I’d been reading a book on the living room couch with the girls. We’re all miserably sick–snotty, hacky-coughing, bleary-eyed, swollen-faced (pretty image, I know) messes, and we were experiencing just a little window of contentedness before the next round of nose-blowing and tissuing began. Then Quinn threw up all over Saoirse’s book (“It’s ok, Mom. I’m not upset. Quinn just had an accident”). As I was salvaging what pages I could, Quinn somehow managed to grab the handle of the mug sitting on the end table and emptied its (thankfully room-temperature) contents all over herself, the couch, the rug, and a couple of other pieces of furniture. Good times. So I set Quinn, now weeping because she wanted me to hold her, down on a clean part of the carpet and went to grab some towels while SK sat right where she was, happily reading as though the room didn’t reek of a poor man’s coffee shop.
A couple of minutes later found me on my hands and knees blotting Earl Gray out of the (again thankfully, beige-and-tan) rug while SK paged through her book. I remembered that one part of the book depicted a school, and the following conversation ensued:
Me: “You know, I used to be a schoolteacher.”
SK: “Hmmm. You’re not a teacher anymore?”
Me, grabbing some more towels: “Well, not right now. One day again, maybe.”
SK: “Why? Because now you’re a mom?”
Me: “Yes. When I became a mom I decided not to be a teacher for awhile.”
SK: “Do you like being a mom?”
Me, taken aback: “Why, yes. I love being a mom.”
SK: “Good. Because if you were a teacher I would miss you.”
It was the strangest, most adult-ish conversation. This is the girl who used to think teacher was synonymous with grown-up: “No, I don’t want to take a shower. I’ll take a shower when I’m a teacher.” Do you like being a mom, she asked. Yes, darling, I like being a mom. Even if it means scrubbing spit-up out of the pages of a children’s book at 11 in the morning. Even if I’m too absent-minded to move the tea out of a determined baby’s reach. Don’t you worry, because I get to keep having conversations like this. I like being a mom.