I have a confession: my child is the boss of me. I’m not even going to pretend it’s otherwise. She owns me and sometimes I’m even a little scared of her.
I should have known it from the day I went into labor. I was 76 days past my due date (fine I’m exaggerating – it was 6 days, but it felt like 76). I was fat, miserable and over it. I hated everyone. The phone calls and texts were enough to make me want to stick a fork in my eye.
Any of my excited friends/family: “Just checking on you…any baby yet?”
Me: “No, there’s no effing baby yet. Don’t you think the world would know from the giant Miami Herald ad my mother would take out that there was a baby? Stop effing asking me that question and I promise you’ll know when there’s a goddamned baby.”
I think I actually posted that almost verbatim one day as my Facebook status because I couldn’t take the check-ins. It reminded me that I was no longer in charge of my own body. She was.
Prior to that I actually LOVED being pregnant. I was one of “those” people who marveled at it and felt great despite the first trimester morning sickness and constant heartburn. I mean come on – I’m like a real life super hero – I GREW A HUMAN BEING IN MY BELLY. I gained 24 lbs and was mostly belly until the end but still had some assholes say things like “you’re so big!”, “that’s gonna be a big baby!”. Newsflash: I’m barely 5’1″…there’s only so much real estate available where do you want it to go?? Then once I hit that last couple of weeks, I became the exorcist.
My doctor swore he wouldn’t let me go past 7 days. I went to every one of those last appointments crying, begging, pleading for him to put me out of my misery.
You see Boston (and pretty much the rest of the world) is NOT like Florida when it comes to maternal care. Florida is the only place I’ve ever heard of where you can schedule an elective C-section on the date and time of your choice. Before you jump down my throat, I realize there are some people who have to have a C-section so relax, I’m not referring to you. But there are plenty of women down here that can absolutely do it the good old-fashioned way and choose not to. They (and their doctors) literally pull out their iPhones to sync up. I imagine it going down like this:
Dr: “How about the 7th?”
Preggo: “Hmmm, no I can’t I have a mani pedi, can we do the 8th?”
Dr: “Oh, I have golf that morning. Let’s do the 9th.”
Preggo: “Perfect, can we make it noon though? I want time to get my highlights done so I look unnaturally coiffed and cute in my first post-birth picture.”
Dr: “Done, that gives me time to get my Maserati with my vanity plate that says VAG DOC washed and waxed.”
It really is ridiculous. If I said to my Dr. in Boston, “can we schedule a C-section?”, he’d look at me like I asked him to deliver the baby through my ass.
And if you have issues with this, or don’t like my stance on it, you can stop reading and go plan the C-section for your next spawn.
So….there I am on night 6, a Sunday and there is finally light at the end of the tunnel because I am scheduled to be induced first thing Monday morning just like the doc promised. This child did not want to leave but it was gonna happen. Eviction notice served. Around 3am I went into labor. It was no accident, it was a power play. My child was basically saying, “Oh, you think you’re gonna induce this labor? No, no, no, I’M in charge and I choose when this happens, got it sister? Well played.
I’ll spare you the details but I will tell you this….if your female friends and family do not tell you the nitty-gritty details of labor and the aftermath, they are no friends of yours. My mom actually told me it hurt more to have her wisdom teeth out. And I believed her.
Childbirth and all of the disgusting things that happen to your body is not fun. Sharing is caring ladies, so prepare your childless friends for what will happen. Explain in detail why they will need the amenity basket in the hospital room with the pads, ice packs, disposable underwear and water squirter thingy. It’s just the right thing to do. #girlpower
From the moment she was born, I was gaga. And when I said I birthed my clone, I wasn’t kidding. She is me. Mannerisms, looks, attitude, vocabulary, strategies and tactics, all of it. And she thinks I am the greatest human being on the planet. No seriously. These are quotes from her.
“Mommy, you have the most beautiful voice” (I have nothing of the sort)
“Mommy, you look like an angel and smell like a flower” (Flattery will get you far kid, keep talking)
“Mommy, I love those shoes, when I’m a grown up can I have them?” (You can replace “shoes” with every other item I own. It’s a regular question in my house. She’s already started hoarding. It’s like a borderline creepy Single White Female obsession, but I’m totally cool with it.)
She is on me like white on rice and would climb back into my birth canal if she could. And I know it’s all genuine, but it’s also part of her plan for world domination.
If you know me, you know I am strong-willed, no-nonsense, don’t take shit and as real as they come. But here are all of the things I do wrong as a parent because I totally give into a five-year old. (Note: If you feel the need to start giving me advice or “tough love” on how to address these things, you can take that shit somewhere else and you are banned from this blog)
- She sleeps in my bed. And not like quietly in her own little spot. She manages to monopolize an entire king sized bed. She actually told me she would sleep in her bed….if I moved it right next to mine in my room.
- She usually wears me down in negotiations. She’s really good at it. I’m screwed.
- She has convinced me that a cheese stick and a bag of goldfish is an acceptable dinner.
- When she’s really pissing me off I threaten to do crazy things like throw her dolls out the window of a moving car, just for dramatic effect.
- If she does not behave while we are dining out, I tell her she’s going to live in the restaurant kitchen and wash dishes because I’m not going to live with a misbehaving child. Again, for dramatic effect.
- I tell her the rent-a-cops riding around on segways in Boca Town Center Mall are watching her and can see she’s not listening to me and there will be consequences. I didn’t have the heart to continue this tactic when she asked me if they were going to take her to kid jail.
My little mini me is bossy for sure. And you know what? I don’t really want to stifle that. Bossy is not mean. She’s so strong and independent at 5 and I want her to keep that fire and be a little badass. Is that so wrong? I’d take my little miss bossy pants any day of the week over a dud of a kid who sits in the corner and picks his nose but listens to everything his parents say.
Her bossiness often leads to me having to call her by different names and role play. Sometimes it’s a friend from school, this week it’s Elsa from Frozen. My daughter is obsessed with Frozen and in addition to seeing it in the movie theater 5 times, we obviously own it and it’s basically on a constant loop. She has memorized every motion, word, look, song, and could do a one-woman show. Not only do I have to call her Elsa, but she does not break character. She’s good. She circles me with her hands behind her back telling me that she’s “trying to be a good girl and control her powers so she doesn’t hurt me.” When I said “Elsa, can you help me fold laundry she said, “No, I’ll freeze it.”
This is a refreshing change from the Peppa Pig phase where she would only refer to me as “mommy pig” and I had to talk in a British accent.
We also had an Annie phase where she made me be Ms. Hannigan and her Annie and then we’d switch to mix it up.
I never know what is going to trigger these thespian mood swings but I always oblige – out of equal parts fear and amusement. It’s like living with the cutest schizophrenic ever.
She frequently tells me where to sit, what to wear, how to take the crust off her Challah, how to take the cheese off her pizza, what parts of a song I’m allowed to sing, and so much more. And you know what? I listen. I’m the most well-behaved mother you have every met.
I hear myself saying “I’m the mommy, I’m in charge” all the time, but it’s really more to sell it to myself because she calls my bluff constantly. I’d love to say that I’m going to do a complete overhaul, stage a coup and take back power, but let’s be honest. It ain’t gonna happen.
I just can’t help it. She has me wrapped around her bossy little finger – with a pink fingernail, and different colors on every other nail, because that’s what she makes me do at 6am…right after I straighten her hair like mine and put 10 different hair clips in, pick out perfectly mismatched socks and outfits that make her look like Betsey Johnson met Punky Brewster.
God I love this kid.