Do you wanna know what PMS is? I asked Bell.
I’d been crazy most of the 10 minutes of trying to do bedtime routine type stuff and I didn’t want her little heart thinking my crazy had anything to do with her completely normal five year old behavior. I’m not sure when the best time to talk about PMS is with your child. Maybe it coincides with the birds and the bees talk. Maybe it's best left never discussed. I don't know. You do you. I'm still trying to figure it all out over here.
It’s like this, I continued, Once a month my body gets ready to have a baby.
Then my body asks, “ Is there a baby?”
And when my body says “NO, no baby!” then my body goes crazy. Like this.
[And I screamed out this weird sort of vibrating noise that even a dog resting on the floor would sit up, turns its ear and cringe at as I shook my body like I was demon possessed.]
And you know what? Someday you’re gonna have a kid. And each month YOUR body is going to get ready to have a baby. And then YOUR body is gonna ask “hey, do I have a baby?” And when your body says no, YOUR body is gonna…
[I paused and pointed at Bell with my index finger as if to cue her in as I watched her mimic back the crazy yell; her body in full vibrato.]
We giggled hard.
And only a couple books later we were fast asleep. The crazy momentarily subsiding.
But then we woke up.
And I was still PMS.
I thought it’d be super awesome to make Bella a healthy breakfast and wake her up by serving it to her in bed. Mostly, I was thinking how awesome it would be to have her eat a healthy meal while also keeping an eye on her while ALSO having breakfast in her before leaving the house – unlike our usual mornings, where we’re both juggling yogurt and granola bars and bags of cold peas and glasses of milk as we run from the garage door to the car door. I hold the yogurt and peas while she buckles in using one hand because the other hand has the granola bar and the milk. Well actually, the milk we forgot inside so then I run back in to grab said milk only to realize she already drank it and I already put it in the dishwasher. So then I run back out and throw the yogurt and peas back at her quarter back positioned hands. ... I’m not all too entirely sure this is exactly how it all plays out but my brain is usually misfiring in e'ry direction and so it FEELS like this is how it plays out and Doc says my feelings mean SOMEthing in the grand scheme of things so I’m rolling with this depiction as… TRUTH.
I stumbled my way droopily down the stairs and began to scramble the eggs just the way she likes them (it’s a complicated process in the Page house. Eggs, in general, are just hard. Too many options and too many ways to leave them plastered up against the walls of the frying pan ). Especially the sunny side up eggs. THOSE ones are real complicated. Personally, I pick scrambled because that’s what they all end up as in the end for me anyways. Ask me to flip you an omlette and I will hand you a scrambled egg. Ask me to fry an egg and it will arrive full on hot mess.)
I plopped the eggs on her plate (do eggs plop? They sort of just wiggled and wobbled their way off the pan onto her plate). I then proceeded to pull the metaly wrapper thing off the store-bought applesauce and along with the sippy cup of milk - because at five years old Bella picked out a sippy cup at the store that she had to have and when you’re going through hard things in life and your kid asks for a sippy cup and it seems like it might, just might, make her happy and maybe quiet for like the portion of the part of the grocery store where you stand in long lines and take deep breathes and pretend like you’re a calm rationale person you buy a five year old a sippy cup.
With arms full, I made my way up the stairs. I even managed to make my way upstairs beside her with no spilling.
I felt fancy.
And like a mom who was on it.
There I was doing the good-mommery thing.
I was so basque-ing in all my mom-goodnessy glory that I almost forgot about the PMS-ery that was ever-haunting me.
I was quickly reminded of it though. When came the tough part of mommy-ing. That is, a five year old eating.
It is by far, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
And I can do hard things.
Bella, eat your eggs. I’d pick up a pillow and throw it on the bed. She was still in it so you can't make it but you can feel like your a mom who makes the bed if you throw a pillow on it.
Bella, eat your eggs. I’d peak from around the bathroom door as I attemped to apply some once of make up but also while "EGGING."
Bella, eat your eggs, I’d run to throw my top (that I neglected to wash from the previous week and assumed a good spray of perfume would cover the one armpit that smelled. Just one. Not both. I pondered for a second about why only one but there was no time. There was hair left to dry. Make-up left to put on, underwear to be found (FOR MYSELF!) in a pile of clean clothes yet to be folder and… THERE WERE EGGS! - so I tossed the top in the dryer to "fluff" or something. It looked like it needed a little bit of help and I don't iron so dryer stand my only option for decency when entering the big scary out there world.
Thing is, most mornings I can do ten “Bella, eat your eggs!”
But not when I’m PMS.
I barely made it up to her bed with the eggs without tears streaming down my face. Let alone, holding it together while parenting said eating of the eggs.
Somewhere in the middle of the seventy-fifth “eat your eggs” I lost it. And it was a super not awesome moment in my life as Bella proclaimed to me: YOU’RE NOT MAKING MY BODY FEEL LOVED!
I paused, completely taken aback, and for a slight second I thought Brene Brown would be so proud. Look at my honest, vulnerable courageous little girl.
Actually, I didn’t think those exact words.
But... I knew I was on sacred ground.
So I knelt down. And I hugged my daughter and I told her I was wrong, that no matter how PMS I am, she doesn’t deserve momma to act like that.
I thought about throwing in some sort of parenting moment about “but you really need to eat your eggs.”
But not this morning. This morning was about honor.
Honoring my daughter’s voice. A voice so honest and true and pure. A voice so courageous and willing to stand up for herself. A voice unafraid of the powers at be, but more concerned about fighting for what is good and right and true.
Honoring my daughter’s heart. A heart so innocent and loving and good. A heart that needs to witness a wrong being owned and a right being made.
This morning wasn’t about getting it perfect.
This morning was about letting a little girl's voice be heard and showing a little girls' heart that it is safe.
May she always speak her mind, voice her words and live her truth.
And may I honor it each step of the way.