"Mommy, I have to tell you something."
"Mommy, can you fix this?"
"Mommy, what is this?"
"Mommy, look at this!"
"Mommy, can you help me with this?"
"Mommy, can we go to the park?"
"Mommy, can we go home?"
"Mommy, I have to go potty!"
"Mommy, why is Darth Vader so mean?"
"Mommy, did I just pop out of your tummy? How did I get out?"
"Mommy, I need a kleenex."
"Mommy, I need a band-aid."
"Mommy, I want a snack."
"Mommy, I don't like this snack, I want something else."
"Mommy, what's for breakfast?"
"Mommy, what's for lunch?"
"Mommy, is it dinner time yet?"
"Mommy, what's for dinner?"
"Mommy, I want my tablet."
"Mommy, can we play a game?"
"Mommy, he's cheating!"
"Mommy, she hit me!"
"Mommy, he kicked me!"
"Mommy, where are you?!"
"Mommy, are you in the bathroom? Let me in!!"
"Mommy, my nose is bleeding. I didn't pick it, really."
"Mommy, my tummy needs bananas. Why don't we have bananas?"
I don't know any other word that can invoke such happiness and so much anger AT THE SAME TIME. But I do know one thing: I literally cannot go five minutes, and some days five seconds, without hearing, "mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy." Not necessarily in that order.
And it's not even the term "mommy" itself (although it can be a trigger word, to be honest), it's the constant barrage of questions, requests, demands, comments, stories, requests, demands, questions, requests, and demands. There is always someone talking to me or wanting something from me.
I know that this comes with the territory, but it is exhausting. And, in my expert opinion, probably the MOST exhausting part of parenthood. At least currently.
Part of this is just how I'm made--I'm an introvert who really does need quiet time to reenergize. Plus, I work from home and my kids are off of school for summer break. So, it's rather difficult to focus on work when you sit down to do something and the next thing you know it's an hour later and you haven't accomplished anything except having two kids that are fighting and playdoh in the dog's hair and crayon on the wall.
Motherhood is messy. Everyone knows that. I was somewhat prepared for the dirt and poop and vomit and boogers and messy hands and food everywhere except your child's mouth and broken stuff. I was not prepared for the noise. The constant, never-ending, painfully loud noise that makes thinking clearly a challenge.
In fact, the noise is so loud that when my husband and I decided to forfeit a four-day trip to Chicago for a home improvement week, during which the kids would spend time with their grandparents, I welcomed all the painting and any projects because it would be just me and my husband and that extra noise would be out, at least temporarily.
In hindsight, maybe a home improvement week wasn't the best "vacation" my husband and I could have planned, but it was worth it. We got a "new" house without moving and we had time for just the two of us. We painted, he taught me all about yacht rock (I think I understand this genre now, but don't ask me to explain), and I amazed him with my spectacular IKEA building skills.
In the end, my kids were with their grandparents for eight days. That was the longest we'd ever been away from them. And besides one phone call with a sobbing child saying how much he missed me (just kill me already, the PAIN), we were honestly so busy that I barely thought about anything except "is this song yacht rock?" or "omg textured walls are the worst." Plus, I formulated a thesis in my head arguing that Menards is the far superior store to Home Depot. And you can trust my opinion, we visited both enough in a week that I would know.
But the minute they got home the one thing that was missing finally came together. We had been working on our home all week but it was in pieces. Stuff was everywhere. Even when we finished and put the pieces back together, it wasn't finished.
It was missing them. The two loudest kids in the world and their constant chorus of "mommy" and "daddy." It's a funny thing about parenthood: the thing that drives your crazy one minute is the sweetest sounding two syllables the next.
So I'll take all the mommys and moms and mooooooooooooooooooms. Especially when I get messages like this from my daughter every time we go to the library. (No, I've never gone to the library just for the sole purpose of seeing her write this message for me. That would be silly.)
But seriously. If I get asked for one more thing the second I enter the bathroom or get on the phone or sit down I'm going to scream.