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Shannon Noel

A Mother’s Prayer

Dear Lord in Heaven,

You have to help me out here. I am this close to an anonymous drop off at Cedar Sinai. How do people do it? I see other mommies that look like they have no problem, but I’m a wreck Lord, I don’t know what to do? I don’t know who I am anymore. I think I used to be sort of cute and maybe at least a little fun to be around. I know that in the past, if someone or something had peed on me I would have at least changed my shirt. Now I just spray it with Febreeze.

And Lord, I’m losing a lot of hair. No one told me my hair would fall out. It’s bad enough I’ve started dressing like a camp counselor, but am I gonna go bald too? My husband’s going to love that.

Do you know what he did yesterday, Lord? He literally left me a post-it that said I NEED SEX. No foreplay, no romance, just a post-it note. Does he think I’m going to respond to that? When I do have sex with him my mind goes bananas. All I can think about is how to rearrange my living room to make room for more toys. With every thrust I change the position of the couch at least twice, is that so bad?

And Lord, please forgive me, but I cannot speak toddlerese. I really love Harvey Karp, I do, but I’m convinced that I have the unhappiest toddler on the block. I think the book is geared more towards little girls, right? Nowhere in there does it talk about how little boys just want to bang on sh*t all day long! Hard. They bang really hard. Glass, wood, my face; it doesn’t matter, they just bang bang bang bang!

I’ve tried time-ins, time-outs, hand checks, the “fast food” technique. I think actual fast food would work better. Chicken nuggets and fries would probably buy me a smooth diaper change. What is it with the diaper changes? I am wiping his ass, why is he kicking me in the face? Someone told me that I should change him standing up, because when I lay him down he feels like a little baby. Well, the thing is Lord, he is a little baby and I can’t wipe his poopy butt when he is running around my living room. This morning I had to straddle him, sing a song and give him a cookie; I still got poop in my fingernails.

I know it sounds like I’m not grateful, but really, Lord, I am. There are many things I love about being a mom. Mainly that birthday parties start at 10am. This is a great idea considering that by 10 I’ve been up for about 6 hours and could really use a party.

I’m having a hard time being a good wife, God. I don’t have time to be sensitive to my husband’s needs. I’m terrible. People say, “you’ve really gotta take care of your man, he gets neglected when the babies come.” Oh Really? Boo hoo! What about me? I get neglected. I have one kid sucking the life out of me, hanging off my nipple and the other hanging off the balcony; where does that leave me? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been nursing the baby and had to run across the playground with my boob hanging out to get my oldest to stop throwing sand. My dignity is out the window!

And Lord, I have to confess; I do use the TV as a crutch. If I need to cook breakfast or wash dishes I turn it on. If Booker’s first hero is DJ Lance Rock, is that so bad?

Do you remember the Tasmanian devil cartoons? You know the devil that spins around and creates a little tornado wherever he goes? That’s my son. I’m supposed to call it “spirited.” But I looked up Tasmanian Devil on Wikipedia and it said: Taz was best known for his speech consisting mostly of grunts, growls and whines. CHECK. And his ability to spin and bite through just about anything. CHECK. I love my little guy. He’s courageous and fun. He explores everything and it melts my heart. It’s just that he’s non-stop and with the new baby, well it’s pretty hard to handle them both. The only alone time I get with the little one is in the middle of the night when he has somehow managed to snuggle up under my arm and nurse my unshaven armpit! How does he get there?

I’m pretty sure that Booker hates me anyway. He never eats the food I cook for him. I’ve breaded asparagus and dipped it in honey, made zucchini muffins with chocolate! I can’t get him to eat anything, but Puffs. Not like the Dugger kids. I think they eat organic vegetables from their own garden!

Can we talk about the Duggers for a minute? I’m sure you know them; they’re the family on the 19 Kids and Counting show! They LOVE you. I know people make fun of these shows and these people, but I really dig the Duggers. Mrs. Dugger is always so happy and bright. I wanna be like that. Maybe MORE kids is the answer! If I had 17 older kids to help with the two youngest, I think I could be happy and bright too. Or maybe I should just move to Europe. My girlfriend always says, “If we were parenting in Europe, would this really be an issue? “ And generally, the answer is NO. Plus they get to drink wine all day and that is something I am totally behind.

Everyone says, “Enjoy your kids, they grow up so fast.” HA. This I the slowest thing I’ve done in my entire life! I don’t have to tell you that I spend most of the day praying for bedtime!

Maybe the problem is I’m just totally outnumbered, Lord. My husband, the dog and our two boys. It’s like a methane gas factory in there. I need a girl. They seem so much easier. Their clothes are cuter, they smell sweeter and they can just sit for extended periods of time and play with one toy. I was in a playgroup once with mostly little girls and they had a play date at the library!

I know you’ve heard all this stuff a million times, Lord, but what’s the catch? How do mothers do it? How will I make it through the next… 30 years!

I better go, but thanks for listening. You’re the only adult I’ve talked to today and I feel much better.

Oh, one more thing, please forgive me for calling my husband a mother f**ker. I mean, technically that is what he is, but I didn’t mean it that way and I’m sorry.

AMEN.

 

THE AUTHOR

Shannon Noel is an ex-stay at home mom of two boys still in diapers. She returned to work a year ago for her amazing boss, the late Gil Cates at the Geffen Playhouse. She is now the Artistic Coordinator there and dedicates each day to the memory of Gil; who until his very last day followed his artistic ...

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