Psst ... moms! Commercials are going to try to convince your spouse that jewelry or candy or flowers are the perfect Mother's Day gift, but you know all too well that the important things in life don't hang on a necklace or clip round a wrist. Things like sleep. Understanding. Revenge. Tailor this list to your own special needs, then use it to give your significant other a clue about giving a significant present.
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To my loving partner in parenting:
I know you're trying to figure out a Mother's Day present for me (and if you aren't, take this as a big, fat hint).
Jewelry is a lovely thought, but not exactly practical, given that our child might steal, break, perseverate on, or require us to hock anything nice to pay for medical expenses. Candy is always appreciated, but since I've just consumed all the children's Easter sweets to save them from obesity, diabetes, and allergens, I'm not really in the mood. Instead, honey, why not pick one of these gifts I'd really love. They may take a little more effort than something in the Hallmark aisle, but they'll make a big difference to me.
1. You know that material I've been asking you to read about our child's disabilities, that stack about 500 pages high? Read it. Now. Really.
2. Do some research of your own for a change and bring me something I haven't seen before. Then explain it to me.
3. Find the home number of every specialist and educator who ever dissed me and make some really good prank phone calls.
4. Offer to stand guard duty at the bathroom door while I take a nice, long, hot bath, free of constant cries of "Moooooooooooooom."
5. Buy some sturdy boxes for storing all the children's school papers, and then believe me when I say I have to save everything they've ever done for possible documentation of learning progress.
6. Buy some sturdy notebooks for storing all the children's specialist reports, and then organize them for me so I can always find the exact one I want in a snap.
7. Sit down with me for one hour to discuss decisions we have to make about our child's behavior, treatment, schooling, and/or future. No TV watching, newspaper reading, or dozing allowed.
8. Next time you're tempted to make some crack about a neighbor or a teacher or a family member that you just know our child is going to repeat out of context at the worst possible time ... don't. Just don't.
9. More precious to me than diamonds and rubies is a good long nap. Make it happen.
10. Next time we have a dispute over discipline, I win. (What's that? I always win anyway? It's the gift that keeps on giving!)