The Diary of A Tired Mama
I stared at him in awe searching his eyes for an answer, while he stared at me in confusion. Behind my gaze, my mind parked on a question: you’re not that stupid, are you?
“One more push and he’s out.”
I grab the bed rails and bear down as if I was pushing out a Toyota Celica. With one loud grunt, I felt the slip of his shoulders and then his tiny feet exit my womb. I was disgusted, excited, terrified and exhilarated at the same time. The doctor placed the wet baby on my chest and I looked down at this stranger in sheer amazement. The room was abuzz with nurses checking IV’s, rolling in translucent cribs with tiny scales, prepping teeny caps and swaddling blankets. The doctor sat in between my legs sewing up the bits of me that went this way that. Walt stood over me stroking my forehead with fingers. It was annoying but I didn’t want to tell him to stop since it was obviously a moment. Seconds after observing that scene, things started to shift. All of those moving figures had softened in focus and their sounds were muted. It was just me and this thing that came out of me.
I picked up the squirming human and stared at it. He resembled an older Milton Bearle and inside I prayed that would change. He popped his eyes open and one went in a different direction. Oh no! While I mused over my cock-eyed Milton Bearle baby, a thought happened: this kid is mine. There is no giving him back. He belonged to me. That thought was trippy. The only thing that I loved enough to always take care of was…wait…it was nothing. I was the quintessential only child, so everything belonged to me, but I didn’t belong to it. To be honest, after four years of blissful marriage, I was still on the fence about belonging to Walt. But this little 9lb ball who was planted and bloomed in me would get the honor of being the first to stake that claim and I knew from the moment I saw him I had to protect him.
“He can’t go to neighborhood schools.”
That was the first thing I said when he turned 3. I knew from the time he was born, that I was never going to let him be defined by our zip code, so I cast my net in the Great White Hope(aka “their neighborhood schools). My level of anxiety over school placement hit its stride at this tender age and I had the spreadsheets, literacy workbooks and packed calendar of open houses to prove it. I had turned into a bit of a Monster Mom — you know the one you meet at the park whose conversation includes knowing all the rankings of schools and test preps. It was gross. Blame Chicago. and I smugly prided myself on the fact that he didn’t act like he was from the south side. The irony in that statement was that I was not only born, raised and still resided on the south side — but in the fact that I LOVED the south side. Again, blame Chicago. I let stats, parent blogs and the news overrule my common sense and I affirmed that my boy would only attend the best schools so he could have the best set of friends who had the best parents who went to the best colleges who could introduce him to the best social circles who would then connect him with the best life. That was the plan.
Can I get a septum piercing?
That was the question he asked us after dinner. It was the first set of words he had strung together to vocalize and pitch my way in months. At 15, he suddenly stopped talking to me. I cried myself to sleep one night, like a teenage girl because my kid won’t say more than 6 words to me a day. Hi, Good, Cool, Yes, and Good Night. There is no rejection worse than a mother being rejected by her son. Its like being dumped by the sweetest guy you ever knew. Its like Jesus telling you He needs space. Its a dagger. But for him to choose this question to be the first piece of dialogue we might have was just unfair. I could tell that Walt was readying to mouth a no. One eyebrow went up like the Rock and he began to pop his knee up and down profusely. I turned to him to give him a “hold on a minute” look, but I could tell he was on a mission to shut down foolishness.
Instead, I looked at Myles and said, “Hell No!”
Myles popped his lips and with a look of utter annoyance said, “Why?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, can I get an earring?”
My voice, just shy of a shout, “Because my mother said no, her mother said no and her mother’s mother said no.”
Walt stared at me in utter confusion. It was the only comeback I could think of. Myles shook his head and walked off. I can kiss word #7 goodbye.
I got a high D.
Really? Really? I was entering a new territory. It was very Trump-esque. He tells me something completely absurd with a straight face and I’m supposed to not only think it makes sense, but that it makes good sense. The scariest thing was that this was becoming a trend. More often than not, he did just flat out dumb things: telling me he needed help with sophisticated school projects the day before they are due, attempting to walk around with a shirt and letting me find condoms in his suitcase.
“I just got those in case.” He said, looking completely shook.
“In case what?”
“Well we were going to a party and I just wanted to be prepared.”
“But you don’t even remember to brush your teeth.”
I stood there staring at him in silence. He looked at me like I was a dinosaur.
“I’m proud of you for wanting to protect yourself, but we don’t do that. You need to reserve that for your wife. Its too special to give away and you don’t want a baby or an STD. Right?”
I walked out the room convinced that I aged 10 years and that I was in over my heard. Heaven help me.
Dorothy, where’s the cheesecake?