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GAIL WHITE It's not written yet, but every mom needs this book



Published: Fri, June 22, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



I have decided that at some point in my life, I will write a book.

It will be titled, "Things No One Tells You Will Happen When You Become a Mother."

I will give it to every new mother.

No, on second thought, I will take a more proactive approach and distribute it to young women in high school as a form of contraception.

The first chapter of "Things No One Tells You ..." will be called, "Oh My God, That's Disgusting."

It will begin: "A child will pick his nose, hand you the boogie and you WILL take it."

That piece of information will be followed up with the proverbia: "When traveling a long distance on a hot, humid summer day, the child in diapers will have a bowel movement immediately AFTER you pass a rest area."

"Oh My God, That's Disgusting" will be a long, descriptive chapter, complete with bummy-wiping details, dirty-socks-under-the-bed-for-a-month tales and dinner table flatuations.

Pictures of children eating, pulling hair and riding in a car next to a sibling will be strategically placed throughout the chapter.

The next chapter: For the brave reader who dares to learn more about the travails of motherhood, I will write a second chapter called, "Who Am I?"

A mother first utters these words when she looks in the mirror after giving birth. With her shapely figure gone, her breasts enlarged -- and most likely engorged -- she begins to feel the aftermath pangs of childbirth.

"Who Am I?" will go on to describe the step-by-step loss of identity that occurs when a woman becomes a mother.

"After the body, comes the loss of name," I will inform my readers. Your first name is immediately replaced with "Mommy."

And since most children can't remember last names, to any child not your own, you are referred to as "(Your child's name)'s mommy."

"Once your body and name are gone, your time is next," I will continue. Motherhood begins so innocently. The baby comes home from the hospital, sleeps, eats and sleeps some more. Little by little that changes, until your time is completely overtaken by the wants, needs and activities of the child.

Finally, the "Who Am I?" chapter will come the dilemma of what exactly a mother does in her free time. This will be a very short section as there is no such time.

Smarter than that: The third chapter, I will call, "You Are Not as Dumb as They Make You Feel."

It will begin with suggested answers to questions little children ask like; "Why is the sky blue?" and "Where do babies come from?"

It will conclude with possible retorts for the teen-ager's argument that "You don't know what it's like!" and the insinuation that you are too dumb to know "that's what everybody else is doing!"

The final chapter, I will title, "It Never Ends."

Though I, personally, have not experienced the empty-nest syndrome, I suspect it is not the carefree, happy-go-lucky place of my dreams.

I certainly hope much of who I was before motherhood is regained. Yet, I suppose there will not be a day that goes by without thoughts of my children coming to mind. The "coming to mind" part I think I will cherish. If it becomes a "coming to live with me" event, I will take issue.

It will be at this point, after the children, that I will find the time to write this book.

But I realize I have already forgotten much of my early motherhood years. Those I do remember I seem to have filtered somehow. The bad memories have been sifted away. My mind recalls only the good.

Perhaps there is design in this phenomenon. The sleepless nights, sick children, car pool years are busy. We walk in a stupor.

By the time we can dwell and reflect, the stupor has become a blur and we can't remember.

I'm beginning to see why no one ever told me all the things that would happen when I became a mother.

gwhite@vindy.com




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