By Thea DeLoreto, author of the blog The Lint Trap
Yesterday it finally happened. My worst fears confirmed. The moment I have been waiting for since I found out that Lady Baby was of the female variety. My child uttered the following phrase, casually yet matter-of-fact, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Dada is my best friend.”
I inquired further, thinking I must have heard wrong. Foolishly I asked, “And me too?” She stared my straight in the eye, right there in the frozen food section of the Teeter and said, “No. DADA. Not you.” And a little piece of my soul withered and blew away. I watched it float like a tumble weed down the aisle. Between the end caps of cashews and coffee, past the magazine rack and Red Box. Over the heads of the old couple checking out with a handful of coupons, and out the door into the balmy evening. Ouch. That is going to leave a mark. Never getting that sliver of my heart back.
Ever since I found out I was pregnant I worried about two things. One, probably the most obvious and what all new moms worry about, “Will my child be a serial killer?” Those fears were kind of/ sort of put to rest by a friend who is a psychologist. He assured me that normal people do not raise serial killers. Though not 100% convinced, especially now that I have seen Her Highness arrange her play dough cups into perfect arcs, I don’t worry about that one quite so much.
The other fear, one that haunts me on a daily basis, is that my daughter will at some point in her life hate me. I think about how it will feel to see the light of my life look at me like a vile thing stuck to the bottom of her trendy overpriced teenage shoe. I worry over the screaming that will no doubt issue out from behind a slammed bedroom door. I wring my hands over the fact that at some point she may very well tell me that I have ruined her life. I was never the young woman who fought constantly with my own mother. We had our share of squabbles, but they came and went and were over things like making a bad grade or not cleaning like I was supposed to. Nothing serious. However, I had friends whose mother’s were the very bane of their existence. I heard stories about arguments that would make grown men breakdown and cry. And I cannot bear the thought of that happening. I cannot take it. I will looooose it. For reals.
I don’t play around. I am tough and I will put my child into a timeout anywhere that I deem necessary. Target? Sure. Put your nose right there on this display of inappropriately short gym shorts in a variety of bright colors. Grocery Store? Absolutely. Put your nose up against that extra large bag dog food. I don’t care if it smells like old barf. A friend’s house? Please. Direct me to your time out chair. I. am. not. skeered. I worry though that being the disciplinarian may be my undoing when it comes to the teen years. I worry that the day I tell her that she can’t ride in her friend’s car at night to a concert unchaperoned, with older boys with nose rings, that she will hate me. I am scared when I tell her that she may not wear a dress meant for a buxom playboy bunny to her first dance, she will wish me dead. I fear that the day I punish her for sneaking out with her BFF to have wine coolers a hobo bought them, she will blame me for not getting to have any fun. I know I will have to stay strong and be the parent, but I don’t know that I can bear the possibility that she will hate me for it.
I love that little face and the way it looks at me like I created the world and everything good in it. I love the little voice that begs me for “lots of kisses” and to dance in the kitchen. I relish the snuggles I get every night and morning. These things don’t last forever. From the looks of her face yesterday in front of the popsicles and nutty buddies, the days of me being number one are quickly drawing to a close. I guess I will just steel myself for what is right around the corner. Eye rolls, slamming doors, and a lot of “my mom is so lame” looks. Bring it. *sob* I guess I can always hope that we have a boy at some point. Then he will love me forever.