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Katy England Katy England
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The mom effect'

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The mom effect' The mom effect'

All is quiet in the house. Husband is downstairs with the kiddos and I'm upstairs enjoying a good morning. I decide to go downstairs to grab a cup of coffee.

I creep, avoiding the stair that squeaks, but it all goes to hell as I get to the gate at the foot of the stairs. It doesn't matter what room they're in, it doesn't matter if there's music playing or if they're enjoying breakfast. When that childproof gate opens, I hear, 'MAma!' followed by an avalanche of pitter-patters. I've been made.

I see my husband in the living room, feet up on the couch reading a book. (I've also caught him grading papers, reading magazines or otherwise being left to his own devices by the threesome.) While I'm soaking that in, I'm being surrounded and petted by sticky hands and charming little voices asking me to 'Bah-kah,' which is toddler-ese for 'Mother, please read to me the volume dedicated to various vehicles known as the Book Car (or car-book colloquially).'

If you are sitting on the floor, the boy will back up to you and sit on whatever exposed part of you is available, regardless of whether or not your lap is already occupied. And reading it once isn't enough. Twice isn't enough. In fact, we haven't reached the upper limit of enough. If you had the time and vocal chord stamina, you could reread it ad infinitum and he'd be fine with that. I'm less fine with that.

Whenever it appears that they are all preoccupied with other activities, I will occasionally try to make a break for it and check my email, or (heaven forefend) try to write a story. When that happens, internal sensors in one or all of them go off with unnerving accuracy and they flock to the room I'm in, asking to be read to or given a cracker or another round of hugs. All things I enjoy doing. But it isn't so much the requests as the intensity in which they want to interact with me. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't seen it.

If the requests aren't met, they have an arsenal of options for catching and then holding my attention. Laughing, screaming, crying, begging, touching whatever. I look over this little knot of chaos to where my husband is flipping through a catalog, and narrow my eyes.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the love. We moms bask in hugs and cuddles like the life-giving sun. But there's an edge to it. The kid that was playing quietly minutes before is suddenly overcome with such emotion that he can't contain himself. It's like those screaming girls at a Beatles Concert (of for you younger folks, a Justin Beiber thing). It's weird to have that effect on someone (especially when my song repertoire consists of 'There's a Bear Over There!' and 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star').

It makes you feel a little like a rock star and a lot like a cult leader. 

Last modified on Friday, 09 August 2013 12:49


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