Our Mother’s Day Egg Experiment: A Lesson in Mothering
Mother’s Day is such a special holiday! It’s a day to rejoice in the blessings of our children, and to reflect on our lives as mothers. When it starts to get close to Mother’s Day, I always start getting questions from my husband and the kids about what type of gift I would like. Honestly, the best gift for me is spending time with them….. and maybe to have one day where I don’t have to do the cooking! The best gifts are not things, but people and moments.
As with all moms, there are those times when you feel unappreciated. As my kids get older, I see more and more of those moments when I just want to say, “You have no clue what I do for you! You would not survive without me!” Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I sometimes feel as if they forget all my hard work. Don’t get me wrong. I have really great kids, but kids are kids, and sometimes they are ungrateful. Recently, it dawned on me. Why am I getting frustrated? They don’t forget. They merely have no idea what it means to be a mom, and they probably won’t until they become parents themselves, right? It was at that moment, that my Mother’s Day Experiment began to form in my head, and my evil genius was at work. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give them a little peek into my life. Heehee.
So one day recently, they awoke thinking that day was like any other day, but they were wrong. They were about to be part of the Mother’s Day Egg Experiment. Once everyone had breakfast and was dressed for the day, I brought out the eggs and the fun began!
The Experiment: Each child was assigned an egg to care for during the day. They were to keep their ‘baby’ with them at all times, unless they were able to get a babysitter. They were allotted an hour of nap time to be used at their discretion during their day (I’m not all evil), when they were able to get a break from caring for their ‘baby’. To add a little fun to this experiment, I added a prize. The ‘mother’ with the egg in the best shape at the end of the day got $5. This got them all pretty excited.
Note: While I was tempted not to, I did hard-boil each egg before the experiment. It was more of a safety precaution to protect furniture and flooring, but also to make the game (oops, I mean experiment) more fun. I figured if the eggs were hard-boiled, they would have a better chance of lasting through the day.
To start the experiment, and to make their ‘babies’ more personal, each child decorated their egg with markers. Sometimes I laugh at how ironic life is. As I was lecturing the kids on how to properly take care of their ‘babies’, I went to hand Caitlyn her egg and dropped it right on the table!
The Hypothesis: Every experiment needs a hypothesis, and I had a pretty good idea who would come out on top at the end of the day. Age doesn’t always matter when it comes to mothering instincts, and neither does whether you’re a boy or girl. Many might look at my children (Caitlyn age 11, Kylie age 9, John David age 7, and Luke age 3) and automatically think Caitlyn would win. But I know my children very well, and I was pretty sure I had the line up figured out. My hypothesis was that Kylie would have the best cared for egg, while Luke and Caitlyn would battle it out for second and third place. I love my son, but I knew from the start that John David’s egg wouldn’t make it far…. and I was right!
Observations: Right after ‘the speech’, John David asked if he could go outside to play. I said,”Sure, as long as you find someone to babysit your egg or take it with you.” “Grandma!” he yelled, and runs off to find my mother-in-law. Grandma must have been busy, because not ten minutes later, John David came running to me upset and talking a mile a minute. It was hysterical! Apparently, he had set the egg on the counter to grab something. “I just turned my head for a second, and it just rolled off the counter!” he says. I couldn’t help but laugh! It was quite cracked, but still holding together well, so I told him to be careful, and keep going.
Right away the kids came up with some pretty creative ways to safely carry their ‘babies’ around with them. I’m not sure which one had the idea, but they all got plastic Easter eggs to place their real eggs inside. I almost banned this procedure, but figured it was a creative baby carrier, so I let it go. Caitlyn opted to carry her egg safe inside a couple socks and her winter hat. She carried it around much like a purse.
Kylie did something similar and even rubber-banded her hat to the front of her bike in a makeshift baby seat so she could go riding.
Luke had quite the safety system going that involved paper towels, plastic eggs, and his plush Easter basket.
The kids did pretty good that morning, but as we left to run errands, they were appalled that I was making them take their eggs with. “Just because you have stuff to do, doesn’t mean you can just take a break from watching your ‘babies’,” I informed them. So, off to the store we went, eggs in tow. The rest of the day went fairly well, with only a few minor issues. Caitlyn’s cracked a bit when she tried to put a diaper on it, and Luke tried to hug his egg a little to tightly. Luke was very nurturing to his egg, but I do think that was mostly due to the fact that he was a bit confused about the experiment. He was convinced that his egg was about to hatch at any moment. And in fact when it did crack a little, he started to remove some of the shell to ‘help’ the baby bird out. It ended up being almost impossible to convince him that there wasn’t a baby bird inside his egg! Kylie’s egg had absolutely no cracks at all, until about an hour before time to check eggs at the end of the day, when she accidentally dropped it.
The Results: Just as I predicted, Kylie ended up with the less battered egg, and I appreciated the fact that she kept her egg without cracks the longest. She also showed great care in placing bandages and tape over the cracks.
After the experiment, I sat the kids down and talked about what they thought it was like to be a mom. I got some great feedback! John David said being a mom was lots of work, and very hard. Caitlyn said she thought it was hard to remember everything, like making sure it was safe, and remembering where it was and that it was fragile. While this wasn’t really even close to what being a mother is actually like, I thought it was a good eye-opener for the kids. Plus, it was hilarious to watch! We all had fun, and I think they appreciated the reminder that I love them and work hard at keeping them happy and safe. I think that is enough of a Mother’s Day gift for me!
tags: Mother's Day