Thursday, March 27, 2008

Maybe I Should Run Away and Join the Circus

Just the other day, I read another one of those ubiquitous articles by a stay-at-home mom re-entering the workforce. You know the article, you read them all the time and may have even lived it yourself. Mom decides to go back to work and embarks on the difficult and treacherous journey to finding a job. In interviews, she is asked how devoted she will be to her job. Will the career or the children win out in the battle of deadlines versus 105. degree fevers? Will she be willing to stay late or does she need to be home to read Goodnight Moon to her lonely toddler? She is questioned on her ability to contribute to the workplace after a long absence. Has she kept current on trends and developments? Does she know the latest software or has her mind gone to mush watching too many hours of Sesame Street?

We all know the story.

Today, as I was driving home from the Sisyphian battle of carting my always sick daughter to the pediatrician, wrestling her flailing arms and limbs for yet another ear exam and throat check, putting her in a headlock for a breathing treatment and then running from pharmacy to pharmacy to find one who keeps small nebulizer masks in stock all while trying to keep she and my son separated so they won't kill each other and my son's greedy hands off of everything he sees in the store, my mind floated away to the near future when I will be employed and transported from all this madness, at least for a few short hours a day.

I contemplated my choosen profession of teaching and realized that motherhood is probably going to make me a better teacher. In fact, there are probably quite a few professions which would benefit from some mothering skills. Hmm, I thought to myself. In which professions would a mother really excel?

And then it struck me.

Circus Freak.

Our lives definitely resemble Barnum and Bailey's finest. And if pressed, I think we mothers could easily fill a pair of over-sized goofy looking clown shoes or, in the right outfit, be mistaken for a juggler.

Here are some of the positions tailor-made for us.

Ringleader: Because we all know it is us who make the trains run on time in our homes.

Lion Tamer: Because anyone who has stared down a little boy at the moment right before he flings his spoon of cereal at his sister's head or tried to change the diaper of He-man cleverly disguised as a toddler can face down a little ole lion with no problem.

Juggler: Try holding a squirming child on one hip, the hand of a three year old, one back-pack, one over-sized purse that is necessary because you must take everything but the kitchen sink with you where ever you go, two sippy cups, one half-eaten lollipop, one free Kroger cookie, one discarded jacket, all while talking on the phone and trying to check out at the grocery store. Three bowling pins? Piece of cake.

The bearded lady: Let's face it. Who has time for meticulous grooming? We've all had those days when we've looked in the mirror to find a inch and half of roots, wrinkles the size of the Grand Canyon, and a mustache rivaling our husband's sprouting on our upper lip.

Trapeze Artist: Hell, I fly by the seat of my pants everyday.

Man, er,Woman who can turn her head half-way around her body: How else would we know that child A is sneaking pop shots at child B in the back seat, or that the unintelligible whimpers coming from the rear seat are demands for the dropped lovey?

The 800 lb. lady: What pregnant woman has not felt this way at 9 months? Or post-partum, for that matter.

Speed eater: I haven't enjoyed a leisurely meal in 4 years. There is always something that is too hot or too cold, a dropped fork, spilled milk, screaming child, child who needs my lap, child who wants to run around the restaurant, requests for more, etc. etc. You very quickly learn to inhale your food.

Contortionist: I put these great skills to use this morning trying to get my daughter to hold still for her breathing treatment. One harm around head, one wrapped around her arms, both legs up and wrapped around her body Indian-style, squeezing with all my might, while perched on the edge of the seat and leaning back on the exam table. My inner thighs are still burning.

Poop cleaner-upper: People poop, dog poop, cat poop. I am a poop expert.

And last but not least, clown: Because we have an endless bank of stupid-human tricks we can perform at any given moment to prevent our children from freaking out in line, in the restaurant, in the doctor's office, on the plane, etc. etc.

So, in the event that my teaching gig falls through, I'm calling Barnum and Bailey. I am sure they have a spot for me.


ms-teacher said...

This is a brilliant post. One that, imho, rivals our beloved Mrs. G in its witticisms.

Thanks for making me chuckle :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

This would be why my blog is called Juggling Life!

Clink said...

Besides the creepy clown this was crazy insightful!

jennifer h said...

Plus, if you join the circus, you get to go out on the road. By yourself. Of course, in the end, you just have to entertain a bunch of screaming kids, so you might as well stay home.

This was excellent!

Mrs. G. said...

What a great and TRUE post. Perhaps we mothers need to take our show on the road. So funny.

Magpie said...

Yes. Let's all run away with the circus.

richgold said...

Mmmmm. Popcorn .... ;-)

sexy said...