Yesterday, a friend of mine gave me a very nice compliment. She told me that I am a great mother. It was a really nice thing to say and it made me smile. It also made me reflect on what my previous few minutes had looked like to warrant such a nice statement. I’ll paint you a picture.
I was at a rehearsal dinner for a wedding that I’m in this evening. I was eating on the patio with Aforementioned Friend and our spouses. Elle was also with me, but she has been sick this week and although she’s getting over it, was crabby and wanting to do nothing except love on her momma. At this point, she didn’t even want to be in the carrier. She wanted to sit on my hip and that was the way things were going to be if she was going to stay happy.
So here we are, on the patio. Elle is on my hip and I’m doing the bouncing mom dance, (you know the one, the one that new moms get so used to doing that they rock back and forth and bounce even when they’re away from their baby). I’m eating my dinner, but I can’t sit down and can only use one hand for eating. So with manners taking a backseat to necessity, such is life with a child, I’m attempting to saw food with the side of my fork and when I can get a piece cut that is small enough that the fork can hold by itself, I pick it up and just take bites out of it. At one point, Aforementioned Friend, (she’s a mom too so this was done with absolutely no judgment), took the liberty of cutting my food into bite sized pieces for me. This is fantastic because it helps to maximize the amount of food I can get into my mouth at one time and of course, the faster I can eat, the faster that job is over and there is no plate of sticky food that my daughter can stick her hand into when I turn my head and subsequently smear into my hair.
While this is happening, I am also involved in the normal process of cooing at my daughter enough to keep her smiling, keeping her fingers out of my food/hair/eyes, and carrying on a conversation with the rest of the table. I’m also wearing a nice dress with a convenient-for-nursing v-neck that Elle is tugging on, but luckily I was wise enough to have anticipated this so my matching bra that was showing most of the time was hardly noticeable to the people outside of our immediate vicinity.
So here I am, standing up to eat at a nice dinner, with my bra showing, bouncing and rocking rapidly, eating food that was just cut up by someone else at my table, and as rapidly as I can chew, shoveling forks of food into my mouth that are packed with what is three bites to a normal person. Of course, with this amount of food on a single fork, there are bound to be some casualties and a piece of ham fell onto the floor. I picked it up and ate it while consciously thinking that I can’t leave food on the floor at someone’s house, but it needs to be off my plate or else Babe can grab it.
It was at that point when my wonderful compliment came and served the dual purpose of making me feel good and allowing me to reflect on just how ridiculous moms must look sometimes to people who do not have children of their own. Nothing I was doing seemed either complicated or inappropriate, it was natural, but once I started breaking it down, it may have seemed like both of those things to a less forgiving audience.
I’m pretty sure that Aforementioned Friend is reading this, so thanks again.
Things I’ve learned from this experience include:
1) HH and I have great taste in audiences
2) Mom-life is ridiculous and manners are subjective
3) I am willing to eat stuff just to keep it out of my kid’s hands
4) I’m looking forward to showing people tonight that I actually do know how to behave in public.