Monday, October 8, 2012

Mommy Mondays: a mothering ritual

Do you have a special mothering ritual you do with your kids? I don't mean a mom-child date or activity - even if it's a motherly duty like doing the grocery or watering the plants together. I mean a grooming, babycare ritual that you still do for them even though they're no longer babies.

Mine is ear-cleaning. Maybe because all the other rituals (bathing, hair-combing, dressing them up or even cutting their nails) are inevitably outgrown since they eventually learn to do these themselves. Sure, they can use a cottonbud by themselves, but reeeally cleaning - checking for earwax - is something they can never do on their own. Maybe that's why, every now and then, I still do this for 15-year-old Isabella and 7-year-old Noah.

And for some reason, I feel a special connection with them during this ritual. The exact same feeling of utmost trust, complete dependence and motherly love I felt when my mom used to clean my ears. I have this fear that if someone pokes deep enough, I could go deaf. So I could only trust my mom to go poking in my ear. I remember, as a young teen, feeling secure and cared for when my mom would clean my ear. Am I weirding you out? But I think that ritual allowed me to feel the mothering I felt as a baby, even in my gradeschool years. And there was something so comforting, so cocooning about that.

So I guess all those feelings come back to me when I clean my kids' ears. But this time, the tables are turned and they can trust me and feel secure that I will do it ever so gently, ever so carefully, in a way only their mother can.

That fear... of poking too deep... Used to rob me of the loving joy of this special ritual of ours. That is until I discovered these tweezers in True Value.

They come with a light so you see clearly. The thin end (before it gets too stout to fit inside the ear) is short enough to keep me from going in too deep. It isn't the usual scoop-like ear-cleaner so I don't end up hurting them by scraping the sides of their ear canals.

Of course, it's gross when you pull out the earwax. But that's less disgusting than being peed on during diaper-changing when they were just months old. Or washing their bums after they yell "Mommy, I'm done!" after sitting in the toilet for minutes. Maybe this adds to the motherly badge of the ritual. After all, before we became mothers, we wouldn't have thought we would voluntarily clean up someone else's poop, spit-up or earwax, right?
Yes, cleaning my kids' ears is my special mothering ritual. It gives me that fuzzy feeling of... home.

What about you? Do you have a special mothering ritual of your own? 

Photo from heritage.
Click here for the maiden post of this new Mommy Mondays series.

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