the m.o.m. degree

I have this recurring daydream, that some kind of contest or game show exists where the last 2.75 years of my work experience is actually worth big money.

Think Cash Cab, or Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Except the questions will be more like:

Fill in the blank!
"On Tuesday, he ate ___ _____, but he was still hungry!"

Or

Which of the following is not a generally-accepted principle of attachment parenting?

a) co-sleeping
b) nursing on demand
c) infant-led weaning
d) beating

Or

Name three snacks that are easy to clean out of a car seat.

Or

Which of the following sounds like a great idea for a toddler activity but is, in fact, a terrible idea?

a) Picnic
b) Amusement park
c) Beach vacation
d) Trick question, ass hole

Or

Daniel Tiger counts to ____ when he feels so mad that he wants to ____.

a) one, load a gun
b) two, spew
c) three, just fucking walk away from this PhD
d) four, start a war

Or

What is the appropriate protocol if one child is walking up the slide and another child is standing at the top of the slide, wanting to come down?

a) light a cigarette and get a good seat
b) gently guide both children to a the sharing cubicle and lock them inside, so they can act out the dilemma with two dolls, and find their way to the appropriate solution themselves because children are innately good
c) make your kid stop, doesn't matter if he's the one climbing up or the one wanting to slide down
d) make the other kid stop, doesn't matter if he's the one climbing up or the one wanting to slide down
e) wait until they find out why this is a bad idea and then say "Well, gosh, seems like I told you so."


I can't help it - when I'm memorizing the next book that has become Chicken's favorite, or when I realize that I am a resource for new moms, and I have to cut myself off from explaining too much too early, or when I check the file in my mind and realize that it is full, full, FULL of bizarre factoids like sleep regressions and food allergies and how to sanitize things and what kind of detergent is best and good first finger foods and six different kinds of swaddles and how to stop a tantrum (sometimes) (if you're lucky) and oh so-and-so just had an early ultrasound and obviously it's going to be transvaginal  and how early should you start tummy time and holy SHIT how is it possible that I have an insane doctorate-level amount of knowledge and I still feel, every day, like a fucking rookie???

Next time you're talking to one of your mom friends, think about it - think about all the stuff you know now that you didn't know before. Think about all the hard-won experience, the fruits of which you just use now, without having to summon it up, without having to think about it, you just know what kind of shoes to put the kid in for a trip to the beach, or when you get an ultrasound, or what foods you should and should not bring to the newest parents on the block.

Sadly, there is no game show for moms. Nobody is going to give you a million bucks for your encyclopedic knowledge of the canon of Eric Carle. But girl, I would argue that your PhD in Momming is worth far, far more than that.

So please just write yourself a check tonight, or do whatever you need to do. I myself will lift a glass. To you, Doctor.

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