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My Kids Can Dress Themselves!

Both of my children have been striken with a wicked stomach virus this week.  It’s been just awful, what with the worry, the vomit, the emergency Pepto and popsicle runs and the constant nagging concern of just how many days a 12-year-old can survive on Sprite. (Answer: at least four days.)  Thanks to time, the loving care of their Nana and a well-timed injection of anti-vomit from the doctor, we’re starting to see signs of improvement, although it may still be weeks before my darling girl can stomach more than one Saltine per sitting.  My son has neither the patience nor the vomiting of his sister, so he’s been a little less trying.  A couple of days of a liquid diet and he’s darn well going to eat a sandwich and let the chips fall where they may, by God.   Which brings me to my point…

I am a mom of two kids who have been horribly sick all week.  Yet, not only have I not cleaned up a drop of vomit or worse excretions, I haven’t seen nor heard one bit of the nasty!!  However did I accomplish this?  Not by running away and spending the week on a private island, although I won’t pretend I wasn’t tempted.  The simple (and rather disgusting) answer is this.  My kids are old enough to vomit without me.  If you’re a mom, you understand the significance of this statement.  If you’re not, well, take a moment here to consider the alternative.  Yes.  Gross.

This delightful milestone crept up on me, but now that I’ve recognized it for what it is, I’m going to brag.  I know, I know, I hate to be THAT mom, but I can’t control myself.  Please forgive me.  Here is a list of a few things that my children can do without parental involvement.

Use the bathroom, bathe themselves, brush their teeth, fix a snack, pour a drink, get dressed, put away the laundry, clean their rooms, vomit, use the phone, fix their breakfast, pour my coffee, wash their hair, buckle their seatbelts, read themselves stories, pack their lunches, make Kool Aid, fetch what I forgot at Walmart while I stand in line, or alternately, stay home alone while I get groceries, empty the dishwasher, tie their shoes, zip their jackets, rsvp to birthday parties, feed the cats

Doesn’t sound spectacular?  You’re not impressed?  If not, then you’ve never had to do all those things for one or more angry and impatient tiny people, my friends.  I. AM. FREE.  Oh, I don’t mean to suggest that parenting isn’t still hard and more complicated in a hundred different ways, but there is a blessed (shakespearean pronunciation, please) freedom in knowing that you do not have to wipe anyone’s butt except your own.  (Pardon the bluntness.  I never said this mommy gig was pretty.)

May this serve as a beacon of hope for all my mommy sisters out there who are spending their days with juice cups and diapers and demands for more chicken nuggets NOW.  On those days when you’re huddled in the corner in the fetal position, praying for five minutes for a hot meal or a hot shower, take heart.  One day, sooner than you think, you can tell those little tyrants to “Do it yourself!” and they will.  Dream the impossible dream and don’t sell those kids on Ebay.  Every time someone pukes on you could be the last.  I would never dare tell you to enjoy the spew, I just promise you that one day it will stop.  

When that day comes, rejoice, my sisters.  Rejoice.  

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