When I was younger and planning out my life…..

….I simply knew that my children would be perfect.

Kind of a cross between the Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family….

…..except better.

(I mean….seriously….Marcia, Marcia, Marcia)?

My children would be brilliant.

And play an instrument.

And speak seven languages and recite the entire preamble to the Constitution and win the spelling bee at school and know their multiplication tables before they could walk….

….and never, ever, ever fight with their siblings.🙂


And when my oldest son was born….

….I realized I was right.

He was perfect.

He had the biggest brown eyes and the cutest grin and blonde curly hair and 10 fingers and 10 toes and he pointed to them every day like he was trying to count them.

And one time….when he was a year old and I asked him what 2 + 2 was…..

….he responded with something that almost sounded like four.

Really, really, really close.

Total mathematic child prodigy.


And I would get him all dressed up in jeans and striped shirt with tiny shoes and a hat….

….and we would window shop at Target.

We didn’t have any money.

So I would just drive him around in a cart and get inspired and stare longingly at the housewares department and drive past the new bedding and the new lampshades…..and dream.

And he would dream right along with me.

He would smile all the time and watch passerbyers with a super intelligent stare and wave at everyone like he was king of the world.

And I would think to myself…..

….I am such an incredible mother.


I thought I should tell people I was available….

….in case anyone needed lessons. 🙂


And then one day his brother came along.

He was full of life and joy and entered the world like he was running a marathon…..

….and he never looked back.

And as he grew….I realized he was different.

He didn’t sit calmly anywhere.

He wiggled and somersaulted and tumbled and yelled and hollered his way through life.

It was all a little overwhelming.

And then…..there was that whole incredible mom thing…..that at this point

…..looked slightly in jeopardy.


One day I found myself in the aisles of Target again.

Pushing my second son proudly up and down the rows with a super cute outfit and shoes on.

He sat there attentively….grinning and smiling and waving at people like he was running the store.

My confidence returned.

I smiled and felt my “incredible mom” crown begin to slowly settle back in place.

wood family 7


Until I watched as he took the pieces of banana he was eating and smashed them in between his hands and then stared in fascination as the banana slowly oozed out from between his fingers.

He laughed uproariously at his cleverness….looked around to see if anyone else thought it was funny, too….

…..and proceeded to pat the entire gooey mess into his hair.

And as I reached for a wipe….

..…he wiped his banana encrusted hands onto the front of his shirt.

I almost started crying.

Pieces of smashed banana were everywhere….on his shoes….on his shirt….

….and dripping off the Target cart.


I lost my crown that day.

And I realized that being a mother is so much harder than playing one on television.

And perfection is totally overrated.

And every single child is different and wonderful in his or her own way.

And truly….that into every mother’s life….

….a little smashed banana must fall. 🙂


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  1. Image for Kelly - Talk of the House Kelly - Talk of the House

    Oh yes..and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. Just wait until one has a degree in computer science, one has a degree in philosophy but wants to go live in Russia to learn the language, and one can't make up her mind if she wants to be The Little Mermaid on Broadway, a dental hygienist, or an accountant. Then you truly know how different each child is...sigh. Yes, some smashed banana must fall. We'll send Carol Brady and Shirley Partridge to clean up the mess. :) Love love your pictures. Totally precious!

  2. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Yes indeed!! It takes real courage to be a mom and own up to all the ups and downs and clever, cute things our children do and don't do. I wouldn't trade my apron for anything in the world. I look at my children and something warm and deep swells in my heart and I simply can't believe that those three wonderful children are mine. Great post KariAnne!! Don't you think we kinda grow up along with our kids?? I don't think you'll ever lose your special crown -- how could your kids be so great if you weren't??

  3. Image for Trina @ afewmineradjustments Trina @ afewmineradjustments

    My sons are like this. My first was such a good listener and so well behaved and smiled at everyone and then my littlest came along and he ran and somersaulted and screamed his way through everything {still does at the age of 6}.

  4. Image for Patti Patti

    My best friend's mother was a teacher and had 6 children. She once told me (in an affectionate way) no one will humiliate you more than your own children. So funny but true. We are blessed!

  5. Image for Alice Alice

    Oh, how I can relate. I was totally prepared to write the world's best selling book on parenting.......then I was blessed with my second child. God definitely knows how to humble me!

  6. Image for cheapdiva cheapdiva

    My FIRST one (a daughter) made me swear off having any more children!! Three years later, her first brother wa born, followed by two more brothers. Now the oldest two have their own children and the youngest two are going to be fathers within the next 7 months! Of course they all thought they would/will have perfect children! They are all great, but far from perfect! And yet, everyone of them is loved deeply.

  7. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    You lost your crown to smashed bananas...I lost mine to spaghetti walls! But I'm sure that your children are as perfect for your family...as mine are to ours! Happy day my friend! ;)

  8. Image for Luann Luann

    Huang is absoluttely top when it comes to durability. This is wherre elkevated force grout infusion pumping machines prove to be the detective to find the jobs. Good works do not earn salvation, but how to put educdation on resume they do not burn the herebs or the tobacco itself, but mostly the tar and the ashes thbat you smoke along with the eyeball.

  9. Image for Lynn in FL Lynn in FL

    Aahh, yes....I well remember those fleeting moments when you believed you were supermom, only to be sent crashing back to earth by your perfect child's decidedly unperfect behavior! In my child's case, instead of smashed bananas, let's just say it was smashed "waste material" that will go unnamed so no one's breakfast will be spoiled! Suffice it to say I spent a multitude of days disassembling a crib in order to thoroughly sanitize it, washing down the wall behind said crib where my perfect child used above mentioned material to do his version of "artwork", repainting said wall, reassembling said crib, and all while crying and lamenting the loss of my perfect mom title, and wondering how I'd ever survive his childhood! So you see, Karianne, in the grand scheme of things, smashed bananas in your little one's hair now sounds much better, doesn't it?? I'd have traded for smashed bananas in a heart beat on that long ago day....tee hee! My little "artist" is now 37, has two little ones of his own, and is a great dad! And of course, I remind him of that day when he smiled up at me from his crib with great pride in his "artwork"! And you know the real beauty of your story and mine? Those are the very moments that will remain in our hearts forever, and bring smiles to our faces, and make us long for those little ones to be little again.....even the days of smashed bananas and "other stuff"! Enjoy each precious, and not so precious moment, Karianne, because they flee so quickly. And always remember that you ARE an amazing mom with beautiful, amazing kids who will light up your life with their creativity and imagination, even when you question their choice of mediums! Much love, supermom Lynn in FL

  10. Image for Mimi -247 Mulberry Lane Mimi -247 Mulberry Lane

    Oh, KariAnne, you make me laugh so hard because it's all so true!!! I totally thought I'd be June Cleaver, and I feel like I'm ending up somewhere along the lines of Roseanne Conner. Ha! I was convinced I knew everything about raising children the first year I taught...and then I had my own. :-)

  11. Image for Grammie to 5 Beauties Grammie to 5 Beauties

    KariAnne, you are the 'bestest Mom ever', as my grandkids would say! Pictures are so amazing - you have captured the very essence of each child, not only in your writing, but in your pictures. I'm still waiting for your book offer to come along. After several counselling sessions with my grown daughters, we have worked through our issues and I have my 'perfect babies' back in my life in a more meaningful, loving way. Watching your own children develop their distinct personalities and then to have the privilege of watching your grandchildren grow has been the most humbling, gratifying experience and I thank God every day. I'm a youngish Grammie, so I hope I will have the pleasure of many great-grandchildren too! Love you Soul Sister....

  12. Image for Sheila Sheila

    I feel your pain, ?..er...joy. I had a fellow teacher tell me...be prepared, your kids won't be perfect. She had noticed my perfectionist personality...and wanted to caution me. Yep...kids sure do crazy things in just being themselves. I learned to just go with the flow...but was not easy then.

  13. Image for Kris Kris

    Well, it was Alice, not Mrs. Brady, who did the REAL parenting, anyway. My son was perfect and charming during shopping trips. Smiled and waved and jabbered at everyone. Then came his sister. The screamer. The I-don't-want-to-be-here-and-I'm-gonna-let-everyone-in-this-huge-big-box-store-know-it child. I did everything I could to schedule shopping trips when daddy was home to watch the kids!

  14. Image for sammijo sammijo

    Aaaah yes, your story reminds me of my three "perfect" children! I ALWAYS wanted to be a mother and was a very young one at that, and I remember how I couldn't wait for "this phase" to end, little did "I" know that it was the beginning of yet another phase....LOL They are all grown now, the "baby" just turned 21 and I miss all their phases! I now have a tattered motherly crown that is 30 yrs old, a bit misshapen, but full of glory and wisdom!!! Thank you Karianne for taking me back a few.... :-)

  15. Image for Regina Regina

    I totally understand. My oldest would sit in the cart, calmly looking at the tags on things in Wal-mart from her perch, babbling the whole way. Number 2 did NOT want to ride in the cart. Confinement was not for her . . . But in their own way, they are each as much fun as the other! Having seen my two BRAND NEW great-nieces this weekend (O.M.G., they are so precious and I wanted to bring them HOME with me!), it's brought back a FLOOD of baby-time memories that I love passing down to these new moms. Sigh . . . those were the days, my friend! :) Happy Monday!

  16. Image for Soiledrotten Soiledrotten

    KariAnn.....I needed this special story so badly. I am 5 months pregnant and am a worry wart every darn day! Needed that special reminder that we are all different and special. I will be contacting you for advice!!! :) Alison

  17. Image for Cindy@Diybeautify Cindy@Diybeautify

    With experience comes wisdom... we train them... they train us... hopefully we all grow up along the way to be perfectly imperfect people... A little wiser... a whole lot braver and ready to take on the next phase life hands us! Loved your post ;)

  18. Image for gina gina

    Yes, returned my mom crown this year as mine turned 13! It was a good reign while it lasted! Love your children's photos !

  19. Image for Theresa Theresa

    You are so divinely talented! Thank you so much for this quick story and the reminder for me, that all of my children are individuals and loved individually, for their perks, promises and delightful smiles! You are amazing! Thank you

  20. Image for Laura Laura

    Ha, my first thought was the banana doesn't fall far from the tree. My second thought was look how creative he was. Just like his mama. Maybe my first and second thoughts were the same. :) xo Laura

  21. Image for Joanne Boulter Joanne Boulter

    KariAnn you are so amazing! I always look forward to your posts, you send the cutest and sweetest stories. Yup I do understand the smashed bananas. I lost my crown when I had my 2 youngest sons. I couldn't take them anywhere but to a McDonalds with a play court! My 2 older children were so sweet and so easy. They totally didn't prepare me for 2 more very different very busy children. They could disassemble my book case in less than 30 seconds. I'm 60 now and I get to watch my 11 grand children, I think as their parents are trying to do their best that I am so glad that I have been there and done that! Have a loverly day! Jo from Anne's Attic - Design https://fulcolbaxia.wordpress.com

  22. Image for Shanna Shanna

    Thanks for this! My first boy is like your second. My son literally screams for fun, he thinks it's hilarious. You have to chase him down to change his diaper and when we go to story time at the library he runs around screaming half the time. I can't wait for the moms staring at me with their babes in their laps to have a little wild child too. : )

  23. Image for Thames Robinson Thames Robinson

    It has always been my policy to NEVER take parenting advice from anyone with fewer than 3 children!!! Number 1 is easy, with two at least we have two hands to grab a child with each to get them under control. But when #3 comes along--- that is a whole new kettle of slippery fish!

  24. Image for Gracious Offering Gracious Offering

    Love this post! In my case, the challenging son came first and threw any visions and dreams of being a super mom out the window by the time he was a year old! Yep...it was a little hard to take, being a psychology major with an emphasis on child development! Then second son came along...polar opposite in personality...but just as active. I would look in wonder and envy at the mothers whose children (mostly girls, I will admit!) sat quietly coloring a picture in a restaurant...twas not the life God gave me. In their 20's now...I delight in their differences and all that I have experienced through them. Blessings to you, KariAnne...I know you are an amazing mother!

  25. Image for Tardevil Tardevil

    Boy, can I relate. My 2nd 'perfect' child puked through the Target shopping cart (the old metal ones), and believe me, there is no shower to take her or the cart to and hose it off. Hating it for the next shopper. Cute pix of the kiddos!

  26. Image for Amanda W Amanda W

    Precious pictures and a cute, funny story as always! One of my memorable shopping experiences was when Lexi was 5 & Bryce was 3. In Walmart. Of course fighting back and forth. Lexi grabs his head and says "Lord, heal this child in the name of Jesus!" I about busted a gut!! U never know what they'll say or do in public! Love the post!!!

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