My first born is now four, and within the past year, he has made my skin grow so thick. I used to be a sensitive little B, but now I know the truth: People’s words and judgements aren’t a true reflection of me, but their condition. Just today, as we were walking home from the pool and dreaming of chocolate, Javin said, “Daddy, can I go with you to get some from the store? But not Mommy, I want Mommy to stay home.” Josh looked over at me sympathetically like maybe my feelings were hurt, but I wasn’t even phased. I shrugged my shoulders with a smile, seeing a luxurious opportunity for a solo shower and silence. (Do you have any idea how much 4-year-olds talk?)
Sometimes his words are harsh, like when he says, “I wish you weren’t my mommy anymore.” To this I say “Well, I’m always happy you’re my son, and I love you anyway.” He retorts, “I don’t want you to love me!” Sometimes he goes so far as to say, “I wish I had a different Mommy.” I don’t take his words personally because I know they’re not true. He might think he wants a mom who doesn’t make him hold hands in parking lots, but deep down he does. Here are six BS reasons he recently didn’t want me to be his mom anymore:
1. I wouldn’t put a 3rd tattoo on him. Getting ready to go anywhere with kids is hard enough. Never mind the fact that he came home from an outing with his aunt who got him sheets upon sheets of temporary tattoos. I was visiting my family in New Jersey, and all 9 of us were to leave for dinner at 5 pm. I didn’t only need to find socks and shoes for the kids, and a bra for myself- I had to adhere some tats, too. The first one wasn’t perfect because he was so antsy and wouldn’t let me apply the wet compress long enough. The second tattoo was a full redemption, yet he still cried for a third. I told him he had to wait till we returned from dinner and he cried the entire way about me being the worst mom ever.
2. I wouldn’t let him play with a weight made out of lead. There are two places my son is happy and quiet, and I don’t like either of them. One is in front of the TV and the other is in the garage. There’s a boat in there, and a lot of crap to mess with. Tool and tackle boxes are way too accessible, and I honestly let him explore more than I should. I drew the line when he showed me a weight that he wanted because it looks like a bullet. (What’s the deal with his crazy interest in weapons and ammunition?) It was made of lead and I didn’t want him carrying it around, never mind leaving it in a couch cushion for his little brother to choke on or poop out. He carried on as if I denied him food.
3. He woke up too early. Even when he gets plenty of sleep, he still wakes up grumpy. You can imagine what I face when he beckons for me two hours ahead of schedule. He not only said he didn’t want me to be his mom, but that I’m ugly, too. I’m not even, so I’m blaming that crappy remark on the stupid episode of Power Puff Girls my mom let him watch.
4. I wouldn’t buy him a pair of shoes that were too small for him. Dillards was having a going-out-of-business sale, so everything was super marked down, but I don’t care how good the deal is- I’m not going to buy shoes that don’t fit. When I told him to set the shoes down, he not only started crying, but refused to leave the store. We stood there in front of a huge line of people while I conspired an exit strategy. I would have just picked him up, but my arms and hips were already occupied. When we got to the car he said, “I promise, we can make them bigger!” I told him we couldn’t make the shoes bigger, and because of this, I was the absolute worst.
5. I didn’t buy the maternity bathing suit he picked out for me in Old Navy. Never mind the fact that I’m not pregnant. I didn’t buy a single thing because my one-year-old kept escaping the fitting room, and when I set him on the bench, he threw a fit and fell face first on the ground. I left everything, picked up the kids, and went straight to the car. My 4-year-old cried all the home about how terrible of a mom I am because I didn’t get the stupid maternity bathing suit he picked out for me.
6. I wouldn’t let him leave the kitchen with a sharp knife in his pocket. He has been annoyingly obsessed with knives lately. If you need a bottle of vino opened, go find him because he carries around the wine key like it’s a Swiss Army knife. Now he even wants an upgrade from that. He wants to walk around with a legit kitchen knife that doesn’t even fold, in his pocket. He wants to give me up as his mother because I won’t let him slice his thigh open.
I know my precious cherub sounds like a little douche, and he totally is like 21% of the time. He always ends up feeling genuinely bad for the mean things he says, which is a huge relief to me. But he also balances them with phrases like, “You’re the best mommy ever” and “I love you all the way to the moon and back a million, trillion times” and my personal favorite, “You’re better than every other mommy there is”. It all depends on if things goes his way or not. He says some whack stuff, and I’m always surprised by how little I’m offended by things these days. He’s like, “I want a different Mommy” and I’m like, “Okay love, please come visit me once in a while.”