face with a book.
Cookies aren’t a healthy snack choice.
Sometimes, as they are uttered, I look around for my own mother. It isn’t her though, it’s me. I am the mom. And it is weird. Tell me motherhood is magical and special and blah blah blah. WEIRD is what it is.
I mean, it’s a pretty universal moment when it happens initially. Am I right? Your brow furrows and you make the face that says, did that seriously just come out of my mouth? Frankly, cookies sound like a delicious snack choice to me. Am I really the one making the rules around this joint? Who put me in charge? I don’t even understand how periods work!
While we’re at it, a heads up would have been nice that not only will you eventually turn into your mother, but an actual baby is coming to live at your house. Surprise! I know this should seem fairly obvious given the fact that you are registering for baby gifts and furiously reading fruit comparisons of just how big that baby is, but it’s not. You roll your eyes when people tell you to sleep as much as humanly possible and go out to dinner at 9 pm with your friends before that baby arrives. Of course, you will do everything by the 37 parenting books you read and your life won’t change.
How hard can a baby be? It’s a lemon now! A papaya! A watermelon!
Let me answer that for you, right after you stay up for 24 hours straight and drink a pot of coffee because that is as close an approximation I can get to the the state you’ll be in for the next several years of your life.
A moment happens though, and no one tells you this either, where that sweet baby is put into your arms and you still feel like you, but you’re also someone new. You are a mom and your heart grows three sizes that day, just like the Grinch.
You will need all that love for when they are five year olds screaming about baths and one year olds scaling their tiny play kitchen to escape their crib.