This excerpt I found somewhat amusing, as my (38 weeks) pregnant daughter, Shannon, nears her due date. This is for you, Shannon.
Vicki had entered into motherhood wholly unprepared. She had woken up confused when the nurse brought the baby into feed on the night he was born. The reality had sunk in, gradually, over the past four and a half years. This child is my responsibility. Mine. For the rest of my life.
Being a mother was the best of all human experiences, and also the most excruciating. Getting the baby to nurse, getting the baby to eat solids, getting the baby to sleep, the teething, the crying, the crawling, into everything, can't take my eyes off him for a second, a whole roll of toilet paper stuffed into the toilet, the first steps, the falling, the trips to the emergency room (Does he need stitches?), the Cheerios that stuck together and nearly choked him, the weaning from the breast, the bottle, the pacifier, the grating squeal of Elmo's voice, the first play-date, the hitting, the grabbing, the first word, Dada (Dada?), the second word, mine, the earaches, the diaper rash, the croup. It was a constant drone, all day, every day, occupying Vicki's hands, her eyes, her mind. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Who did she used to be? She couldn't remember.
I'm not saying you are unprepared, I am saying that all first mothers are totally unprepared, even though you have been preparing for what seems like forever. I certainly was unprepared. You will find that this little baby boy is going to monopolize your every thought and deed for years to come, as well he should, and that's a good thing. I wouldn't take anything for the years I had with you, baby. You made my life complete.
It is funny that this excerpt only entails four and a half years time as that is the age of the character's oldest son, but I will tell you that she has not even entered into the hardest part yet. The teenage years are what undermines most parents. That's when the parents start getting gray hair and wrinkles. Teaching the child how to drive and then letting them take the car for their first joy ride by themselves. How excruciating. That was one of the most terrifying for me. Then how about letting them date, the constant worrying sets in then. The fool kids want to go off for Spring Break by themselves and then off to college. What a heartache? What a headache? But, so goes The Wonderful World of Parenthood." I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Love you, My Sweetie Pea!
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