Me, during a phone call to my mother, recently:
“You know, Frankie has always presented me with challenges…right from the beginning. There was the discovery of the heart defect and the open heart surgery and the lagging behind in developmental milestones, and now these latest motor skills issues which are probably going to end up creating legitimate learning disabilities…but, behavior wise, he has always been so easy.”
Then I keep bragging because even though I’m 40 years old I have apparently not yet learned how the universe works:
“He takes no for an answer and transitions so easily. He shares beautifully and is so sweet and laid back and easy going. He’s never had a SINGLE tantrum or meltdown. He really is an angel.”
After that, I hung up the phone and ran over to the mall to make a return with Frankie where we discovered a bouncy house on the first floor. Quickly we learned that only members of the mall’s kids’ club could use the bouncy house. I didn’t even have a chance to ask them to check if were members because the universe flipped some fucked-up switch somewhere and instantly turned my boy into a demon who specializes in public fucking freakouts.
“Eeeeeeeeeeeevil. She’s evil,” Frankie screamed at the perfectly polite kids’ club representative before breaking free from me and running in the direction of the bouncing rubber room in which he completely belonged if only that mall had a Straight Jackets R Us. Not gonna lie…totally considered walking away as I watched his blond head bob around in a psychotic effort to jump the line and dive head mother fucking first into the bouncy house. But my husband was elsewhere in the mall and would probably wonder where our only child had ended up during my watch.
So I became her. That mortified woman I’ve probably condescendingly smiled at 1000 times in public spaces while urging my child not to stare: “It’s not polite, angel,” before smugly walking into Starbucks to enjoy a coffee, feeling so fortunate to have gotten a good kid. Turns out undiagnosed motor skills and muscle tone problems make your average toddler pretty damn easy to keep in line, seeing as how it’s easier for them to just hang in the stroller or on a bench.
But when they get older and the stroller goes to the consignment shop and the pre-k teacher insists that playgrounds are for running and climbing, not sitting and chatting up babies in the sandbox about the Fresh Beat Band….well.
Shit gets real.