“Hey Mommy – Can I have some more apple juice? My cup is empty.”
“Sure, honey! Just a minute and I’ll fix it for you.”
“Okay! I’m going to go play in the Living Room. You can bring it to me in there.”
“OOOOH no you didn’t, girlfriend.
Before you were born, I endured being constantly miserably vomitous, actual vomiting more times than I cared to count, gaining bone-chilling amounts of weight and having to be horrified by it on the scale and in the mirror EVERY DANG DAY, living in a constant state of zombie-like exhaustion, spending 30% of my days peeing and waking up every 30 minutes at night to pee even more, not being able to eat the things I love, snoring like a foghorn, WADDLING, swelling, sweating, cramping, craving, crying for no reason, forgetfulness, horrifically Junior-High-looking face breakouts and acid reflux, all culminating in getting my entire abdomen sliced open, dug into, and YOU yanked out of it.
For the next week, I suffered through untold amounts of pain as my ripped open abdomen contracted horrifically all while trying to heal back together again, as my internal organs tried to refind themselves after being shoved to the netherest regions of my body cavity, and as I attempted to figure out how to nourish another human being with nothing but my own resources all while getting absolutely zero sleep and being in complete shock at the gigantic responsibility of caring for another human being.
For the first year of your life, I wiped your butt at least 3,000 times, gagged as I changed diapers fouler than the smell of the Bog of Eternal Stench, somehow managed to salvage my car and my sanity after you pulled out all of the contents of one of those diapers and smeared it all over your face, your carseat, your mouth, and then proceeded to clap the remainder of it repeatedly and thereby splatting it all over the car, I fed you morning and night by sacrificing the comfort of my body being only mine, woke up all night long at the beck of your cry, couldn’t sleep when you weren’t crying because I was so wrought with thoughts of you, cleaned out your mouth after you ate a ladybug, removing each horrific wing and body part from the inner corners of your jaws, carried you approximately 50 miles, endured your horrific screaming, fed you disgustingly cementous rice cereal and oh-so-smeary baby food, dressed you, bathed you, held you, and lived with your puke on my shirt at all times.
In the second, third, and fourth year of your life, I lovingly taught you to talk, wiped your butt and cleaned your diapers as your poo got even nastier, still woke up in the middle of the night with you when you had nightmares, fixed your breakfast, lunch and dinner, potty-trained you and dealt with poo now in panties – a much nastier proposition than in diapers, responded to approximately 556 calls of “I pooooooooped!!! Come wiiiiiiipe me!!!”, taught you your letters, your states, your countries, and your presidents, answered the same set of questions approximately 5,681 times, took you lovingly to gymnastics, to the playground, to the zoo, and to your friend’s houses, woke up when you woke up no matter when that was, changed your sheets six times in one night when you got a stomach bug and couldn’t hit the trash can to save your life, bathed you, read inane Clifford books until my brain completely caved in on itself, and watched more Dora the Explorer than anyone but the most vile of criminals should have to endure.
But now that you’re four and a half years old, and now that you just asked me to deliver your juice on a silver platter because you’re too busy playing to wait 60 seconds for me to pour it, it’s time that this relationship righted itself.
Here’s the way it works from here on out, kid.
You will learn to cook and prepare my meals, you will scrub the toilets and mop the floors, you will vacuum and do the dishes, you will change your little brother’s diapers, you will sort the mail and pay the bills, you will make up all of our beds despite the fact that I’ve never made up any of our beds, you will clean up after yourself and your little brother, you will learn to wipe your own butt and you will paint my toenails while I eat truffles, not having to share a single one with you.
AND YOU WILL STILL NOT BE CAUGHT UP TO WHAT I’VE DONE FOR YOU.
Oh – and by the way, I love you. And here’s your juice.”