The Jackpot

“Mommy, can I ask you something?”

Sofia begins 5-6 conversations a day with that question.

“Sure,” I say, quickly pondering what outrageous interrogation will ensue.

“Is it hard to be a Mommy?”

This was the second time in the past week that she had asked me. The first time, I responded with a lot of Uh’s and Um’s, but this time I was more prepared.

“Well, sometimes it feels hard, because I’m tired from work, but you guys make it easy, because you are so wonderful. Why do you ask?”

“When I’m a mom, I’m gonna have 6, or 4, or 5 kids.”

I was glad to hear that response, because I didn’t want to frighten her away from her dream of having so many children.

Women aren’t easily motivated nowadays to have one kid, let alone 6, or 4, or 5.

9 months of swelling, indigestion, and 20 to 60 pounds of weight gain—yes, I gained 60 pounds throughout each of my 3 pregnancies, on a 5’1″ frame, you could say I “got around; then a long, tedious, painful labor and delivery—with or without an epidural, it bites; 30 to 45 endless nights, of crying and crankiness, and not just you, the baby is adjusting to living outside your body, as opposed to the water world they inhabited for 40 weeks; 40 torturous nights without intimacy, where you think, “I’ll never say no to sex again!”—that doesn’t last; add on the throw up, poop, pee, and other things you can’t identify that babies spew all over you; and all of a sudden, before your baby is even walking, it’s settled. You’re done. “One baby is more than enough!”

You’re right! All of that does sound awful; but there are rewards in between. Sweet smiles and giggles; gentle tugging at your hair while they nap; eyes that bat softly to sleep to your lullabies, despite your awful singing voice; and when they start talking, it’s all over.

That first time they call you Momma or Daddy, it’s like hitting the 600 million dollar PowerBall. Ok, I know it probably seems like there’s NOTHING better than hitting the 600 million dollar PowerBall, but I feel that becoming a parent is like buying a ticket and winning the jackpot every day.

So, when Sofia asked me if it’s hard to be a mommy, I quickly answered no. I don’t mean to lie to her, I just don’t want her to fear motherhood and all the responsibilities, sacrifices, and spit-up it throws at you.

What is the right answer to that question?

I don’t know, but kids don’t know that you don’t know. So, just give it your best shot.

Tonight, I lay next to my curious daughter, after reading a story and praying. She said “Mommy, can I ask you something?”

Third time’s the charm, I thought. I was ready with my fairytale response about motherhood.

“What is it, Sofy?”

“Mommy, what’s a solar eclipse?”

Mouth agape, I blurted, “Go to sleep!

Immortality?

Men… Warning: The short that follows is about “That Time of the Month”. Which time? The annoying, bitchy, PMSy time, when all you men do is mess things up for us. And, NO, we don’t act like that ALL the time! Well…

I was 9 when I first discovered I was immortal. I mean how else could I lose that much blood and still be walking and talking. (I warned you.) Maybe it hadn’t been a dream, and I had been bitten by Brad Pitt in the middle of the night.

I was turning! ::DUM Dum dum::

Oddly enough, I had no trouble walking about in the daylight; although it felt nearly impossible to get out of bed to go to school.

Maybe I’d sleep better once I had my own coffin.

I still enjoyed eating Frosted Flakes, despite the pack of bloody liver steaks I had seen in the fridge—they were for the dogs, big dogs.

Needless to say, I was not a vampire; I was becoming a woman.

I wonder if Eve is up there laughing every time a girl gets her period for the first time. “Oops, did I do that?” All Steve Urkel like.

It was the beginning of all my insecurities and uncertainties.

I started to grow these awkward little peaks; the flimsy cotton bras from JByron’s offered no kind of support, physical OR emotional.

Then…the hair.

When my 6 year old daughter recently asked me why I had hair on my butt, I found myself stifling laughter.

“When am I gonna get hair on my butt?” She continued to investigate, staring at me with her head to the side like I was some freak show exhibit. I didn’t want to explain that it’s not called a butt, so I simply answered, “When you’re bigger.”

“When I’m 16?”

“Probably sooner.”

“When I’m 7?” She asked wide eyed with concern because her birthday is only a few months away.

“No, not yet! We’ll talk about it another day.” I ended the conversation abruptly, frustrated that I didn’t have all the answers despite the fact that WE did bite the apple from the tree of Knowledge.

I’m convinced that before that ill-fated day, we didn’t have to shave our legs or pluck our eyebrows. We became angry, bushy beasts after that cursed serpent came along.

Don’t get me wrong, men have it bad, too. They get easily excited by fully clothed women, even not so good looking women. Imagine how hard it was, literally, being naked with us all the time. Poor Adam…

Back to my immortality!

So, you’ve got some semblance of boobs, hair everywhere, your hormones are out of control and you start getting pimples.

Let’s not forget the significant discomfort of “Flo”, the corny nickname says it all; the accompanying cramps and headaches, and the “fun” accessories we have to carry around for most of our lives.

“Mommy, is that you diaper,” my two year old, yes TWO year old, asked mockingly one day, grinning and covering her face with her yellow blanky.

I do try to hide these things, but when you have 3 kids, it becomes increasingly difficult to do anything in privacy. A NY THING. If you don’t lock the door, you’re bound to have an audience.

Marriage/Parenting Tip: always lock the door before engaging in any physical activity that might otherwise require Daddy explaining to the kids that he wasn’t hurting Mommy.

Thankfully, they didn’t just invent those white bulky mattresses we call “Pads”, but also, TAMPONS!

::insert a sun rising and birds chirping happy day here::

Yes, tampons changed my life. No more embarrassing bulge in those unflattering P.E. shorts. No more missing fun pool parties or the beach days when your friends decided to skip school.

Tampons, did not actually give me the nerve to do that, BUT the choice was there!

Tampons were great. Even after some of the stories I heard.
For example, My best friend’s mom told us how one time she finished her period as usual, but then noticed a foul smell several days later. She FORGOT to remove the last tampon!

“Oh, man!” I thought, “That could never happen to me. I’m not immortal, but I’m not a complete idiot either.”

Well, funny story…