The Things Mothers Do For Their Children

Let me start by saying, I hope my son reads this when he is older. That being said...

I have always liked babies, but only when they belonged to other people.

I was a teacher for 5 years and taught a range of age groups and subjects. The work was difficult and time consuming. My husband and I weren't married in those days and children seemed to be in a very distant future for us. On the days when work was particularly challenging, I would silently question whether or not I actually wanted to have children of my own someday. After all, children were complicated.

Last night at 4 am, I scrubbed diarrhea out of the carpeting in my son's room.

They say motherhood is one of the toughest jobs there is and has no pay... I thought to myself; the things mothers do for their children. I would rather my son not be sick. I would rather everyone be sleeping happily. I would rather not be vigorously cleaning poop!

I was diligent about getting everything properly cleaned despite my drowsiness and very patient with my son who was upset that he had made such an awful mess. I kept myself distracted by talking to him in the most confident voice I could find and assuring him that is was perfectly ok and I would clean it all up.

After the mess was eventually cleaned and everyone was showered, sleep was impossible for me. I can't just return to dreaming about space ships quite so easily. The sun was coming up and my son was sleeping before I attempted to lay back in bed. Although I didn't sleep, I at least found other thoughts that were more pleasant than cleaning poop to relax me.

I was happy to discover this morning that I did a really good job scrubbing the carpet (although I re-cleaned an re-disinfected as a precaution). I'm satisfied now that once the carpet is dry, I won't have to continue strategically jumping over that large spot.

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My son is doing well today but I am cautious that his tummy might somehow surprise me. He took a mug this morning and asked if he could clean it in his bathroom with some water and a towel. I figured it would be good practice for helping with dishes, so I said YES. I took a few minutes to call my mom who is 250 miles-too-far-away to let her know what had happened.

When I finished talking to her, I went to the bathroom to check on my son. He was standing at his sink, still scrubbing the mug like he had asked. I had expected a surprise... like three feet of bubbles on the bathroom floor. He saw me standing there and confirmed exactly what I was thinking, "No mess, Mom!" I told him what a good job he was doing and how proud I was. He said he was done and I carried him out of the bathroom.

Unexpectedly and uncharacteristically, he gave me a small kiss on my shoulder.

Maybe someday he can tell me if that gesture was for cleaning his poop at 4am or letting him play with the bathroom sink, but it doesn't matter. Despite scrubbing his poop out of the carpet or any of the other challenges I have experienced with him, I am, ALWAYS, happy to do it.

Because that's just what moms do.


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