1. Always Remember That You Have A Child.
It seems to go without saying. A Mother never forgets that person whom she has carried, given birth to, suckled and loved unto death....or does she?
Two of our children attend ballet classes. The venue where the classes take place is in the next village to our town. The village has grown out of proportion and unfortunately the infrastructure is a bit less than ideal so there is always traffic congestion at the time of the classes. I have it cracked though, I bring along my favourite music to play in the car and value the the time on the road as a little mini-break from...well...everything else.
This is what I (am supposed to) do: Drop smaller girl to her class, go home, put on dinner, load up older child, collect her friend, drive back to the class, deposit two older girls, reload younger girl, drive home, check dinner, drive back, collect older girl...and so on...
This is what I did: Dropped smaller girl to her class, went home, put on dinner, loaded up older child, collected her friend, drove back to the class, deposited two older girls, drove off, enjoyed the peace and quiet of the car, put on a funky CD, bopped while stuck in traffic, heard my phone ringing, decided not to answer as it's dangerous while driving, bopped a bit more, 20 minutes later while turning the last corner before my home, glanced into the rear-view mirror...and saw...NOBODY!!!!!!!!
20 minutes of being stuck in traffic later, my husband collected a distraught little girl from the frosty care of another Ballet Mom!!
2. If You Do Forget You Have A Child, Try Not To Do It TWICE!
Ok..picture the scene...A scenic tidal island in the West of Ireland. Low tide in Mid August. Beautiful day. The local folk have organised a community sports day on the strand for the local children and holiday-makers. We fit into both categories, being on holiday in the ancestral home, staying in the pre-famine cottage which was where the family lived. Off we head to the beach to partake in the festivities. Park near the ancient grave-yard on the island side and take the then two older children and the baby out of the car along with the day's picnic supplies. Strap the 8 month old baby into her buggy. Suddenly pick up the loud-hailer announcement that the four and under's race is about to start...I grab my two four and under tots and rush to the starting line, whereupon the older tot has a meltdown finding herself unexpectedly in this strange situation..younger tot plods across the finish line in her too-big wellies, having absolutely no idea what she is doing.
Proud Mummy consoles older tot while congratulating younger tot on her medal and proceeds to unpack the picnic goodies. Turns to offer a piece of finger-food to the Bab...y....
She rushes over to the parked car to find the poor little baby patiently sucking her thumb, strapped into the buggy staring at the car.
Even if a mother forgets...I will never forget. (Isaiah 49:15)
I'm embarrassed to add that shortly afterwards I heard the announcement for the Mothers' race, I plonked the same baby into her carry-tot car seat and joined the starting line-up, leaving the baby in the vague care of my sisters to return a few minutes later to find that in my haste I had forgotten to strap her in and she had flumped forward, scudding her little face on the sand leaving a sore graze...to this day she is the most long-suffering of all our children.
3. Encourage New Experiences.
Most of our children have been quite cautious by nature. They generally required lots of parental encouragement and reassurance in order to try new things. So the first time we brought them on a real 'holiday' I was anxious they should try as many new experiences as possible. The camp-site we stayed on had a sweet water-park designed for families. Our cautious children were reluctant to try out the water-slides even though they looked like a lot of fun.
(This is the actual one)
I reassured them they'd love it, the other children were doing it, I'd be there at the bottom...I'd catch them...
With that guarantee, the four eldest all agreed.
Up they went and I positioned myself at the bottom, ready to rescue each child from their watery fate.
The first child positioned herself...and launched like a cannonball from a gun.
There was no way I could possibly catch her.
Before I could take a breath, there she was at the bottom of the water!! I hauled the tearful and betrayed child to the surface and turned to spot the next child hurtle down the chute at great speed, then the next and the next...each one flying past my feeble arms straight to the bottom of the pool...
4. Expose Children To The Natural World.
Another summer holiday in the West of Ireland.. It's another idyllic sunny day and the children are busy exploring the granite rock pools, nets and buckets in hand.
They sporadically return to their relaxing parents with buckets containing sea water and various sea treasures...shrimps, shells, seaweed....
And then I decided to join them and up the wow factor of their findings. Finding a promising rock pool, I summon the children...all five at the time...and hoisting a large granite rock, I unearthed a large crab.
I emphasise, not a puny, typical rock-pool sized crab...a large crab. Following my impressive and educational treatise on the habitat, lifestyle and diet of crabs, I had the sinking knowledge that the large rock was slipping out of my grip...to the children's horror, the heavy boulder crashed down onto the crab, shooting pieces of claw, shell and...well...guts..out every side.
5. Follow Through On Your Promises.
Has been promised to
Little Girl #1,
Little Girl #2,
Little Girl #3,
Little Girl #4,
I don't think I'll even bother promising Little Girl #5 that I'll ever make it....
So that's how you can be the just about perfect Mother.
Happy Mother's Day.