This morning I was in the shower, where I have all of my epiphanies, and I realized motherhood is like being on stage with your mic turned off. People are expecting you to perform and solve their problems and just be awesome, but at the same time they can’t seem to hear a word you are saying.
The other day, for instance, I was in the shower when I heard someone yelling, “Mom? Mom? Mom!” The yelling was coming from downstairs, but I figured if I could hear yelling someone could surely hear me yelling back, “I’m in the shower!” but I was completely wrong. This is what happened instead.
“Mom? Mom? MOM! Where are you, Mom? MOM!”
“I’m in the shower! I’m upstairs in the shower.”
“Mom? I can’t find you. Where is mom?”
“I’m upstairs in the shower!”
“Mom? I’m all alone. My mom left me. Maaaaaaaawwwwm. Maaaaaawwwwm!”
“I am right here in the shower!”
“Nobody is going to take care of me. Mom? Mom? Oh no, where is my Mom? Maaaawwwwwm!”
“In the shower! Upstairs!”
“Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? MOM!”
At this point I just couldn’t yell anymore so I jumped out of the shower, flung open the bathroom door and yelled, no screamed, “I-AM-IN-THE-SHOWER!” I wanted to yell something more like, “I am in the #$%&! shower!” but I didn’t because I am a mother and you aren’t supposed to swear at children even if you really, really want to.
Then I felt a hand on my wet, soapy leg. I looked down and there is my daughter staring up at me, “Why are you yelling, Mom? I heard you the first time.”
Again, swearing at children is against the parenting code of ethics so I just gave her my best stink-eye and tried not to grind my teeth.
Whatever. I’m a grownup. I have to act like one.
I got back in the shower while my daughter stood in front of the mirror putting my face cream on her body like spackling. I was just grateful that the yelling had ended. As I was rinsing my hair the water from the showerhead sort of faded into a mere trickle. My house was built in the 80’s so the plumbing is a mystery. If you flush a toilet while someone is in the shower the water just stops coming out of the shower head and because we have an on-demand water heater the water also gets ice-cold.
My husband, even with all of the yelling back and forth between his wife and daughter for the past five minutes, had no idea that I was upstairs in the shower. Even though I had specifically told everyone, “I’m going to take a quick shower,” just moments before taking said shower, my family had no clue what had happened to me or where I was. I stood in the shower, naked and freezing with shampoo dripping into my eye waiting for the water to come back on. I thought all the swears…every single one, but I remained silent and started plotting my revenge. I haven’t taken an uninterrupted shower in five years. I swear, if I try to take a shower when nobody is home my husband will mysteriously arrive having forgotten something and flush the toilet, run the dishwasher, or decide to wash his hands as if he were scrubbing in for surgery. I plot my revenge on a regular basis these days. Five years of revenge is staring to take a toll.
Anyway, that’s another story for another day.
What I really want to say is I know my family isn’t deaf because they hear other people speaking and they hear dogs barking. They laugh at funny things said on cartoons and comment on birds singing. My daughter can hear a whisper about chocolate ice cream from a mile away. My husband can sing the words to all of his favorite songs with accuracy. My family members can physically hear, but for some reason they cannot seem to hear me.
That’s why motherhood is like being on stage with your mic turned off. People see your lips moving, but apparently no sound is coming out…unless you yell and scream really, really loudly. Then they just act like you are a total lunatic because at that point, naked, shooting daggers out of your eyes with soap bubbles sliding down your cheek, you really are a lunatic.
Motherhood. It’s a mad house.
Pass the chocolate.