Then watch cartoons with your three year old.
I am drop.dead.serious.
Picture this. My three year old comes joyfully marching up the stairs, and sweetly whispers in my ear, "Wise and shine, mommy!" To which I quickly nudge her father, insisting it is indeed HIS turn to get up with her. When he doesn't even budge, I fall out of bed, put on whatever dirty clothes are lying on the floor, throw my unbrushed hair into a pony tail, and stumble out of the room and into the den.
I grab the remote, turn on some Sesame Street, get my blanket and pull it over my head. It is insanely too early to function.
15 minutes later, I feel yet another nudge. "Mommy, I'm hungry." I think about explaining to her the repercussions of waking a sleeping mommy, but instead say, "there is some dry cereal in the pantry. Go knock yourself out, and mommy will make breakfast in a little bit."
I spend the next 30 minutes falling in and out of sleep, often being awoken by a silly little blonde girl, ready to start the day. When I finally decide enough it enough, I sit up, throw off the blanket, and let out a big sigh.
Of course, I am then met with a killer headache due to the weird concoction my head was in as I attempted to lay on the couch. I reach for some Arnica, a hot cup of coffee, and a 5 hour energy - because Lord knows I am gunna need it.
So who wants to award me Mom of the Year?
When I first learned I was pregnant with Ellie Kate, my lazy boned, overworked, too-tired-to-get-my-butt-off-the-couch persona of a mom was NOT what I had imagined.
I thought I actually might BE mom of the year, and have all the answers, persistence, and patience in the world.
But I quickly learned, that only happens in cartoons.
You see, while laying on the couch, my mind is subtly infiltrated with the cartoons my three year old is watching. Many of them are the same. They are small children of the animal variety, living in small quaint towns, with their cute little families, constantly playing in the sunny backyard while their perfectly put together moms clean, bake, launder, home school, and operate their own nonprofit organizations.
So maybe not the nonprofit organization thing, but I wouldn't put it past 'em.
Cast in point - Olivia.
Olivia is a vibrant little pig, who is constantly using her imagination to create, play, and discover. Her zest for life can get her in trouble often, but by the end of each 15 minute segment, she is back on track to becoming a perfect future adult citizen.
Her mother is oh.so.patient. and never ever loses her temper.
I remember one instance in which Olivia was preparing for a hometown parade complete with drums, horns, and whistles. Olivia's mother had been warning Olivia and her friends to keep it down because William, Olivia's baby brother, was having a hard time napping.
"Oh good, something I can relate to." I thought to myself. But unfortunately, the similarities ended there.
Olivia preceded to awaken her brother several times as she was preparing for her parade, and her mother would calmly speak from the window or back porch, "Olivia, remember dear, William is trying to nap."
About midway through the episode, Olivia's mother had just rocked poor little William to sleep, and was preparing to lay him in his bed when BOOM, Olivia comes busting through the door announcing that her little "bother" (aka, brother Ian), was insisting on being the grand marshall. Of course, William awakens and begins to cry.
Ohhhhh boy, I thought. Olivia is gonna get it this time! I mean, hasn't this happened to all of us?
We moms work for HOURS just to get our kids to sleep, and that pesky salesman rings the door bell, the neighbors dog begins to bark, or one of your DARLING children comes bursting through the door.
"ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I have told you ten times to be quiet because your baby brother is trying to sleep! Have you lost your mind? Go to your room, I am so frustrated!" To which I proceed to sit on the floor and throw myself a pity party.
Isn't that the way every mom would respond?
Well, not Olivia's moms. She quietly sighs, and says, "Oh William, maybe you need some fresh air."
Olivia's mom ain't alone. She has competition for fantasy mom of the year.
This woman always has the right answer.
She knows how to soothe her fearful child, reprimand bad behavior, and instill wholesome values - all while staying cool, calm, and collected - and baking brownies.
Her house is always spotless, there is never a crumb on the floor, and she always has a well-balanced meal on the table.
They own no TV, and Franklin is a model friend, student, and son, who loves his vegetables.
And to be quite honest, her soft tone makes me want to obey sometimes.
And This one is the real cake topper...
Looking for a way to kick a mommy when she is down - make her feel like a 7-year old big sister surpasses her mothering abilities.
Ruby is so patient with Max. When she has plans to practice her dance routine with her friends, and he throws mud balls at their recently washed tutus - she smiles and says, "Oh, Max." Or when she has worked all day at baking a cake for their grandmother and Max eats it all when she turns her back - she politely reprimands him, using words like, "be kind, and make a better choice." Why don't those words come to my mind in moments of weaknesses?
On the contrary. During the time it took me to write this post, I have "raised my voice" at least 6 times, and used the words, "this is your last warning," and "are you trying to drive your mother crazy?"
So just in case any of you were planning on nominating me for Mother of the Year - there are clearly better choices out there. Just tune into Nick Jr.
I suppose there is no hope.
Maybe I should animate myself?