Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Painfully Honest Figurine Collection Every Mother Needs

As I have been unpacking boxes after our cross-country move, I have been staring about my collection of Motherhood inspired figurines. If you became a parent in the last fifteen years, you will know what I'm talking about. Those statues of moments in life that makes your heart beat a little faster at the memory? As I contemplated where to put them on display in our new house, I thought about how wonderful it was to receive each one, marking a new phase in life for which to be thankful. There was a time when I got a new one for every birthday, mother's day or Christmas. The last one I received was about eight years ago--the same time I realized that honest motherhood rarely looks like those idealized moments.

For that reason, I decided to offer a few suggestions for some more realistic figurines about parenting.

"Bundle of Joy and other stuff"

Once upon a time, blow-outs were something you looked forward to at the salon. In motherhood, it has an entirely different meaning and can make any event more interesting. Perhaps this woman is in a doctor's waiting room, or at the grocery store with a cartfull of food on the conveyor belt. Maybe she is standing in the aisle of an airplane waiting to deplane behind the same passengers who complained about sitting near a baby, yet won't allow the mother and child to go first. The child was fussing noisily right before the blowout, probably because of a tummy ache, which also made her spit up down her dress and into a puddle on the floor. The crying made her milk let down and now the baby is blocking the embarrassing leakage she now shows.

"Dream a Little Dream"

This mother and her husband found a new babysitter, but she is still mourning their former sitter who had to go and either get a part time job, a boyfriend, or become popular so that she was no longer available when a date night opportunity arrives. She decides to make it easier on the new sitter and go out for the late showing (and by late I mean the 9:00 movie). But before the opening credits begin, she has already fallen asleep because the only time she is up past 9:30 anymore is to nurse a baby, calm a nightmare or clean up vomit. The husband doesn't mind, though, because he still gets to imagine himself as Jason Bourne, living an adventurous life that doesn't just include taking the kids to any sit-down restaurant that doesn't start with Red and end with Robin.

"Game of Porcelain Thrones"

This statue commemorates the stage of life that mothers of all girls will sadly miss out on. This sixteen year phase gives us daily reminders of that prayer, "For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted me what I've asked of him." Here, this mother is cleaning up her little miracle's urine from every surface of the bathroom with one hand while imagining herself remodeling a quaint fixer upper in Waco with Chip and Joanna. "This bathroom has character," she tells herself and hopes Magnolia will come out with a line of vintage urinals.

"A Beautiful Mess"

Here, our momma is cleaning up after her little ones, swearing she just cleaned up this room five minutes ago and wondering what that new smell is. Among her findings are:
  • a Gogurt wrapper that is dripping spoiled dairy deep into the carpet fibers
  • A sucker that has grabbed hold of the rug, refusing to budge, with the intensity of a toddler in the Target toy aisle
  • A marker that has dried out but not before bleeding out into a puddle and you curse Crayola for even selling non-washable markers anymore
  • A dirty sock that may or not belong to your child and you wonder when your child even wears socks
  • a $20 fidget spinner that your kid just HAD TO HAVE that now lays in puddle of puppy saliva
  • a used bandaid, leading the mother to turn away to stifle a gag. Seriously, I pick up at least one nasty, dirty bandaid off the floor or the ledge of the bathtub every single day. Bandaid should pay for our next family vacation based on how much money we have spent on their products and how much disgust they have caused me through the years.
Note the craftsmanship of this one and how it includes great detail work, like a rug chosen specifically because of the dirt it can hide, and a houseplant that has been dead for more than a year--a martyr to the cause of parenthood, knowing that we can't all survive.

Bonus: Can you spot the balled up dirty underwear in this picture? Because why must a child learn to properly wipe themselves if they can just hide the evidence? (Don't worry, if you can't--the puppy will find it, or one of the houseguests).

"Sideline Disappointment"

This figure depicts the moment that a proud mother and father realize that their beloved child is actually pretty terrible at sports. In this moment of mourning, the two parents come together to discuss the possibility of an academic scholarship for their child instead. As he hops like a bunny rabbit and growls at his teammates for a reason that no one understands, you just hope he makes it to graduation. This comes with several detailed props inside a Thirty-One large tote with "Game Day" embroidered on it. The props include:
  • a bag of fried shame (fast food)
  • a still unused Megaphone in the team colors, in case your kid ever actually touches the ball
  • a Christian sports parent's guide to not drive people away from Jesus with your temper
  • masking tape to cover the name of your church emblazoned on your shirt or car if you do lose your temper
  • warm capri suns and a pack of off-brand nutrigrain bars that you picked up last minute at the convenience store because you forgot it was your turn for snacks
  • an essential oil kit to ward off bugs, seasonal allergies, disappointment, and that one other parent who drives you crazy
Extra figures may be added to create a Ball Park scene including gawking onlookers and the parent's preschoolers who are bathing in a mud puddle too far away to hear any instructions but not far enough to not beg for money for the ice cream truck that has maliciously approached the field. A limited amount of the little sister figurine is available. This little cutie sits in her sun faded stroller covered by a crust because as the fourth kid, she has never eaten dinner anywhere other than her stroller. In her dirty fists are ketchup suckers (French fries) and a Go-Go- Squeeze that the mother is pretty sure hasn't already been opened before.

"Go Mommy, Go!"

After many years of constant self-sacrifice, this statue depicts the Mother achieving a goal for herself as her family cheers her on. This scene is customizable as the mother could be wearing a graduation gown, leaving her house to reenter the workforce after ten years at home, or accepting an award for her hard work at her job. The father could also be replaced by a grandmother, sister or friend who have been there to cheer her on in her endeavors.

"Driving Away with my Heart"

I once heard that choosing to parent is like choosing to have your heart walking around outside your body. I imagine that the moment your child begins to drive it feels like your heart is now speeding at 80 mph on a dark, curvy road with no headlights. As much as they drive us crazy, the thought of losing our precious ones is too much to bear. The father comforts his wife as he hands the keys over to his son, while the mother pictures a four year old excitedly showing her that he wrote his name for the first time.

Bonus for those who collect Precious Moments:

This last one is called "Long Awkward Pauses." This scene portrayed the mutual discomfort of a mother-son sex talk. The beauty of this one is in the details. The tween has disproportionately long legs, a terrible haircut, and the first signs of acne. He wears an oversized sweatshirt, cargo shorts even in the middle of winter, and an exorbitant amount of Axe body spray. He has placed his fidget spinner back in his pocket after realizing that even that couldn't distract him enough to make this tolerable.

The mother sits opposite the homemade farmhouse style bench with antique white paint of which Joanna Gaines would approve. Fresh beads of sweat are evident on the mother's face. Her eyes exhibit a mixture of sadness (#timepleaseslowdown), humiliation, and resentment because this-is-what-fathers-are-supposed-to-do-and-yet-I--still-had-to-make-the-decision-on-circumscision,-handle-all-the-potty-training,-give-the-sex-talk,-and-define-words-like-masturbation-and-clitoris. As her son reads a book explaining some of the details she couldn't bring herself to share, she wonders if there is a Pandora bracelet charm for this moment because surviving this moment has become her biggest accomplishment to date.

Happy Mother's Day!

Disclaimer #1: I love Willow Tree figurines! They are beautiful and timeless! Go to their website and find a perfect one for you or a loved one when you are done reading!

Disclaimer #2:  I have never claimed to be an artist. I apologize for the assault on your eyes. It just shows how talented Willow Tree craftspeople really are

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