I've been Jane's primary caregiver for five months now. I can tell you what each of her distinct squeals and yelps mean. I can tell when she's hungry and even when she needs to pee. But I really FELT like a mom the day I found a toy under the seat of my car.
Water bottles, bicycle chain lube, stray packet of energy gel... these are things I find under the seat of my car. Not toys. Especially not little stuffed pigs that make a noise when you shake them. The metamorphosis had occurred. I had found a toy AND a stray packet of energy gel. Cool.
Then a few weeks later, I went to bed one evening after Jane and I spent a lazy morning playing in our jammies. I rolled over to get comfortable and discovered something in my bed that was not my bed nor the cat. There was a toy in my bed. Socks I'm used to finding, but this was a first. Wow. This is really different, but kinda cool. A toy in my bed and a little reminder of our mommy-daughter fun that morning. I really knew I was a mom then.
But nothing prepared me for the realization that my life had changed forever when I returned from changing Jane in the restaurant restroom to the table where my mother and I were enjoying lunch. Just as my fork was lifted to my lips, I glanced down to find a little yellow poop smudge on my T-shirt. I knew I was REALLY a mom when I just sighed and kept on eating.
Yep. I'm a mom.