To all mothers of preschoolers, I must apologize. Yours is a world I did not understand . . . and yet, now I do.
Yes, it's funny how our perspective changes as our life experiences grow and expand. For me, I was constantly looking down at many women out there. Like the women pushing a cart through wal-mart wearing wrinkled t-shirts, sometimes with no bra, sometimes with bedroom slippers on, a glazed-over look in their eyes. I turned up my nose at you moms with screaming toddlers. You know who you are: the kid is screeching and clawing at you and you just thumb through a People magazine and pretend it isn't happening.
Up until about 3 and a half months ago, I never left the house without makeup, unless I was running a very high fever, or recovering from surgery. Even then, it might be to the convenience store for a bottle of ginger-ale, but God Forbid- never to a public place like Wal-Mart! And yet, something about adding 3 children under age 5 into our household, two in diapers, all with very serious issues of trust, grief and trauma, has turned me into a mommy-zombie.
I feel like I've been walking around in a sleep-deprived stupor for about 100 days. Somewhere in the middle of the chaos, a voice says "were almost out of diapers . . ." and somehow I make it around the mountain in my car, never hearing the songs on the radio, I step out of the car never noticing that I am wearing a shirt with a huge stain on the front, and two holes in the armpit . . . with shorts that haven't really fit me since my junior year of college. I find a cart . . . I roll forward with the cart because it is holding up my entire upper body . . . I step into the nauseating florescent light and putt around in wal-mart like a . . . zombie.
My legs are hairy . . . my breath smells bad . . . there is only one underwire left in my bra.
Forgive me, ladies. I just didn't understand.
I used to snicker at those of you with two-inch roots. Make a hair-appointment, I thought.
I rolled my eyes at moms who brought their children into public wearing nothing but a diaper. Laziness, I thought. Okay, I get it now.
Whatever I thought before, whatever I believed before, whatever I wondered before has all come full circle, and the criticism that surrounded me like a snuggie has now vanished in the florescent light of Wal-Mart where I'm standing on the pet food aisle trying to remember why I came here in the first place.
So to all you moms who give in and let her have the sour gummie worms thirty minutes before dinner: I get it now.
All you moms who cut your hair as short as an army ranger because you just don't have time to style it anymore: I get it now.
To all you who arrive for a meeting at work in navy slacks and black dress shoes because you got ready in the dark so as not to wake the baby: I get it now.
Those of you who take a piece of chewed gum out of your own mouth and give it to a screaming kid because it's just not worth the fight anymore: I get it now.
And those of you with chipped nail polish and toenails long enough to slice cucumbers: I do get it now. And I'm sorry I judged you.
I get it now.