Saturday, May 12, 2007

Momory Lane

It’s Mother’s Day. I’m going to write about my favorite works-in-progress.

I’m fortunate. I’m a mother to four wonderful people. Don’t get me wrong; they’re not perfect. Somehow they feel obligated now to tell me stuff they did growing up I never knew then and wish I still didn’t. But I thought I’d share with you some of the things that stick out in my mind about raising the little devils.

When my son was two, he got up and escaped outside through a tear in the screened porch. I woke up, panicked when I couldn’t find him. I looked outside and my heart stopped. There he stood in the garden in his droopy diaper, covered in blood. No, wait. It was the juice of the cherry tomatoes he was eating for his breakfast. He also rode his Big Wheel into a swimming pool before he could swim. Is it any wonder I have to color my hair?

When my oldest daughter was almost three, she was quite bossy and cranky. I bought her an Oscar the Grouch costume for Halloween. She didn’t realize I was secretly making fun of her. Sorry, honey.

When my middle girl was about three, the exterior of our house was getting painted. She stood at the window and recognized one of the painters. “Harry, you little bastard,” she said. We think she meant rascal.

The baby of the family suffered terribly at the hands of her siblings. They cut her hair (Vidal Sassoon might say asymmetrical but I’d say crooked) and drew a mustache on her face with permanent marker while she took her nap. Daughter #2 carved Daughter #3’s initial into a piano stool before Daughter #3 could even write. My son recruited her for “The Cool Crew” and made her torment her sisters, whom he named “The Crusty Dorks.” But she turned out okay (see January 29th’s blog post).

Permanent markers were ever a problem. My son once wrote “Girls are stopid. So is Daughter #1” on a wall. I can’t recall whether I was more upset about the graffiti or the misspelling.

My son and his family live in Florida, but the girls are still handy. A few years ago they all came home, hid in the tiny downstairs bathroom shower stall and jumped out to surprise me for Mother’s Day. The surprise was that they could all fit in it (two of them are 5’9” and the other is 5’7”) and that I didn’t drop dead from the shock (all 5’4 ½” of me).

So, Happy Mother’s Day to me and the rest of you. May you treasure your children and your mothers and your memories as I treasure mine.

‘Fess up. How naughty were you when you were a kid?

Children in romance novels: charming or upchuckable?

"The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until the children are in bed."~~Author Unknown.~~

Daughter #2, Valedictorian Daughter #3, Son #1 and Only, Daughter # 1, June 2001


Elyssa Papa said...

Maggie, you have a lovely family and you were so right - your son looks so like that cover model on WHITE LIES by JAK.

Oh, I was a good girl where it counted in school, etc. But I had a temper. My parents tell two stories of my bad behavior:

When I was two and my mom was pushing me in the stroller in the mall, a woman who knew my mom's mom came up to look at the cute little girl. I pulled my hair out at the sides and screamed when she did so; my mom was horrified. And at my grandmother's wake seven years ago, the woman wanted to see the girl who made such a fuss.

Another story is that whenever my mom tried to feed me milk in a bottle, she would put it on my tray only to have it go sailing across the room two seconds later.

Maggie, Happy Mother's Day! Your kids sound absolutely fantastic; hopefully, no shower surprises this year! And Happy Mother's Day to everyone else out there, too!

Gillian Layne said...

Hi Maggie!

My own girls (3 of em) drive me nuts, bless em, and definitely give me food for thought concerning every heroine I write.

I love children in most novels. When they're in trouble, its the best. Like in To Sir Phillip with love or the one where the governess was tormented by the kids, my favorite bride, I think. (Ah, to be young and have a memory!)

Maggie, I love seeing you on the different blogs--I think we're always one comment away from each other :)

lacey kaye said...

Hilarious! I really enjoyed your walk down memory lane.

Beverley Kendall said...

Happy Mother's Day Maggie! I have only one child. A wonderful, mischievous, ACTIVE, little boy who is 4.

I don't think I was naughty at all. :) My parents did tell me I was talkative and a bit of an actress but nothing truly horrible.
Now my brother after me...well that's a whole other story.

Terri Osburn said...

Great looking kids, Maggie. There are four siblings in my family and if we were ever in a picture together, it would look nothing like that one. We aren't that good looking to start with. And we don't like each other enough to stand that close. LOL!

My older sister tormented me. She cut my hair when I was 3 and she was 6. She resented me and to this day still makes the comment that my parents should have stopped with her and avoided having the rest of us.

But one day I got bigger than her and I got even. I beat the crap out of her for many years. *g*

Thanks for sharing and Happy Mother's Day everyone! My daughter is only 7 and I don't want to think about the gray hair in my future.

Tessa Dare said...

Maggie, you have such a beautiful family! Is it really twisted that I'm now crushing on not one, but two Mr. Robinsons?

** TMI, Tessa. Shush. **

I like kids in romance novels - I mean, children are the end product of all that romance, after all. Olivia and Peregrine steal the show in Lord Perfect.

My daughter did something mildly naughty a few months ago, when she was still two. I said, "Gwen, that was naughty," but she could tell I was trying very hard not to laugh. She said, "It's funny!" I said, "No, it's naughty." She said, "It's funny and naughty."

Then she got this big "a-ha!" grin and declared, "It's funnaughty!"

Motherhood requires a whole new dictionary.

Erica Ridley said...

“Harry, you little bastard,”


I was a hellion... shudder to think I might have a little me some day to contend with! =)

Carey Baldwin said...

I love kids in romance novels. Eloisa in particular does a great job with them. Come to think of it, I just love kids period. Great blog! Happy mother's day, Mag!

Lindsey said...

Aw, great pic, Maggie - you have such a lovely family! And I love the stories of their childhood mischief. My brother & sister did a lot of stuff like that - I, on the other hand, was a little angel!

Tessa, that story is too cute - sounds like she's inherited her mother's knack for wordplay! ;)

island girl said...


What a beautiful family.

I'm one day late -- but Mother's Day should really be celebrated everyday.

My mom once told me that she thought that as a child, I talked to dead people. *shrugging shoulders* The weird thing is that my siblings agree. I don't know if it's a conspiracy but com'n -- talk to dead people? Sheez!

And "nap time" is what keeps my sanity. And heavens nod to me -- that all is well. Atleast, while they're sleeping.


santasmbslt said...

Great family, Maggie! Happy Belated Mother's Day to you and everyone else here!

Ericka Scott said...

Your kids are gorgeous and sound like a tear!

Glad you enjoyed their childhood. I'm watching my youngest suck up water off his water table and then spit it at his brother. . .yuck, yuck, yuck.

Plus we're in the midst of potty training him. . .bet you don't miss THOSE days!

primrose said...

your family is so attractive! especially the blonde on the left, really, what a knockout! you ought to get her discovered! i love reading your posts, isn't nostaligia fun?

irisheyes said...

Awesome family, Maggie! and great stories. Happy Mother's Day to one and all!

I also love kids in books. I started a thread at EB/JQ's BB in the BBer's Recommends post regarding some of my favorites and it's nowhere near complete. I think kids add such a great dimension to a story. If the author uses them properly they can be a really great tool to showcase different characteristics of the H/H we wouldn't be privvy to otherwise.

RevMelinda said...

Hi Maggie!

Your kids are beautiful! It must be such a pleasure to look at them and think "I did that" (on a good day, LOL).

When my youngest was a baby, like ages 1-2 or so, she called me "mama" AND she also called my husband "mama." It was so funny! She would reach up those little arms to him and say "Mama! Mama!" Onlookers would always stare, but my feminist soul was always kind of proud that she was so egalitarian! It was almost a sad day when she learned to call him "Daddy."

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Thanks, everybody. They are a handsome bunch, and nice too! They have a Mendelian thing going on, though, which once prompted a complete stranger to ask me if they all had the same father! The oldest and the youngest have nearly black hair/hazel eyes, one's auburn-haired w/brown eyes, and one's a blue-eyed blond. Long live recessive genes.

Lenora Bell said...

Hi Maggie, sorry I'm so late on this. I was traveling around China with my parents. I took my mother to an exhibit of ancient Chinese folk instruments for mother's day (she's a musician).

Your kids are gorgeous! I'm the eldest of four, so I was the one who did the tormenting. My sister is always coming up with new and ever more embarassing stories about the cruel things I did to her. She swears that once I told her she smelled like a taco. It scarred her for life, and gave her a deodorant obsession. Poor girl.