Mother's Day is upon us again, and television would have you think that we, female parents, are interested in things that most of us would gladly go without.
1. Jewelry. I don't know about you, but I spend 90 percent of my time in black yoga pants. The other 10 percent is spent naked, looking for a pair clean enough to be worn in public. My only sadness is that they don't make reversible yoga pants so that I can wear them for double the amount of time. Even when I'm working, I look for the softest, most dressed-down clothes that can pass as "professional."
I have no need for fancy baubles that my 10-month-old would just try to rip off of my neck or wrists. I change what feels like 100 diapers a day. Perhaps one day I will be dripping in jewels rather than up to my elbows in wipes, but today is not that day.
2. Flowers. While they're beautiful and fragrant, when I see flowers all I think is: Great. Something else I have to feed and keep alive. I will gratefully accept your roses, lilies and tulips, but try not to judge mommy when they're hunched over in a letter "C" three days later because I forgot to empty in the packet or magic crystals and change the water. I have a lot on my mind, sweethearts.
3. Chocolate. I will graciously accept a box of chocolates, but really... moms can buy those for ourselves. In fact, I have secret chocolate stashed all over the house.
4. Perfume. Right now I'm wearing Eau de Goldfish. It smells like GMOs and desperation.
5. Vacuum cleaners, cleaning supplies or pots and pans. Buying one of these items for Mother's Day is an act of war. Be careful. Even if I need or want one of these items, today is not the day to remind me of household obligations.
Kids, do you want to make mommy really, truly happy on Mother's Day? If so, there's just one gift that all of us would REALLY love, and I have some good news: it's 100 percent free.
We want sleep.
We want uninterrupted, deep, snoring, drool-dripping, floating on a comforter, surrounded by pillows, no-kids-in-the-bed, dream-filled sleep. We don't want to be drizzled with magical Sandman dust -- no, we want him to empty the bag out on our heads until it's empty.
Even though most of our brains have been programmed to wake up at 6:30 a.m. latest, even if there isn't a young child shaking us from slumber and loudly inquiring about breakfast, we'd still revel in the ability to lie in bed until we come to a complete state of alertness before dealing with bodily fluids or breaking up the first of 10,000 sibling fights.
Every mom I know fantasizes about falling into a delicious state of unconsciousness, knowing with full confidence that she won't be jerked awake by the sound of a baby who needs changing, feeding or twilight rocking. Toddlers, we love you dearly. Your inquisitive minds, protruding bellies and signature mispronunciations are all part of your undeniable charm. How about for Mother's Day you stay in your bed and keep your eyes closed until I come get you? Let's put a 24-hour hiatus on the 2 a.m. chitchat and waking up with the sun, shall we?
I can already hear you saying it: "You're going to miss this one day." Of course, when you kids are all grown up, we'll occasionally long for sneakers in three sizes by the door again and the sound of innocent laughter reverberating through the house -- but you know what we won't miss? Sleep deprivation. We won't miss waking up in the morning feeling like we've been working the Dinosaur Train night shift. I, for one, will not miss being a zombie mom.
We also won't miss stories from friends about how their 16 children all slept through the night by the time they were two weeks old (GOOD FOR YOU), but that's a different story entirely.
So, children of the world, listen closely. For Mother's Day, drawings are wonderful. Mugs are appreciated. Clay handprints will be treasured forever, we promise. But if you really want to make mommy happy on her special day, please pass the heck out. And stay like that until 10 a.m. Love you and thank you.
Bunmi Laditan's first book, The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting, is in stores now.