I make hundreds of mommy decisions every day. Some are certainly more pressing or consequential than others. Many of them consist of a some sort of internal debate. Usually the debate is short. Sometimes it goes on for days.
If there was a live feed of one of these debates going through my mind throughout the day it might read something like this:
"Can he finish his breakfast sitting in a dirty diaper? Would you want to finish you breakfast sitting in a dirty diaper? Well, I wouldn't want to finish my breakfast sitting in any diaper, so maybe the analogy doesn't fit. If he finishes his breakfast sitting in a dirty diaper will he get a diaper rash? Will it be a bad one? Will it be painful? Or will it be the kind that only lasts through the afternoon? Would you want to tell anyone he finished his breakfast sitting in a dirty diaper? Is anyone ever going to know he finished his breakfast sitting in a dirty diaper?"
Most moms will be familiar with inner debate on the necessity of a bath:
"The kids aren't dirty, they're not getting baths tonight. I'm tired, I don't feel like kneeling at the tub, I don't feel like getting wet, and they really aren't that dirty. No baths. Definitely no baths. But they really do enjoy the bath. They love filling the cups up with water and trying to drink out of them. No, they aren't dirty and I am sooooo tired. It's been such a long day already. No, no baths. But the routine... they eat dinner, take baths, put on jammies, have a bottle, watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, read Goodnight Moon and Moo Ba La La La and go to bed. If I skip part of the routine will they be thrown off? Will the rest of the routine not go well? And I guess maybe they are a little dirty. Is that yogurt in his hair? Oh, and they played outside a little bit. Are they itchy from the grass? I bet I could wipe them down with baby wipes and that would take care of it. What about the yogurt? Do you think anyone will notice it tomorrow?"
So the debate du jour?
"Grapes. Choking hazard or delicious juicy healthy snack. Do I cut them in half? Sure, that's not so hard. Do I peel them? Now that's just ridiculous! So yes to grapes, halved but not peeled. Done. Decided. But maybe I should do some internet research first. Yes, I'll post the grape question on a couple of mom message boards and see what they say. And I'll look on Ask Dr. Sears.com and see what he says. And then maybe... wait a second! This is grapes we're talking about. Just sit the kids in the high chairs, cut some grapes in half, give them one at a time, and see what happens. Yeah, this whole thing isn't rocket science. It's grapes. Just do it. But maybe I should call a couple of mom friends and see what they say. When did they feed their kids grapes? Yeah, that's what I'll do. Call on the sisterhood. If it takes a village, than poll the villagers. Excellent. No, ridiculous. Really, it grapes. Just grapes. No villagers, no message boards, just me and my kids and some grapes. Cut in half of course."