I have an idea for a new reality show like Survivor. It’s called Motherhood. In this show, the contestant must spend one week alone in a home with two children. There can be no school, babysitters, or help of any kind. The contestant must provide food, clothing, baths, sleep, and entertainment twenty-four hours a day for seven days. At the end of the week, whoever’s left standing wins.
Shows like Survivor baffle me. Rather than flying these people to some remote island off Fiji, plunk them in a house with a newborn and three year old. Let them start by feeding the baby two or three times a night and then getting up at 6:30 a.m. to watch Sesame Street.
They can settle tribal disputes where the baby’s crying for a bottle while the toddler’s writing on the wall in magic marker. They can show their resourcefulness when two children need emergency diaper changing at the same time. They can endure physical challenges like carrying both kids across a rainy parking lot because toddler wants to be picked up like baby.
At night the contestant can tuck the oldest into bed at 8:00 p.m. and collapse into a chair to catch some peace. Ah… that feels good. But wait, baby’s crying. Time for another feeding!
I don’t know a lot about Survivor, but I’m willing to bet there aren’t many mothers with young children involved. Why? Because they’d kick butt. By the time most children are three, women have endurance skills that would put any Survivor winner to shame.
I can hear our contestant now. “No problem,” he says. “I’ll take older kids. They’re easier.” The judge thinks this over, but then reminds him, “Remember there’s no school in this contest. Its holiday break time!” Our contestant laughs. “How hard can it be?”
Its 8:00 a.m. Seven year old wants to watch the Pokemon movie again. Ten year old wants to see Ghostbusters 2 for the 75th time. A fight breaks out. They drop to the floor in a death grip that would horrify The Rock. Our contestant must break it up.
It’s lunchtime. Younger child wants macaroni and cheese. Older kid wants a turkey sandwich. Both whine till they get their individual order. As they eat, they ask what they’re doing that afternoon. Older child wants to go for a bike ride. Younger one wants to play in the sandbox at the beach.
Older one accuses younger one of always getting his way. Younger one throws piece of macaroni into older child’s drink. Older one flings a piece of turkey at younger one. Fight breaks out. Food is everywhere. Contestant must mediate.
That afternoon contestant must chase children around endlessly as they run in opposite directions. Dinnertime each wants something different and complicated and whines till they get it.
That night, oldest child wants to watch Fear Factor. Youngest wants to watch Sponge Bob. A fight breaks out. Contestant must mediate.
Its 10:30 p.m. Neither child is tired. Exhausted contestant lies on bed as children jump up and down, laughing, hitting him with pillows. There are six more days to go. Contestant considers trying out for Jeopardy.
Do you think a Survivor contestant could survive a typical Mom’s Day? Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share! Thank you…
(Published in “County Kids Magazine, 2000).