May 17, 2011

The Day I Figured I Was NOT Cut Out for Motherhood

Happy Birthday, Todd!

Thirty-nine years ago today, my nephew Todd was born. It was on that day that I figured I'd never make it as a mother of toddlers.

I had the dubious pleasure, at the ripe old age of 15 (go ahead, I'll wait while you do the math to figure out how old I am), to watch my niece Tammy (four and a half at the time), and her little brother, Terry (16 months old) while mom was in labor, and dad (my brother Terry) was busy at the hospital - and after the birth, was doing his regular shifts at work. Add in visiting hours, and sleep - my brother was useless not a big help to me.

From Wednesday afternoon until that Sunday, when Todd finally joined the family at home, I was in charge.

Those two kids were MY responsibility.

The little tykes ran me ragged. Tammy even escaped from their apartment and took off down the street (while I was busy upstairs, changing yet another diaper).

I found her. She may have only been partially dressed when she made her getaway.

They whined. They cried.

They hated food that I cooked...but they loved the Ovaltine.

When I told Tammy that Todd was born, she hit me.

"I don't want a Todd! I want a Tricia!" (She still remembers doling out that abuse on her favorite aunt).

I had been babysitting since Tammy was an infant, and thought I could handle this assignment.

I whined. I cried. I had Terry puke in my long hair...and they only had a clawfoot tub, and no shower.

I called my mother, asking her to rescue me. 

She didn't.

If this wasn't an endorsement for zero population growth, nothing was.

It wasn't. 

Four years and one month later, I had my own baby.

I whined. I cried. I had Shannon puke in my hair.

She was MY responsibility, and not just for five days.

It was so much fun, I did it again.

 (l to r, starting in the back): Todd, Terry, Erin and Shannon

And seventeen years after I had Erin, I did it a third time, because I don't know when to quit.

Parenting The Boy has been an altogether different experience. Blame it on his gender species "issues", or on my advanced's been a trip, but without the benefit of hallucinogenics.

Finally, I'm at the tail end of this 'responsible for a kid in the house full-time' gig.

Lucky for us, the grandkids visit - and the real fun begins. Grandkids are so much better than your own kids...all the fun, none of the responsibility. Spoil 'em rotten, fill 'em full of junk food, and send them home. It rocks!

I'm glad I didn't listen to the voice in my head that day in May of 1971...I'd have missed out on lots of fun, not to mention lots of slobbery kisses and sticky hugs.


  1. Motherhood pays off in dividends, doesn't it? Grandkids give you breathing room. If only we had the sense then that we have now.

  2. I remember some babysitting gigs like that. It's a wonder I had any children at all. The good times more than pay for the bad ones, though.

  3. oh my. babysitting at your young age can really play a number in your brain. I'm with you on the grandkids. A whole freaking lot funner.

  4. I swore I would never have kids...then wham..I gave birth to 2, took on 5 with my marriage and although divorced now, still see all 5 of my former stepkids and one thems little sister by another person too! And love every second of it!

    Makes a difference when you are more mature...but mostly...when they are yours!

  5. I've always thought that caring for young kids would be effective birth control. Guess I was wrong! : )


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!