How Does a Mother Show Her Love?

I’m a mother of three, and I am madly in love with them. I know I’m not supposed to have favorites, but at one time or another, they have each been my favorite. They each have something about them that makes them irresistible and wonderful and perfect. I have been blessed to have three kids who all love to snuggle, because I can’t get enough it. I make sure each one gets enough snuggle time everyday. Zach especially makes it difficult to get anything done when he’s snuggling into me. Izzy and I have been having some snuggle time when Zach is taking his morning nap. We get out a pillow and a blankie and curl up to watch some cartoons. And Jacob, well, he’s the original snuggle bunny. I love it.

But this is not how my children perceive my love–at least, not for Jake and Izzy. To them, my love comes in the form of who gets the last bowl of cereal. Or who gets the last banana. Or better yet, who gets the last banana that has a sticker on it. Or who gets the new mug, or the baseball mug. The level of milk in a glass is carefully measure with a calibrated eye to make sure they get EXACTLY the same amount. If Jacob has a big bubble in his glass, it means he is my chosen child, and Izzy is just there. If there is one banana left when Jacob goes to school, and Izzy eats it before he comes home, upon arriving home he knows that she is my favorite. If I cut Izzy’s food into two pieces, and Jacob’s into three, well, we all know who is clearly favored. Even if it’s something they hate, whoever gets the most or the last, wins. And the most telling of all, is who gets the last bowl of Life cereal. We’re talking the broken up, crumby, sad, pathetic last bowlful. That is who I love the most.

I didn’t know this was an indicator of my love until one year ago, when they told me so. Just this morning, Jacob got the last bowl of Life. Izzy didn’t get up until he had left for school, and immediately requests Life cereal for breakfast (we are working on the whole “mommy is not a servant” thing at our house. It isn’t going well). I told her it was gone, but we had Rice Krispies!!! I tried to play that up and make it sooo exciting, but she wasn’t buying it. She saw the evidence of Jacob’s cereal bowl and burst into tears. “I w-w-wan-wanted L-l-l-l-LIFE!!! AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!”

I know to expect this now, and remember it from my days with my sisters (by the way ladies, mom loves me more). It cracks me up. I sometimes give one of them the preferred mug, but the other more milk, just to see what happens. Oh, the arguments that cause! So far they can’t agree which is better, the baseball mug or more milk. I’ve tried the whole “it doesn’t matter what the cup looks like, it’s what’s inside that counts.” In that line is a very valuable life lesson as well. But, it’s lost on a brother and sister. In the mean time, they will continue to fight this never ending battle, and I’m curious to see what happens when Zach joins the party. I will continue not to play the game…..except to give one the sticker banana, and the other a $100 bill. Just to see what happens.

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