When I peed on a stick – 15 sticks – and found out that I had hit a home run in the interview process and was officially hired into the crazy business of motherhood, I was ecstatic.  I lived the next 9 months making plans, decorating a nursery, gaining “baby” weight that still sticks to my ass like Sharpie marks on my comforter and driving my husband up the wall with excuses to get out of sex.  It was the best job ever.  And, apparently, I was so good at it that God blessed me by hiring me two more times for the same job.  He’s a great boss…  really down to Earth.

I happily accepted my paychecks of stretch marks, hemorrhoids and really, really fat feet.  I worked hard and tried to earn the respect of my fellow preggos.  I perfected my insomnia habit, polished off my breasts for lactating and got back to the basic skill of enjoying sugar as a main food group.

Yes – the glory days. 

But after the cute, squishy, soft little darlings learned to walk and talk, I realized that the Man upstairs hired me as a test case. Because now I have mandatory evaluations.  And everyone from my Priest to my parents to the lady shopping alone – also known as the proud owner of a new key mark on her driver’s side door – feels the need to comment on how I am handling my three kids.  While I have to pee. And am late to a Doctor’s appointment.  And it is raining outside.  I don’t really care that Sarah bit Katie’s hand in the cart.  I teach them that so that they can do it to your kid in school! 

Yes, everyone seems to have an opinion.  Why everyone can’t just hold a beer for my to run by, grab, take a swig of, pour over my head and keep running, I don’t know.  I should start a trend.

So, for fear of a lifetime of hangovers and anti- depressants, the successes of my children have suddenly become important to me.  Because at the ripe old ages of 3, 2 and 11 months, learning about competition, stress and how to judge others totally trumps the ABC’s.  In fact, instead of counting, I am teaching them the art of biting their nails, twisting their hair until it breaks and gum smacking.  All valuable in helping to deal with being raised incorrectly, you see. 

So like any good employee, and to track my progress as a mother other’s can be proud of, I created a book – a book of brags, shall we say.  It has successes and failures even though the failure pages stick together.  Really hard to show people but that’s ok.  I work hard on it though and carry it everywhere-  lest I need to smack a person on the back of the head for sharing their thoughts with me.  The pages are laminated for future reference and it is really quite nice.

I thought, because, well, I see a chance to brag, I would share a few pages of it with you. 

Sarah has a serious issue identifying her emotions on a daily basis.  She whines more than republicans do about Obama .  But the girl knows her shapes. She can tell you what a hexagon, octagon and trapezoid is without batting a pretty brown eye.  And for two, I hear, that’s pretty cool.  I readily rent her out to parties so that she can impress other parents with her ability to show me off.  This little skill is on laminated page two.

Katie, being the first of my strong willed children, and thus the most schooled at it can pitch a fit that would make a pop singing diva bow down with respect.   But, after many years of intensive therapy – threats – the girl can clean a room.  In fact, she has cleaned her room, properly identifying which basket gets which type of toys 6 days in a row now.  Count them – one, two, three, four, five, six.  In fact, her cleaning habit has become something that she enjoys sharing and will clean Sarah and Megan’s rooms too.  The fact that there is an oreo cookie at the end of the carpet revealing, sorting tunnel only makes the cream that much sweeter.  This is laminated page number three.

Megan does not have any personality disorders for me to have to explain yet.  I see some developing and am quickly learning to ignore them as any good mother would.  She’s laminated page four simply for being cute and well, having four teeth. 

Laminated page number one is reserved for me.  Because after all of the criticisms, opinions, raised eyebrows, references to articles on “how do do it right”, and having to accept the “loving advice” from family and the stupid comments from strangers, I actually still take them around other people. 

And that takes laminated balls.