When I'm not scraping dried pieces of mandarin oranges and macaroni & cheese off the floor, or fetching my kid's toothbrush from out of the sandbox, or wiping peanut butter off little faces, I have time to think. It's rare, but it happens. And often, depending on what completely disgusting chore I'm engaged in at the moment, I laugh to myself as I drink in the reality of my life. And the conclusion I often come to is this-
Somehow, I'm not exactly the mother I thought I'd be.
And my life isn't exactly as I imagined it would be.
You know, the one I imagined when I was in college when I had my whole life mapped out, down to the number of kids I'd have (2), how far apart I'd have them (16 months OR twins), which extremely trendy names I'd give them (keep reading), what my husband would be like (totally hot, & he is), what our home decor would be (pg. 56 of my Pottery Barn catalog), the type of car I'd probably drive, the career I'd have (stay at home mom), and how cool and trendy a mother I would surely be.
If you'll excuse me a moment, I have to go laugh my you-know-what off.
I'll start by saying that never in my wildest dream, and I literally mean NEVER, did I imagine I would have triplets. Which is really sort of exciting because another part of my "imagined perfect life" was my boy/ girl twins (see paragraph 1 above) whom I'd probably name something catchy like Ashton and Ashlyn...but I pushed that dream into the "aint gonna happen" file because twins don't run in either of our families. So imagine my surprise when we learned I was going to hatch three little chickens!
And here I am today, realizing that the life I imagined way back when, is probably better left to Norman Rockwell....cuz in REAL life we're somewhere between the Brady Bunch and Everybody Loves Raymond. And I like it like that.
But just to prove that I am not the mother I thought I'd be, I present to you...the list.
1. In my pretend life, I always dress my kids in trendy,name brand duds...in my real life, I'm more likely to leave them in a diaper for half the day, and if we do have to go out in public, it WILL be in the shirts with pudding all over them. And for some reason, I'm totally okay with that.
2. In my pretend life, my kids would be lifelong friends and would really never want to fight with one another....in my real life, my kids brand each other with their teeth marks. :)
3. In my pretend life, I always do my kids' hair so they won't look like ragamuffins...in my real life, well, my kids usually look like ragamuffins. In fact I can probably count on 2 hands the number of times I've actually "done" the boys' hair. (Hunter, well, she gets her piggies of power, mostly because I don't know what the heck else to do with her obnoxious cowlick.)
4. In my pretend life, my kids' hands and faces are ALWAYS clean....in my real life, their hands and faces are almost never clean. And neither are their feet, knees, elbows, etc.
5. In my pretend life, my kids bathe every night to facilitate 'said cleanliness' in number 4 above....in my real life, I'm too freaking tired to give anyone, myself included, a bath every single night.
6. In my pretend life, I make fun meals like pizzas with faces made from bell peppers and olives, ants on a log, and sandwiches cut into the shape of dinosaurs....in my real life, I make macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly ALL. THE. TIME. And everyone's sandwich is a square.
7. In my pretend life, my kids are so well behaved in grocery stores that people say nice things about them...in my real life, the grocery store is an invitation for disaster, where the only comments I get are those in the neighborhood of "Wow, you have your hands full" (which is code for "Can't you control your kids?" ) And they steal Rolos from the checkout aisle.
8. In my pretend life, my cool car is always clean, with nifty hanging organizers to keep things neat and tidy....in my real life, I drive a Suburban which is really a traveling lunchbox, from which I could feed, clothe and entertain a family of 8 for weeks.
9. In my pretend life, my kids have never seen TV....in my real life, my kids RUN to the couch and assume their positions the MOMENT they see the Disney logo flash across the screen because they know it means their friends Buzz, Woody, Jessie, Dorie or Nemo are coming on!
10. In my pretend life, my house is clean....in my real life, I wish we lived in my pretend life. :)
11. In my pretend life, my kids eat healthy, nutritious snacks....in my real life, they eat chocolate covered raisins and stale, broken cheerios they find in the couch cushions.
12. In my pretend life, I just thought I'd be happy...but in my REAL life, I have a loving, handsome husband and 3 toddlers who love me and all my motherly imperfections.
So in my real life, I really AM happy.
(And there is Volume 1. You can bet there will be more to come.)