The Unexpected Perks of Parenthood

Breakfast in Bed, Halloween in July, and More

My kids are generous to a fault. They never stop giving me unforgettable gifts. Never! For my birthday, my kids made me the cutest, sweetest birthday cards, and they sang “Happy Birthday” to me before I was even out of bed. How nice! Little did I know that my children had cleverly crafted a post-birthday scavenger hunt just for me. “We’ll leave little goodies for Mommy all over the house, and see how long it takes for her to find them,” they must have said to each other while I was in the shower last March.

My kids know what I like, and they’ve proven it time and time again.

Breakfast in bed!  

Maybe it was meant as a midnight snack. I’m not sure. I was getting into bed around 1 a.m. this morning when my toe touched something hidden behind the bed skirt. Intrigued, I bent down to retrieve the object: a container of Cool Whip Lite. “Huh,” I said, opening the room-temperature container, delighted that my children had remembered how much I love to eat reduced-calorie Cool Whip in bed. (It was under my side of the bed, not Daddy’s side, so, obviously, this runny, moldy Cool Whip Lite was all mine.) 

It warms my heart to know that my kids are actually listening to me.

With the aid of the nice man from AT&T and my husband, who had to pull out our television/video game/music entertainment center yesterday so we could get our new phone/cable/internet service hooked up, I discovered the green sippy cup that’s been missing for approximately three months–the green sippy cup that once held milk or juice, or whatever it is that breeds fuzzy, slimy brown mold when stored behind an entertainment center for many months. My kids were obviously paying attention when I griped, “I’m so sick of finding dirty dishes all over the place!” So they tossed the cup behind the TV, where I’d never look for it, just to help me out.

I’m always telling my daughter to spit out her gum when she’s done with it—“don’t swallow it!”–which explains why I found three dried-up wads of chewing gum on the basement stairs when I was sweeping. Three precious reminders that my daughter listened to me. At last, I’m getting through to her.

My kids also must have heard me complaining about how much those Cottonelle pre-moistened wipes cost. (We call those wipes “wet toilet paper”–it’s good stuff to have on-hand; even better, on-butt). “This wet toilet paper stuff is so expensive,” I’ve remarked on numerous occasions, which must be why my kids have started wetting down the regular “dry” toilet paper. Really soaking the crap out of it (not literally—it’s still clean toilet paper, as far as I can tell), so that when I sit down to do my business and reach for the toilet paper, it’s already nice and damp. And when I wipe with the homemade wet TP, it starts falling apart immediately, which surely makes it less likely to clog the pipes in my old house (my house has a few notable problems; if you’re curious, or would like to feel better about your own crappy old house, read more here).

My kids help me stay thin.  

They know how much I love to snack on the Kirkland trail mix I get at Costco—a perfect combination of peanuts, cashews, raisins, and lots of M&Ms. Well, I also like to make sure my butt fits into my favorite jeans, so my adoring children aid me in this goal by helping themselves to my favorite trail mix. They don’t eat the healthy nuts or raisins (God forbid—those are Mommy’s!). They eat only the M&Ms, so when I grab a handful of crunchy, salty, sweet goodness, most of the “sweet goodness” is gone. Thanks, kids!       

Halloween in July  

This is even better than Christmas in July.  

Here’s what you do, kids, to give your mom the ultimate surprise gift next summer (you should thank my kids for this awesome suggestion): Take one of those small gourds your mom likes to use as a Halloween or Thanksgiving decoration, and kick it under her car seat in October when she’s not looking. Sit back and wait. And wait. And wait until July, when she finally cleans out the car and discovers your thoughtful Halloween goodie, which should look like a hairy tumor by this time. Trick or treat, Mommy!

My kids make sure I never oversleep.  

Mommies have important things to do each and every day. There’s absolutely no reason why a Mommy should ever sleep in past 7 o’clock. My kids know I stay up too late and don’t always set my alarm. That’s why my daughter comes into my bedroom every morning at 6 or 7 o’clock, and leans in, right next to my ear, to sweetly say, “Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY! I WANT BRECKFIX!” I don’t oversleep, and my daughter doesn’t starve to death without her “breckfix.” It’s a win-win situation.

This morning my wake-up call was even more compelling than usual. “Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY! The fruit lid’s leaking! THE FRUIT LID’S LEAKING!” My daughter had decided to fix her own breakfast, and had dropped the plastic cup of mixed fruit on the kitchen floor.  

Daddy took care of the leaking fruit lid and let me sleep. He’s been noticing how generous our kids are, always leaving me unexpected gifts, day in and day out.  

Sometimes the best gift for Mommy is no gift at all.  



More Mommy Humor by Maria Roth:

My Perfect Mother’s Day



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