From Chicken Soup for the Sister's Soul

Happy Mother’s Day!

When my kids become unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.

Erma Bombeck

So you’re having a baby, we know it’s a boy,
A sweet, cuddly creature to hug and enjoy,
He will be your own blood, and he’ll love and adore you,
But have no illusions of what lies before you.

As the time for my nephew to come quickly nears,
As a sister who’s now been a mom for ten years,
I can tell you some things that I’ve learned and for free,
As the battle-scarred, happy, proud mother of three.

First you’ll have to invest in a big, roomy car,
And the more they can hold then the better they are,
For your stroller and car seat and big Portacrib,
For your bag with the diapers, some clothes and a bib.

Some HandiWipes, pins and some lotion for rash,
Plastic bags for wet diapers, wet clothes and the trash,
To distract him some crackers, a rattle, a toy,
And those plugs for his mouth that us mothers enjoy.

A luxurious pillow for a small baby seat,
Some cozy, wee booties for small baby feet,
You’ll need blankets and then by the time that you’re
You are lucky if there is a space left for you.

You will have some important decisions to make,
About whether your diapers are real or are fake,
Ecologically speaking, our state is now drastic,
So you should use cloth and relinquish the plastic.

But then sometimes you might become selfish and mean,
As the smell of the diaper pail makes you turn green,
And say, “Screw all the birds and the earth on the wane,
If I pin one more diaper I may go insane.”

So you opt for the plastic, ignore those who chide,
And prepare your kid’s supper with care and with pride,
You grind up the apples direct from the tree,
So your baby is healthy, preservative-free.

This insanity lasts for about ninety days,
Then the mother will stop these ridiculous ways,
At the market no critics can hurt or disturb her,
As she happily fills up her wagon with Gerber.

First new babies wear cotton alone on their skin,
’Cause it breathes and allows life’s good things to get in,
They wear rompers and booties from Dior—the top,
And ensembles that cost ninety dollars a pop.

When the baby is seven months old Mom dispenses,
With all of the fancy stuff, comes to her senses,
She watches the kid destroy all that he nears,
Now she does all her shopping at Penney’s and Sears.

Your inaugural shopping trip with your new child,
Will be challenging, dangerous, exciting and wild,
You’ll spend hours in search of a restroom through halls,
’Cause all babies get hungry when near shopping malls.

They are also inclined to save up for this outing,
With all of their cares and their woes and their shouting,
And the people will whisper, they’ll point and they’ll sneer,
“What a terrible mother, the poor little dear.”

You will find that the biggest of all of your cares,
Will be how to get baby and stroller upstairs,
Bag and baby in one arm, the stroller behind,
Without losing the bag or the kid or your mind.

When you’ve shopped and you’re driving back home
   down the street,
You will notice the baby’s asleep in his seat,
He is blissfully napping and make no mistake,
That at home when you’re tired, he’ll be wide awake.

There are numerous things that you really should know,
About what he will do as he starts in to grow,
About playmates and potties and school PTAs,
Birthday parties and Christmas and kid holidays.

You will need more advice because you’re a greenhorn,
But perhaps we should wait till at least the kid’s born,
But I’m anxious to know who this new soul will be,
Who is coming to you, by extension to me.

Will he be like our family or like your hubby’s kid?
Will he be a high-strung type or sweetly placid?
Will he be like our brother was, pensive and sad,
Will he be a cantankerous type like our dad?

Will he have your warm nature, so patient and true,
Well, we know he’ll be swell since he’s coming from you,
And for now, my sweet sister, I write just to say,
Please enjoy your last peaceful and calm Mother’s Day!

Victoria E. Thompson

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