The other day, my three oldest children went to their grandmother’s house. That left me with only two little ones. A piece of cake, right? Wrong, y’all. Really, really wrong. So, for any of you who have ever looked at a mama with a thousand or five kids and thought, “I could never do that,” this is for you.
Join me over on Moms Magazine and I will tell you about the day I tried to take my two littles on an outing without any big kids to help me. It was every bit as exhausting as it sounds. See you there!
I saw your stilettos as soon as they entered the room. I was hunched over trying to retrieve my two year old from under someone else’s chair. I could not help but notice the mulch from the playground stuck to the bottom of my dirty tennis shoes.
I sat up and took notice of your sleek, pencil skirt and crisp, white blouse. I found myself slouching even more than usual in a feeble attempt to disappear into the metal chair. Suddenly, I felt very uncomfortable in my t-shirt with the spit up on the shoulder and my nylon pants with the stain on one leg.
You were staring at your phone as if some urgent email or time sensitive text was going to come through at any moment. I glanced at mine knowing that the only email I had received in three days was from the local shoe store advertising a “buy one get one half off” sale. I bought four pair – none of which were stilettos and two of which had cartoon characters.
Your floral perfume made its way across the room. It was light and feminine. Meanwhile, I smelled like a day at the park with a little regurgitated formula thrown in for good measure.
Your phone rang and I listened as you chatted with a friend. You discussed the latest happenings at the office and made plans for another girls night out. I wasn’t jealous. I just had a girls night out last week. Well, technically, it was just a trip to the grocery store and there weren’t any other girls with me. It was dark outside, however, and I did bump into a few other ladies who had apparently also sneaked out for an after-bedtime trip to the Walmart.
For just a moment, you closed your eyes. You looked tired. I knew I was tired. Then, you took a drink of the coffee in your hand. I looked down at the coffee in mine. We made eye contact and exchanged a tired-mama smile. As we drank our coffee – you with your manicure and make-up and me with my broken nails and pony tail – I realized that you and I are just not that different.
This has been my favorite coffee cup for almost 12 years. My husband bought it for me while we were on our honeymoon. It’s cute, isn’t it? This cup belongs to a person who has time to wrap two hands around a sweet little mug of something warm and leisurely sip its contents. The owner fills it up with tea because *gasp* she doesn’t even care for coffee. The owner is someone who can stay up as late as she wants because she can sleep in as late as she wants. This person showers every day and never shows up somewhere smelling like bodily fluids.
Ah, let’s all take a moment and remember those days.
Okay, let’s move on.
This cup belongs to someone who still enjoys a little pretty in her life. It has to have a handle because there is always a baby on her hip and her hot beverage drinking for here ever after will have to be one handed. It is dainty and delicate because little hands are not yet reaching and grabbing and wreaking havoc. This cup says that she is a little busier than before but, still, completely in control.
A year or two goes by and another kid or two joins the crew. The owner of this cup realizes that dainty doesn’t cut it. A sturdier cup is needed. It can still be cute but, for crying out loud, it needs to hold more of that precious caffeine. She has decided there is definitely something to this coffee thing and mocks people who drink tea.
This is the kind of cup that gets reheated multiple times and left in various places around the house. This cup becomes a friend. A confidant. A faithful sidekick in the midst of crying babies and potty training toddlers. Yes, the owner loves this cup.
Then, kids four and five arrive. There is no time for pretty or breakable or reheats or refills. This woman needs her coffee ever warm and ever ready. It is the kind of cup a girl guzzles from because ain’t nobody got time for sippin’. She needs a cup that is as comfortable in the kitchen as it is in the car. It needs to go to the grocery store, to archery practice, to the park and to the bathroom. Yes, the bathroom. Any port in a storm, baby.
Then, the coffee drinker reaches a point where she no longer cares which cup she drinks out of anymore. Possibly, on a random Friday morning, her desk looks a little something like this.
As she sits down, maybe she notices a little cold, leftover coffee in yesterday’s cup. Perhaps she chugs it down before starting the new cup. Unless you think that’s really gross because, then, we will just pretend she doesn’t do that.
These coffee mugs belong to a master multitasker who can feed a baby with her left hand and drink her coffee with her right while teaching the four year old her ABCs and typing out a blog post about coffee cups. She plays La La Loopsies while doing the laundry and teaches division while changing diapers.