To the little pipsqueaks who try to run my house,
You try to fool me.
You, with your loud crying that blocks out my sensory abilities and causes my confidence to shrink to the size of a popcorn kernel.
I can’t think of what to do for you because you know what? I CAN’T THINK!!!
You older ones pepper me with enough rapid-fire questions that I forget all of the knowledge about all of the things. I’m not just unconfident now, I’m also dumb!
Sure, I might have a college degree gathering dust on top of the filing cabinet, but your unanswerable questions have caused me to wonder if I got my money’s worth.
Sometimes, especially during the dreaded witching hour, you peck at me as a unit until I am a shell of a woman, hunkered down and shoveling snacks into my mouth like a starving goblin. My favorite is your puffy Cheetoh’s because they pile up in my teeth and I can feel something again.
You know what? This is called bullying, and it is really looked down upon on the internet.
When the phone rings, I dive under the table in horror. Phones were scary to me before, but now? With the clamor of your childhood in the background? The thought of trying to talk to a medical professional or an insurance person whilst peeling your ten thousand fingers off of my clothes and getting away from you is enough to break me out in hives!
I have gone through three sets of shut and locked doors before to flee from your presence and ended up having a phone conversation in the toilet room of the bathroom with my finger in my free ear SO I COULD HEAR! Anxiety. So much anxiety.
And even though you are a pipsqueak, do you know what I do?
I let you grow bigger than ME! And I hurry to cut the crust off your sandwich and I surf Netflix for two-and-a-half hours trying to find a show that will please the highnesses and I let you squeeze me into the middle of my king-sized bed with just enough breathing room to keep me alive for the night.
But you know what I realize sometimes as I’m slathering shampoo on your scrawny heads and you’re standing, naked, in the shower and you don’t even reach my belly-button?
I’m taller than you!
And you don’t even know how to get this shampoo out of your hair!
And the ways that I am bigger and older and smarter than you are COUNTLESS, my minions.
I can write in cursive. You can’t even write.
I can cook foods of various sorts. You’re not allowed to touch the toaster. Even the simplest of all the breakfast foods – dry toast! – is out of your grasp.
I have lots of important numbers and passwords memorized. I know your grandma’s telephone number and who to call in case of an emergency and how to order pizza. You don’t even know how to SPELL pizza and if you tried, you would leave out one of the z’s because you don’t know the RULES. I know all the rules.
I have big girl panties and you don’t. Like, seriously, they’re really, really big.
I have bras and lipstick and high heels and slips and keys and flashdrives and all of the grown-up stuff, and I’ve had it for YEARS.
I haven’t wet the bed since my last pregnancy.
I can chew gum anytime I want because you know what? I am responsible. I know what to do with gum. I don’t swallow it. I don’t stick it under the bed. I don’t play with it. I chew it and I throw it away when I’m done and I have THREE packs of it in my purse in three different flavors because why? I’m an adult. With fresh breath! Your breath smells like a gutwagon all day long. I’m not kidding. It stinks so bad.
And so it’s obvious. I’m the grown-up here. I have 5 feet and 8 inches of mommy girth in my favor and enough leftover baby weight to make a small human.
If it weren’t for me, this house would be an infested germ pool of filth and nastiness and you would be eating string cheese and dry Cheerio’s for supper.
Okay, so that’s what I actually just fed you for supper, but you get my point.
I can just see it so clearly sometimes. Not often, but sometimes.
I’m the grown-up in this house and I will ALWAYS be the grown-up in your life, even when you have gum and passwords of your own.
I’m going to try to have more confidence in myself and more patience with you.
You don’t know what you’re doing here, do you?
I don’t either, really, but the good thing for both of us is that I at least know more than you, you precious, darling, “spirited” little pipsqueak.
Now get out of my bathroom, please. I need to make a phone call.
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