I’m about to close the book on my first decade of parenting. Someone should tell my children that this is not my first rodeo.
It’s our typical routine in the morning, a sleepy voice starts calling to me “Mom, are we going to have breakfast?” For the record, I have not yet failed to provide breakfast for any of my children. Now, just because you don’t eat oatmeal, or believe it is better suited on the ceiling, doesn’t mean I failed to provide you breakfast. And without fail, as the breakfast dishes are cleared away I am asked “What’s for lunch?” You know, because that’s the only thing worth living for.
Earlier today Mac came and asked me “Mommy can I have some toast?” And I said “sure” and he started crying saying “But Baba’s having some!” “I know, and you can too.” Cease tears. “Oh ok.” Why is it that the default assumption is that mom is mean and totally not fair? Or that mom will forget to feed you?
As Gestating Cinco continues her antics for the doctor, I have to leave for numerous appointments. This always, and without fail, leads to the panicked question from Baba “Who’s going to watch us?” It’s not that she has persons she doesn’t want caring for her; it’s that she’s convinced that I’m going to put her in charge of the younger hooligans. I have yet to do that, and I wouldn’t start on a Monday morning, but that seems to be of no consolation.
Baba’s certitude that I was indeed flying blind started on the drive home from the hospital with Baby in tow. As her father turned the corner onto our street, she yelled out “Careful!” and I turned to see her holding onto her sister’s car seat with her chubby little hand. A couple of days later, as I headed out to a postpartum appointment, flying solo I might add, Baba threw a massive meltdown. She thrashed and screamed all the way to the car. And as strapped her into her car seat. I returned the car with Baby in hand, and the meltdown ceased. Baba hyperventilated to me “I thought you forgot the Baby.” Let the record show, in the ten years I’ve parented, I have yet to forget a child anywhere.
Although, I have almost left Costco with an extra child before. I admit to switching on the autopilot. If there are enough small little heads, hitting me in at the hip, I just assume they are mine. Had this small child actually come home with me, rest assured she would be fed three times a day.
It’s not just a daughter thing, doubting your parents’ ability to care for the family. Mac spent X-Man’s first weeks of life with an unending chain of concerns “Mom X-Man’s alone! Mom change X-Man’s diaper. Mom, X-Man might cry soon. Mom, X-Man doesn't like his shirt.” Who needs CPS?
I’ve spent the better part of a decade not starving my children, not favoring one over the other, not leaving them alone or forgetting them anywhere. And yet, these fears are still first and foremost on their minds. What is it about me that inspired such panic? That’s actually a door I really don’t want to open tonight.