So you’re lying there in bed dreaming about being on a cruise with Tom Cruise (while your boss from the high-end kitchen store is bringing you another strawberry margarita, nice touch) and your 6-year-old is tapping you on the head.
Tap-tap-tap. “Moooommmm,” he stage-whispers, “Mom, I need you, something terrible has happened!” He’s right, something terrible did happen: you didn’t get to finish your dream margarita.
What time is it, you wonder, 4 AM? (You are exactly right, amazing how that Internal Mom Clock works so well.) What is so terrible? Why is your son here in your room and not back in his toasty little bed where he belongs?
“Look, Mom,” he whines, as he turns on the light to full-bright and temporarily blinds you. He is holding up some sort of string, or piece of lint, or shred of dental floss, and all you can think is, “This is the Great Emergency? I don’t get to kiss Tom Cruise on the Lido Deck now because of a piece of string?”
Since your retinas are scorched, you do the only thing you can: you put out your hand for the piece of string. It is still attached to something (your son’s pajamas?), so you pull it hard to disconnect it. Voila—it worked! The offending string is no longer attached; crisis averted.
Not so fast, Sister. Your son is wailing now, not just crying, but actually wailing. Heaving sobs. Big huge tears on his pale white cheeks.
“Noooooooooooooooooooo! Why did you rip the string off? No! That is not what I wanted you to do! No! I wanted you to put the string back on! These are my favorite jammies, the Lego StarWars ones!”
Once again, you do not start your day as a realistic candidate for Mother Of The Year; this is just another snapshot of one of your (many) Proud Parenting Moments. You tore the string off, when, clearly, your son wanted the string back on.
As is typical for you, you (in your bleary 4 AM pre-dawn haze) decide to throw money at the situation: “Sweetie, I will buy you a new set of Lego StarWars pajamas.” You are a strong believer that money can fix almost anything.
This does not, as you had hoped, rectify the situation. No. In fact, it makes it worse, as it exposes you as a fraud masquerading as a Caring And Concerned Mother.
“Another set?!?” your charming and beautiful son bellows at you with all the force of a Jedi Master. “I want this set! I don’t want a new set, I want…..” pause for big long wailing sound, “this set! This set was perfect except that now YOU ruined it!”
Oh, stupid stupid Mommy, wrecking everything once again, this time in your sleep.
“Okay, uh, well I…..” you are grasping at straws here, “I guess I could sew it?”
“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” This child has witnessed your (non-existent) sewing skills, and it appears he won’t entrust his beloved garment to someone who attempts to Velcro on buttons.
“Well, what exactly do you want me to do, Honey?” you say, trying to contain the exasperation in your voice; you are starting to lose your cool a little bit, you just want 5 more minutes with Mr. Cruise.
“I don’t know! If you had just listened to me,” sniffle, “but you didn’t wait to hear what I was going to say about the string—you just ripped it off before I even had a chance to tell you!” Sniffle, sniffle.
“I have a good idea,” you offer, semi-confidently, “How about I take it to the seamstress at the dry cleaners and she can sew it back up?” You are smiling because you finally think you have come up with an acceptable solution. Now your eyes have adjusted and for the first time you actually take a closer look at where the loose string mutinied, and you are shocked to see that your son is talking about a one inch wide segment at the bottom of the shirt hem.
Where does this drama come from? Obviously it’s derived from your husband’s side of the family. You are cursing the fact that he is out of town on business and does not have to be subjected to these early morning hysterics.
“The seamstress can fix it?” your son asks quietly.
“Yes, yes, I know she can. I will drop it off to her today,” you smile sincerely at your sweet red-eyed son.
“Mom? Make sure you sit there and wait until it’s done, don’t leave it with her.”
You try to remember what your life was like before kids, was there anyone you knew who was this demanding about every teeny tiny trivial thing?
Oh, yeah: YOU.