Photo from Tracy MayorTracy Mayor's new book Mommy Prayers has a prayer for just about everything -- flying with a toddler, potty training an uncooperative toddler, raising a shy kid, and more. I loved it. If the word "prayer" gives you pause, rest assured the book has got nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with being a mom. If nothing else, you'll laugh and know you're not alone.
Today Tracy is our guest blogger and she gives you a little taste of the fun and wisdom you'll find in her book.
O toddlers. I was going to offer up some happy blather about every age and stage having its blessings, but really? It's a tough time of life -- for you and your sturdy little Monster of Opinionation.
Anyone who says differently hasn't stood helplessly by while her 2-year-old stages a meltdown in the Mega-Giant Superstore so epic it manages to take out the entire display of French's yellow mustard.
In a way, all of toddlerhood is one big Cleanup in Aisle Seven. That's why so much of Mommy Prayers, my new humor book, focuses on the ages between 18 months and preschool -- when the two of you need the most divine intervention just to make it to the end of the day alive (and boy, once that afternoon nap goes, those days can be staggeringly long, can they not?).
Here are a few of my faves.
Prayer for My Head-Banging Toddler
Every toddler has something he or she does to relieve the deep frustrations of not being able to do the things they see everyone else doing -- talking, taking control of the TV remote, stealing the cool dump truck from the child next to them in the sandbox. Some kids hold their breath, some cry, some bite. My firstborn methodically and deliberately smashed his head on whichever hardest surface he could find -- pavement was preferable. He looked like he'd survived a war zone, and people looked at me like I was the Worst Mother Imaginable. Man was I happy to kiss that stage goodbye.
Prayer Upon Exiting the Aircraft
Hey, businessguy in 24F, this one's for you. Flying with a toddler is the Olympics of parenthood, especially these days when getting through security exhausts the two of you before the plane door has even closed. (Note to TSA: frozen breast milk is not an accelerant, and the 2 oz. of Desitin caked to the crumpled corners of the tube will not take down the aircraft, I promise.) You finally stagger down the aisle, 2-year-old on your hip, kicking the airline-approved car seat ahead of you, and who do you see? Mr. 24F rolling his eyes and mouthing into his cell phone, "Oh no, a baby!" Actually, sir, she's a toddler now, and it's going to be your job to watch her when I need to use the restroom in an hour to clean her turbulence-induced puke off my lap. Enjoy that.
Prayer for the Perfectly Balanced Toddler Diet
This one starts off, Dear God, Would you care for a rice cake topped with peanut butter, grated carrots, and honey? No? How about a cottage-cheese sundae? Perhaps silken tofu with avocado and pear? None for you thanks? Well, guess what, my toddler feels the same way. As if it's not hard enough getting your toddler to eat something -- ANYthing -- now you've got five pounds of Mommy Guilt to contend with at every meal, thanks to the foodie police who make you feel like one Skittle is going to send your baby to the fat farm and the bleached white flour that makes those Goldfish so fun to eat is destroying her health and the planet simultaneously. Yes, absolutely, we all need to shop more carefully and model better eating for our little ones, but every single morsel? Every meal, every day of the week, from here til eternity? It's enough to make you head for -- gasp! -- the McDonald's drive-through.
Prayer for Getting Caught in Flagrante
As the day follows the night, so it is that the blessed safety of the crib eventually must give way to the random, uncontrollable ways of the dreaded Toddler Bed. You know, the one your darling can pop out of at any given moment, up to and including the moment his parents are hard at it reliving the precious moments when they created him in the first place. I cannot overshare, for fear of embarrassing Mr. Mommy Prayers, but let's just say this one is a) autobiographical and b) one of us took a long, long time to get over the shock of seeing that little face next to the bedside table at the Wrong Moment. When they toss around the phrase "scarred for life," perhaps it didn't occur to you that they were talking about the Dad?
What do you need a prayer for?