Friday, January 30, 2009

The Diaper Cell

I was playing around with a budget spreadsheet on my computer a few minutes ago when I came across the cell marked "Dine-out". This was one of those things with the catagories already suggested for the user. Almost subconciously, I deleted that and typed "Diapers" there instead. It was such a swift movement and it didn't quite register in my brain until I had moved on to the next cell in the sheet.

It was another one of those awkening moments when you're met with the full reality of your life. It's not unlike the feeling you get after your family abandons you in the kitchen with a sink full of dirty dishes and you find yourself picking perfectly good chunks of pork off the plates and eating it. At some point during your post-dinner buffet you stop and think, what am I doing? Who am I!?

When running on autopilot it's so easy to ignore the gradual changes that life with children bring-until something makes you stop right in the intersection of putting another bite in your mouth or rinsing it down the drain. Overall, motherhood is a gradual slide of events. First you quit drying your hair, then you quit reading any book past the four-year-old level, and pretty soon before you know, you're wearing your pajamas to the supper table and using baby lotion for your cracked skin.

And every once and awhile a wake-up moment comes along and you pause for a second, trapped between shoving more peas in the baby's mouth and pondering whatever became of that little sliver of time between your high school graduation and your wedding day. Then, you shrug, wipe the baby's mouth, and smile. Because this is good too. So good.

Now excuse me, please. I must go see if the kids left any crusts of their sandwiches on the table. (So I can toss them, of course.)


jane R. said...

You should contribute to parenting magazines so more mothers could enjoy your writing and humor.

Anonymous said...

My thought exactly. You have what it takes, honey! ~Brita