YOUNG MOTHER’S DON’T ALWAYS KNOW BEST…AT LEAST NOT THIS ONE!
For those of you who don't know, I married a few months after graduating from high school at eighteen years old. Just shy of my nineteenth birthday we were blessed with my daughter, Jenna Lindsay! As all first time moms, I thought nothing could surpass this picture perfect, wrinkled beauty.
As I said, I was a young mother and other than English class, I was not very interested in higher learning. I was in love and my head was in the clouds.
During Lamaze classes when they were explaining every tiny detail about birthing, I was mentally checking off every baby item that I must have, the colors of the nursery, and did I really need a Diaper Genie, or not!
The blessed moment arrived after fifty-nine of the most gruesome, painful back and front labor pains, of which I endured alone. Why alone? For one, the only part of the Lamaze class, my now ex-husband, heard was “getting as much sleep as possible before the “hard labor”…he took it to heart with television remote in hand and went to sleep.
My mother could be found wandering the halls of the hospital asking every maternity nurse and doctor to—my mortification—“Just give her some anesthesia and take the baby out. She doesn’t tolerate pain well.” We eventually sent her home with orders to buy a bottle of Bailey’s on the way, and told her we’d call her the moment our new arrival came into the world.
My only other means of support was the maternity nurse, who was also a nun…a.k.a. Attila the Hun. By the end of Attila’s shift, I was very sure I had been ex-communicated from the Vatican and well on my way to Hell. According to the “ex”, you’re not supposed to use the “F” bomb in front of a nun, let alone tell her to leave the room using the term.
My former mother-in-law, finally waltzed in to the rescue, grabbed her son by the ear and demanded him to rub my lower back where the pain was near intolerable by this time. Within an hour and a half, my daughter was born. All 6lbs. 10 oz. and 21 inches of her came into this world screaming.
Remember that little tidbit about me not paying attention in Lamaze class? Yeah, well it would have come in very handy at this point. They handed me my little bundle of joy, and I took one look and I weepily said to myself, “She’s butt ugly, and she has the biggest “port wine” stain covering her face, but it doesn’t matter because I love her.” My heart ached for the ridicule she would probably endure at the hands of her peers eventually, but I vowed to protect her with every ounce I had in me.
Then the nurse did something that would shock me into full-fledged mother bear mode…she took off the little hat upon my daughter’s head and exposed the biggest cone head I had ever seen…and I’ve watched numerous episodes of Saturday Night Live to know it was HUGE! Again, Lamaze class…had I listened would have been very helpful at a time like this. Once again, to myself I said, “Oh my God! She’s retarded. (I know…not politically correct, but in my defense I was nineteen). My poor baby girl has a misshaped head, but I still think she is perfection, and if anybody says, otherwise…they are so going down. Don’t worry Jenna; I won’t let anyone hurt you…ever!”
Eventually, they took my dearest possession to the nursery and put her in the incubator. It was 4:30a.m., and I had not slept in nearly fifty hours. After three hours of fitful sleep, I needed to see my baby. Just thinking that my poor little angel was in the nursery next to all the “normal” babies was torturing me. Visions of striped tents, a scrawny man with a barbell mustache, wearing a bowler hat, and large cane in hand saying, “Step Right Up!”, flowed freely through my young, inexperienced mind. I called down to the nurses’ station, and less than twenty minutes later they wheeled my precious cargo into my room.
I scooted off my bed and looked down into the tiny hospital bassinet and my eyes fell on perfection. I mean…PERFECTION! Even the nurse’s face was glowing at this beautiful baby, so what do I do…I say, “Ummm….this is not my baby.” Those words can give a maternity nurse the dry heaves, and it did. She says “What do you mean this is not your baby?” She reaches over and matches our hospital bands up. “The bracelets match…and she is the only girl in the nursery. She is definitely yours.” I literally was near tears, as I did not want to be overjoyed by this sudden, wonderful change of events. I said, “You’re absolutely sure. I mean my baby isn’t very pretty, and last night she had a birthmark covering half her face.” Leaning over, I whisper to the nurse. “And my baby is retarded…she has a HUGE misshaped head.”
Boy! Did I look stupid when she started to explain to me that my daughter had not been given a bath yet, which would explain the dried blood on her face, and apparently, infants have soft skulls so they can pass through the birthing canal, which gives them a temporary cone head! I was right all along,….Jenna was Perfection, and still is!
I am a Domestic Goddess! While Paul has football duty, first at Clayton Middle for Devan's first game, then he is headed to Bunn High for Dejon's JV game. Me?! I'm holding down the fort with the remainder of the boys, and I totally have had dinner done since noontime!! Okay, so as Michael says, "Taco Hell" is not considered cooking, and no doubt later I'll have to listen to Dejon list the finer, or not so finer points of Grade D meats used in fast food products! So yeah....everything is normal!
I was bringing Julius and Isaiah to school one morning. Isaiah is my whiner and he was giving me a very hard time.
He kept repeating "I don't care." So finally I said, "There are so many people are there that have less than
you do, and your complaining because you can't find a dollar." To which he said "I don't care about
those other people."
Boy, did that stick in my craw!!! I didn't raise my kids that way. I have some work to do with this one. So I said, "Well, I'm really disappointed with that attitude. You know who else takes and takes and doesn't care about other people? Satan, the Devil...and"
Then Julius piped in, "The President!"
Have no idea where that comes from, as we don't politics much in the house.
The two youngest had their annual check ups this morning! It should be a fairly simple thing, right? While filling out paperwork in the exam room, I see, a nearly five foot, Isaiah in a paper johnnie, whiz by on the rolling stool imitating a surfer and saying, "Cowabunga!" Seriously folks....I don't make this crap up! All healthy by the way!!!
Julius: Daddy, what are cooking for dinner? Paul: Nothing. Your mother might have to become domesticated. Me: *snorts* Read your pre-nuptial agreement or ask my brother, Joey he was there when I told you I didn't cook...EVER! Julius: Well, Dad if your not going to cook can we go to a weally, fancy westaurant? Paul: What? Me: He wants Subway!
Julius had his check up today, and they did the finger pricking thing. He still had the shiny silver band-aid on when he walked into class late. He held up his bandaged finger, and said. "That's right girls! I have a broken finger!" *snort*
When your daughter posts a pic on Facebook of a gigantic lizard, do not comment by saying "Awesome! The curse I put on your BF worked. What an improvement." You know its going to be one of those kinds of weeks when you have a Dysfunctional Wednesday...on a Monday!
Me: Julius what are you spraying in your hair? Julius: Moisturizers to make my hair soft. Me: Why...you're going to bed? Julius: What?! You want me to wait until I go naked!? Me: Naked? You mean...bald? Julius(giggles): Oh yeah...that's what I meant! There is just something about the word "naked" that makes boys giggle.....even when their grown, methinks!
Mall accessory stores proudly advertise free ear-piercing
with the purchase of earrings. One day
in particular, observers were appalled to see a mother holding her screaming
daughter in the ear piercing chair. People begin to gather and gawk and looks
of judgment flashed across their faces. To those who have stopped, it appears
this mother was forcing her child to endure the pain of pierced ears.
Mothers, caring mothers, are held to scrutiny of the public.
The public assumes the mother is a failure based on a 3 minute observation.
They will harshly judge her and never offer a hand to help or word of
encouragement. I mean, you wanna tell me that every Lil’ Johnny before 2013 was
a perfect saint everyday of their life? No! We have all had a turn with the
unruly child in public or had to make a tough decision, although not easily
apparent, in the child's best interest.
The mother holding her
child in the seat at Claire’s accessory store - was me! From the perspective of the on-lookers, gathered at the climax
of our dilemma, it appeared as though I was forcing my child to get her ears
pierced against her will! Those who judged my parenting decision as incompetent
looked at me with detest.
What they were not able to discern from the 2 minutes of
their observation, which by the way it was the longest 2 minutes of my life,
was my daughter, Kylie had begged from me to take her to get her ears pierced
for 2 years! After I finally determined she was old enough to understand the
procedure and the little pain involved with getting pierced ears, I took her.
As a matter of fact this was our second trip to Claire’s in two days.
The day before this occurrence,she was excited and as a family we were
excited for her. But as the time drew closer fear began to steal her
excitement. As we walked in the store it was clear she was becoming more
apprehensive but still wanted to go through with it. She watched two other
girls get their ears done without a tear. I filled out the necessary paper work
for her and my younger daughter who was now interested. As a way to
procrastinate she suggested her younger sister go first. I asked my younger
daughter,Lilly, if she was sure she wanted her ears pierced? And if she wanted
to go first? She said yes. I requested they do them at the same time. Done,
with only a slight tear.
Kylie, was now on the spot. She said she changed her mind. She
wanted it but not today. The technician, tried to convince her it doesn’t hurt
that bad. Then she made a statement, shaming her for letting her little sister
go first. I told the lady thanks but no thanks, if she is not ready we are ok
with her decision. We paid for one set of ear piercing and left the store.
My husband and I made it clear to our daughter
the decision was up to her. If she changed her mind in the next few weeks we would gladly take here back to the
store to try again. We also discussed that Satan tries to steal our joy and
excitement through fear ultimately stealing our desires. During her
apprehension, I encourage her to focus on her verse that helps her overcome
fear regularly. Philippians 4:13 I can
do all things through Christ who gives me strength. She did well, but would
quickly revert to her fear. This is true from all of us when we face fears of
all kinds. We are gipped with crippling fears that take hold of our faith in
God’s word and our hope in Jesus.
My husband and I both felt like Kylie made the wrong
decision but we talked to her gave her plenty of chances to change her mind,
and then we put it to rest. However, in fairness we wanted to honor Lilly’s bravery.
She was very happy with her choice to pierce her ears. She enjoyed showing her
new earrings to family and friends. Of course, the compliments were here
Later that evening Kylie asked, “Mommy can you take me back
to Claire’s tomorrow?”
“But you have to complete all your school-work with a good attitude.”
“Ok, Mommy. But can I sit in your lap and get one ear done
at a time?”
In an attempt to persuade her otherwise I said, “Sweetie you
are welcome to sit in my lap but I think you should have both ears done at the
same time or you may chicken out on the second ear.”
In a serious voice she said, “I won’t mommy. I promise. I
want them done separately.”
The next day she was very eager to get her school work
complete. We talked again about fears stealing our joy. I also reiterated that
I feel it would be best if both ears were done at the same time, she still
wanted them pierced separately. As promised, after school we were off to
Again, I filled out her consent form.
Again, I made sure this is what she wanted.
Again, I suggested
both ears at the same time.
Again, fear filled her mind after she sat in the chair. I
told her we could leave and can come back when she is older. She said no, I
don’t want to wait I want them today. The first ear was done, she remarked that
didn’t hurt! I want a break.
mistake was, I let her take a minute between the ears. It was these 2 minutes that I was judged by
what people saw. Fear rushed my daughters mind again and she refused to let the
tech do the other ear. Suddenly people
gathered and gawked, looking down upon me with detest. I literally called out
to the crowd, she really does want this! In a two minute observation
they saw me hold her for the 2nd ear, they assumed the worst and I was
embarrassed. They also do not know how
dramatic Kylie is, she can
literally laugh from
her belly and cry from her heart in the same breath!Their perception was not reality.
we perceive is going on may not be actually happening as we think. We cannot
tell from 2 minutes what is actually going on in a person’s life. What we
perceive is not necessarily true reality; this concept is part of base of our
faith. This is why we must approach all things with grace and even
encouragement for others. We can be the person God uses to breathe life or
death into a weary soul!
Well the good news is, as soon as the tech was finished, my
daughter was instantly happy with her choice to get her ears pierced. I,
however, was emotionally drained for the evening. But can laugh about it now! I
can go on and on about how we quickly judge mothers in a moment of distress but
I encourage you, if nothing else, pray for her. We have all been in her shoes.
And if something truly wrong, prayer will create a ripple effect unlike any
judgment we cast.
We rested at the play area there was one other family
present, a mother and her one perfect son. I am sure she overheard my
snippiness with my girls, but I didn’t care. She has no idea what I just went
through! Should I have been snippy, no, should I have given more grace, yes.
But we will talk about giving grace to others when we are not in the mood, on
another day, when I am in the mood. I have learned enough for one day!
Michelle Pohl is a storyteller who encourages ladies to
begin Blooming With Joy through every chaotic moment, disappointment and mess.
She is a mamma of three and a wife of one.
Every Wednesday, on her blog, she posts a humors story and
de-stressing tip called Mid-week Manic
Mamma Encouragement: Joy in Chaos
My oldest son just turned 17 years old at the end of October. He's just shy of 5'10" and weighs about 170 lbs. He has a very athletic build. The last time I bought him boxer briefs he said for me to get him size large. My husband is 6'7" 265lbs....and he wears large.
Michael: What size boxer briefs did you buy me? Me: Large. That's what you had last time. Michael: No, no, no that can't be right. Me: That's what you asked for. Why, what's wrong with them? Michael: Well, for one it feels like I'm wearing a thong!!
In honor of my oldest son's 17th birthday, a small excerpt of the first time we met him at the ripe old age of 5 years old! He was, and still is wise beyond his years!
I remember it like it was only yesterday. Before we could have any weekend visits with our new son, the State of New Jersey required a meeting via satellite.
From a conference room at the University of New England, I watched a monitor, as my little man strutted into a room in Anywhere, New Jersey. With his tiny, chubby legs he could barely climb into the chair between his two caseworkers, Ms. Sheree and Ms. Paulette.
The concept of seeing his new parents in television was confusing for him, but after awhile and a lot questions....he figured it out.
After introductions and a few questions back and forth, he leaned over and said to one of his caseworkers "Hey, do ya'll know those people be white, right?" Ms. Paulette said, "Yes, Michael they are white. How do you feel about that?" "Can they change colors, cuz I have magic shoes....and they can change colors." Ms. Paulette said, "No, people can't change colors like that." Michael responded, "Oh. Okay, than this good. This is real good, because my new dad works at 7-Eleven and he can get free Slurpees at all his stores." He rubbed his little tummy and said, "I love me some Slurpees!"
Happy Birthday Michael!!!! We Love You and Are So Proud To Call You Our Son!!!
Paul: Julius why am I watching Disney channel....on MY 50" television when the Redsox are up 6-4 in the 6th inning and the bases are loaded? Julius: Cuz, you love me. Less than thirty seconds later, there would be a grand slam home run by the Red Sox. Sorry honey! That's what Sportscenter is for!!!
Isaiah: Mom, can I audition for the school chorus? Me: Of course! You love singing...I think you should at least give it a shot. Isaiah: If I make it...we get to sing at Buffalo Wild Wings one night. Its like a charity thing. Julius comes out of nowhere, tightly hugs Isaiah. Julius: Isaiah your the best brother ever!!! Now I can eat wings!!!
A case of Isaiah singing for Julius's dinner! Oy Vay!
The link above has a story, that has touched my heart to it's core! Please read!!
My husband and I have taken the adoption journey. It is the reason we adopted all African-American boys....they are the ones that end up in the system the longest, sometimes their entire childhood! For the thousands of people that are stepp...ing forward to adopt this amazing young man, there are thousand other boys...ALL in a similar situation. They to, want a forever family. Davion will only be matched with one family, but these callers do not have to end their journey there,...but look into adopting some of these older children who only want to belong!!!
Michael is standing before me "shell shocked" and says, "I need to...get a...book. Like one of those long kinds...with chapters in it." SMDH! Then he says, with a bit more enthusiasm. "Hey, I can move my pecs now!"
Julius: Mom, your new voice is Da bomb! Me: What do you mean? Julius: You don't know what the Da bomb means!? Me: I know what Da bomb means, what did you mean about my new voice? Julius: Oh....I like it better than your old voice. Me: I wasn't aware I had gotten a new voice. When did this happen? Julius: Yesterday. Me: How is my voice any different from yesterday? Julius: Wellllll, yesterday your voice sounded like this (he proceeds to sound like Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride) Me: That is so not true!!!!
Isaiah: Mom, now that I'm going into 4th grade...am I old enough to kiss a girl? Me: What!? Isaiah: Well, what if a girl ask me out? Me: You are much to young to be even considering a girlfriend, but you can certainly have a girl, that's a friend. Isaiah: Yeah...so what do I say if they ask me out? Me: Well, what would you want to say? Isaiah: Yes...if she was cute and doesn't pick her nose and eat it. Me: You're making me ill. Isaiah: I know, right? If a girl farted a the dinner table...can I break up with her. Me: I would think that would be grounds for a break up...you know, especially if it was intentional. Isaiah: So....can I kiss a girl if I'm in fourth grade. Me: Not unless your a 21 year old 4th grader!
Julius: Do you know what an airport is? Me: A place that they land planes. Julius: No. Me: What do you think an airport is? Julius: Its where the plane drops people off. Me: Okaaayyy. Julius: People don't think what they mean? Me: What's that supposed to mean?
Julius (shaking his head): This is exactly what I mean.
I'm so confused right now...and feeling really dumb!
Julius: Dad, do you think I'm too old for asking? Paul: For asking? Julius: You know...permission. Paul: Permission for what? Julius: Permission for anything. Paul: Ummm...yeah. You still need to ask permission Small Fry!!!
Me: OMgosh! Those meatball subs your father made left me euphoric! Dejon: What does that mean? Me: Euphoria, euphoric means happy. Dejon: Don't you know what it means? Me: I just said what it means, but I can look it up and give you the exact definition! Dejon: Hey. I didn't say you were wrong....I just want to add it to my word arsenal!!!
My 5 year old grandson, Landon lost his first tooth today. I showed Julius a pic of it on FB and he said. "So, I've lost more than him." I said, "That's not nice. This isn't a competition, Julius." He gives me a shocked look and says. "It isn't?! Well, it is now."
Michael: Mom, coach wants me to try-out for track in the spring. Me: Are you? Michael: I don't know yet. I might. Me: What events? Michael: 100m and 200m....maybe I'll try the hurdles. Me: The hurdles? Have you done the hurdles before? Michael: No. Me: Well, you can always try and see if its something that would interest you. Michael: Yeah. It goes three strides, hurdle, three strides hurdle...or in my case it would be three strides, trip, three strides, trip, three strides, Wake Med ER. Me: LOL!!!!
Julius, who has not missed a meal since birth and has eaten his way through today wants a can of Progresso chicken noodle soup. Julius: Can I have soup? Me: You've already had lunch. Julius: Can I eat it for dinner? Me: I suppose you could, but you might want to find out what your father is making first. That seemed to appease him for about 15 minutes Julius: Why can't I just have it as a snack?... Me: Because you already had a snack, besides what about lunch tomorrow. If you eat soup for a snack, you'll have nothing to eat tomorrow. Julius: Please. Me: No. Julius: Pretty please. Me: No. Julius: Pretty please with a cherry on top. Me: N-O. Julius: Oh my gosh! This soup has been my dream forever! How about I just eat this and I won't ask for anything else to eat. Me: *snorts* Julius: *pouting*
Julius: Mom, you probably don't want to hear this, but I'm.....never mind you can guess! It begins with an H and ends with a Y. Me: Why am I not surprised?! Julius: Okay, it begins with Hun and ends with Gry! Me: Julius, I got it the first time! Julius: Well, where's my food!?
Julius: Mom, can I please have another snack. Me: No, you just ate peach and your not going to eat all the snacks in one day. Julius: Pleeeaaassssseeeee! Me: Don't ask me again. Julius: Come on, Mom!!! My tasting hole is empty!!! WTHeck!
Julius has been going non-stop all day!! He just dramatically dropped onto the living room floor in front of me and began rolling around saying.
Julius: Ohhhhh, my stomach hurts. Someone call me an ambulance...I think I have what you had mom. Devan: Julius, you can't have what mommy had...only girls get it! Julius: I'm serious!! My stomach hurts...I'm having my period! Me: Julius....really? Julius: What? You want me to knock off the drama? Me: Yeah, that would be nice Julius(gets up): Okay....want to see my new dance moves? Is it bedtime yet?