Wednesday, November 29, 2006

about face

Every now and then, my children do or say things to atone for the stress they cause me, the lifeblood they suck out of me, the emotions they wring from me. This is not to say that my dear offspring do not also bring me joy, fascination and the deepest, most indestructible love. I'm just saying - there's also the vomit-bucket-holding, the dispute-negotiating, the endless cooking and cleaning and bathing and dressing and toothbrushing and ..... I think I've made my point. Kid-raising is no light task.

So when I am given one of Ben's ferocious hugs, or one of Laura's soft cheek-dusting kisses, it is always a delight - an oasis of pure happiness in the day.

Sometimes, it is an amusing statement that makes my day. Last week, when I insisted Ben go get dressed, he pouted, "You're wrecking my life!". It was the absolute highlight of my day. For what could be a better benchmark for success as a mother than to check whether or not you are ruining your child's life? Ruining their lives is our job. I take that role seriously.

Other times, my kids reduce me to a pool of melted mother. They say the sweetest things, and I am putty in their grubby little hands.

This morning, I made some remark about my face. I can't remember exactly what I said, (though I can reassure you that it was unlikely to have been, "Gosh but my face is looking terrific this morning!"). Laura, always wanting to make her mother happy, chimed in with, "Mummy your face is pretty".

Ben spoke clearly from the opposite side of the table, "Your face isn't pretty Mummy." I glanced over, and raised an eyebrow (because really, if you can't brainwash your children - who you have incubated, birthed and nurtured - to believe their mother is beautiful, then what hope have you got with the rest of the population?)

Ben grinned devilishly and finished with, "'s adorable!"

Ah. Good save, my sweet son. Well done! Now excuse me while I find a corner to go melt in.


John Cowart said...

Adorable indeed!

Anonymous said...

It does make it worth it then doesn't it?

Motherkitty said...

That's exactly why we have children, so they can melt our hearts into soft, mushy puddles. Good job, kids. We now have a melted puddle of Jelly.

susan said...

He is learning early the ways to please the girls! Good save indeed!

Heather said...

I happen to know he is right. ;-)

Kerri said...

Now this is real entertainment...first your wonderfully written thoughts, and then all these nifty comments! Tonight MK is very witty and Heather is smug, but complimentary.
I always enjoy reading all the comments on your posts Jelly.
Jellyma is a lucky grandma to have your hilariously cute kids in her life :)
And I'm sure they have a pretty mommy!
Perhaps Ben is learning from his daddy? :)

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Your post was so witty and the kids so adorable.

Remiman said...

Savory pearls. Precious insight from our children make everything brighter.
"melted mother" brillant. love it. ;-)

Heather said...


T. said...

Ah, Jelly, just you wait.

Your kids are still young.

Just wait till they ask you why you have so many lines and how come you look like you are have a baby in your tummy when you aren't pregnant?

Or my personal favorite, my son announcing to the world that he intends to brush his teeth every day so that his smile won't be yellow like his mother's.

Good times, I assure you.

Franny said...

Awwwwwwwwwwww! It's really useful to have an adorable face when you are busy ruining your children's lives...makes you look so innocent!

Mimi said...

I know that roller coaster ride you're on, I'm on the same one. Raising kids is such an up and down thing. Good for you for stopping to appreciate the little things your kids say.