You know how the Mormons always send out their pretty boys? For the most part, anyways.
Apparently so do the companies whose sole purpose is to dupe frazzled, over-extended young mothers who are trying their best to raise functioning members of society. Those of us who feel we are playing grown-up. That we somehow snuck past the IQ detector that prevents idiots and chronic screw-ups from becoming mothers. Oh, wait. There isn’t one. So here we are. Young. Floundering. Exhausted. Peed, pooped, and puked upon. Desperately attempting to grasp at the last straw of sanity that we think we have left. Forget the dignity. That fled at the very first prenatal OBGYN appointment.
So here we are. Mothers. The primary caretakers of these adorable, naughty, and totally irresistible little alien life forms. We feed, clothe, rock, sing, diaper, bathe, and otherwise pamper and nourish them.
At the expense of our minds & bodies.
We look like something the cat dragged in on at least a daily basis. Or that the cat drags around on a daily basis.
But we do it for love. For the sheer joy of the small monsters and all the love they have to give us. For the first crayon-scribbled refrigerator masterpiece. For the first time they ask in a complete sentence of sorts that you take them to Walmart to buy a them tractor. For the first ‘thank you’ without being reminded. For when they put themselves in timeout because they know they were naughty. For the very first ‘Mommy! Pee-pee in the potty!’ without an accident. For the curly, tousled hair as they lie sleeping at night. Oh, the blessed silence!
But before the blessed silence and the obedience and the minute indicators that your mothering is not completely in vain, there are bowls of chicken salad repeated thrown across the kitchen. There are puddles of bodily fluid on the living room carpet. There are handfuls of poo offered with excitement. There are battles. There are wars. Ambushes. Guerrilla attacks. Weapons of Mom Destruction (wherein they attempt to destroy mom by watching Robots 4 times in 1 day).
It was in the midst of just such a scenario that I heard a knock at the door.
Naptime ends just as dinner prep begins. It is a colliding of wills and purposes. Of course they wouldn’t eat the chicken salad. After all, they loved it yesterday, even begged for more. Dinner plates make great frisbees. Especially piled with food. Of course the baby needed to eat NOW. Of course my house felt like it was closing in on me. After all, it is a full 400 square feet. Stacked laundry baskets with clean folded clothing to be put away. (how i managed those 2 steps required multiple miracles.)
I open the door a little. I think they were younger than me. At least it felt that way. Pastel polos. Plaid shorts. Tan. Blond. Young. And o, so, unmarried and not fathers.
“You must be the mom here,” the first young man began. We shall call him Will. “I’m Will.”
“Why? Do I look like the mom here?!” I fired back with just a hint of humor in my voice so as not to not frighten him and his companion completely. I could have had him crying for his mommy or ‘green-eyed’ him into submission. But I was attempting to be civil. Human, even. (Thank God they were there, tho! I needed to vent on someone so that my poor husband would want to come home. Flying chicken salad does not put one in a stable frame of mind.)
I think they may have thought I was flirting in/out of desperation. They had nothing with which to compare the level of insanity which I proceeded to spew upon their young heads. I surmised, out loud, that they obviously had mothers, as they existed to stand at my doorstep. Did they have sisters? No, they informed me. Nor had they ever known a pregnant woman. What kind of a charmed life had they led till now?!
They were selling Early Childhood Development Literature and Toddler Teaching Aids. Brightly colored, fully waterproof and washable pages. Spanish and English. They would grow with your child throughout preschool and on into elementary school. A set of 6, with full-color posters. Dry-erase friendly. Peanut butter and jelly friendly, they added. Or rather Will, added. I think poor Jon was frightened out of his wits. Scary mom of 3, say ‘what!’?!
No, they had no pamphlets to leave. No business cards. I would have to decide here and now whether or not to buy the $100’s of dollars worth of being a good mom. No, it was not mom-friendly that I should have to leave my kids and their mess to hear their spiel, but neither was it them-friendly for me to not hear them out. Certainly I could give them 10 minutes of my time.
I may or may not have flipped out.
By now, the poor Michigan 20-something was determined to make his presentation if it killed him. The other guy hung back a safe distance.
Does it look like I have $80 to give you for that book?
I am trying to save up to move out of this, this, this matchbox I live in!
No, I don’t have a down payment of $40 for you.
They are all under 3.
Yes, I am amazing.
Yes, you may high-five my chicken salad ensconced hand.
No, I do not want your product.
I attempted to be nice. The dude would not take no for an answer. The nerve of him! He even told me that my children would be caring for me someday so I must provide them with a good education in order for them to do so.
I told him that pregnant women were insane, cranky, and overwhelmed. Since I had almost a solid 3 years under my belt, the psycho had not yet worn off. Maybe he would have a crazy wife someday and energetic children someday and would remember me.
O, by the way. To make our job easier, could you tell us which of your neighbors have small children so we don’t have to waste our time?
After all I just explained to you, do you really think I have time for playdates?! Or to meet the neighbors?! Do you have any idea how much work it is to get these kids in and out of the house, let alone interact with another human?!
The kids live down the road a ways. Go, before I go berserk and bring out the shotgun. Which you don’t know isn’t loaded.