Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Timing Giants

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For the time being:

I can't believe she said it. Yes, she was coming down from a dose of
ibuprofen and clearly exhausted.
Running a fever with a plugged-up nose does things to people, even
adults, and she's only four.

3:00:01 pm

She is sobbing, almost uncontrollably, on the rug in front of me. I am
feeling annoyed. I'm locked-down holding her also-sick, 18-month-old
brother. He just fell asleep. I tell her to quiet down, or go somewhere
else. She walks away, and then out of my sight she says, "I hate you!"
She then tries it out a couple more times in different sentences, "I
hate my mom," "I hate her."
Her voice disappears down the hallway. She didn't see my eyes shift,
once left then right, contemplating her nerve.

3:00:25 pm

I say nothing.

It is quiet.

At one time:

No one said that word in our house until now, unless it was about
cruddy fingernails, cold toes in your face, or dried bits of food
stuck on the inside of your cup.

3:00:35 pm

She's back.

She's asking me to hook up the Wii. I say, "You just told me you hate
me." Her face retracts, retorts, contracts, compacts. She manages to
say, "But I don't hate you--I love you! If I hated you-- you would hate
me!"

3:00:55 pm

She's crying on the ground.

3:01:00 pm

I say flatly, "No, I'd still love you."

3:02:00 pm

She starts to drift off in the afternoon air, rolling around slightly
to the left, to the right.

3:05:01 pm

She lays herself half sitting-up on the couch next to me sucking on an
unopened soda pop. She asks me if giants are real, because her body feels
like giants are real. And, is there a time machine that makes you get
tiny.

3:05:50 pm

I say simply "no," but with an uncertain tone.

Ahead of time:

What I do know: She is real. She is only getting bigger with time. And,
she doesn't hate me.


Erika Pearson is an emerging poet who lives in Wisconsin with her husband and five young children. Her poetry has appeared online at Eighty Percent Magazine and is forthcoming in Long Story Short.


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This is so so Great! Beautifully written And so amazing! You are so talented:)
As the mother of 5 grown children, Erika captures the moments we all have or have had with children. Her tone is true for both Moms and kids. Keep writing Erika!!!
I like this...as a mother of 2 boys, one 14 months and the other 3, I feel I am slowly but surely mastering the art of using my voice and nothing else to interact with my oldest. This piece beautifully captures the intricacies (sp?) of mothering both children at the same time, while being physically restrained by one. Just shows us, we are always "on duty", hehe!
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