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Why I Won’t Get the Award for Mother of the Year


Throwing it back to a post from 2008,1048353_10202400132432002_567785284_owhen my babies were two and almost-one, I was sleepless and underfed, Robb and I were married and sweetly naive, and I was beginning my track record of forever disqualifying myself for Mother of the Year.  
At least some things stay consistent.  
* * *
In the last week or so, I have committed the following atrocities, which will for sure take me out of the running for Mother of the Year.
During a very fun picnic lunch at the park, the groundsworker began painting the new fence around the playground. At the sight of the paint gun, other moms began packing up their children, calling it a day. One mom even said to me, “Ma’am, he suggested we take our children home, since the fumes might get a little strong.”Well, I was having such fun in the sunshine, playing with my children, feasting on a delicious menu (I’m a hard core picnic packer), and enjoying the company around me. So what did I do? Not a thing. We didn’t go home.

In fact, I heard myself say, “Tuck, hold your breath when you play over there. Have fun, buddy.”

As we drove across town earlier this week, I was in a particularly terrific mood, and our minivan was rocking to a great playlist on the iPod. Tuck loves a good jam session. In my rearview mirror, I noticed he was dancing particularly vigorously, with an extraordinary amount of freedom.
Oh, that’s because he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt. He was simply perched in his carseat. He has graduated to a new one now, the next size up, and he can climb up into it independently. Somehow, my mind received that as safe and sound, and I took no further action to ensure his safety. We breezed right off the highway, I put on the flashers, and I climbed into the backseat to buckle him in. And I thanked the Lord for keeping us safe as we traveled, since I had not done my part.
Um, the next day, we ran to the grocery store. When I opened the door to the van, he hopped right down out of his carseat, unbuckled yet again. I’m really working on this one.
When we met a friend for lunch today, SHE informed me that my son’s shoes were on the wrong feet. That also happens to be the second time this week he has entered public society dressed as such. I cannot blame him for this typical preschool mistake… it was all me.
I have not done laundry in nine days. There’s a mountain of it today. My children will not know what to do with clean blankets and sheets on their beds. They may not sleep well because of the strange smell that is fresh laundry.
I missed an entire meal of Tyler’s last week. Yep. 4:00 bottle, completely missing from his day. Total negligence.
My parents kept our children on Saturday night so we could live like carefree adults, with a phenomenal double date that didn’t even start until 9:00pm. Now that is just an invitation for a memorable night. I texted with my mom throughout the evening, to see how they were doing, if they were sleeping well, and should we really take the plunge and let them sleep at her house overnight.
They both fell asleep easily, she was feeling confident, and we decided to give it a shot. In a final text, I used these words: You can change your mind at any time. Famous last words.
We finished our date around 1:00am, and we came home to topple into bed, out of sheer exhaustion and euphoria from a night of adults only. When I got up the next morning, I found my cell phone flashing from several missed calls, including one voicemail from 2:00 in the morning… I listened to my mom’s groggy voice, “Tricia, we have two wide awake boys here. I’m not sure we can do this. I’ll keep calling you. I hope you get this.”
I didn’t get it. My phone rang and rang to no avail, all safely in my purse downstairs. (No, we don’t have a landline. We upgraded – or downsized? – to cell phones only, so we could be readily available and reachable at all times. Great move on our part, clearly.)
As I talked with her later, I got a full report on the night, which included every possible mishap known to small children. They were awake during the night, they were crying and irrational, they each soaked the sheets on their beds, and they each had total, blow-out poopie diapers which involved a middle of the night laundry load. My poor parents were up from 2-4:00 with my darling children, and where was I? Sleeping soundly.
She was gracious and even said, “But how was your night?” I don’t know if this was the right answer, but my night was amazing.
Good thing my parents love me so much… and good thing they are crazy drunk in love with my children.
So there you have it. Just in case you thought I was prideful, organized, well-kept, totally together, or all-knowing, this should put those assumptions to rest.
On the upside, I don’t think my kids know the errors in my ways. They had a lot of fun with me this week, amidst all the mistakes I made.
That’s the great thing about little boys.
Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. These are the memories that would be lost to time and space if not recorded on your blog. So sweet and funny and your boys will love to read them someday (if they haven’t already!)

  2. I love this! I laughed so hard, we all do these things as mothers, it is refreshing to hear someone else’s adventures!! Thank you for sharing Tricia!!

  3. Great post, Tricia! If we don’t laugh at ourselves we are really in trouble. Love your blog!

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