Monday, August 13, 2018

Trust My Instincts

I have been a mother for three years, four months, and a few days. I carried this child to full term, within a day of the predicted due date, and I was aware from the very beginning that she was going to be unpredictable. Beginning with her insistence not to appear on the sonogram, I learned right away that this child has her own mind. My job is to try to stay at least a step and a half ahead of her.

So when I say something about this child, I KNOW what I mean and I mean what I say. When I said that she would grow and thrive on breastfeeding, note that she is the tallest three year old anyone has ever seen. When I offer instructions on how her hair is to be washed, it is based on a specific routine that I have developed (in consultation with my stylist). When I say that I will take care of a cleaning task made necessary by something she has done or left behind, it is because I intend to actually wash/disinfect/sterilize the situation, and not just make do with whatever hastiness can render it out of sight and out of mind for the moment. When I say that she is fully capable of doing a particular task, there is no need for second-guessing because I have probably seen her do it, or I have enough sense to recognize her abilities. When I roll my eyes during one of her performances for your benefit, believe me, she is ready for her closeup Mr. DeMille. When I tell you that she is probably some kind of genius savant, YOU NEED TO BELIEVE ME.

Don't simply trust me because I am a mother and mothers tend to be right about these things. Trust me because I am her mother.

The Hub and I have been locked in a War of Wills for these past three years, four months, and several days because he still refuses to accept that I am right most of the time. This will be his undoing; he won't believe me until she is a sassy thirteen year old giving him the attitude of a sixteen year old who thinks that she is a smart and street savvy eighteen year old. And God willing, I plan to sit there to bear witness to this showdown with a full box of wine.

Because I saw this movie back when I was the star. Not that this is a repeat of my childhood, but let's just say it is a remake--a new Ghostbusters with women.

As I write this, we find ourselves in a this-child-needs-to-be-potty-trained-in-two-weeks panic mode because she starts school at the end of the month. And she is going because I say so. I am ready for her to go and she is ready to go and she's eligible to go and that's all there is to say about it. The fact that she refuses to tell us when she has to go potty is irrelevant. The fact that she has pooped through an entire pack of panties and a couple pairs of leggings that her day camp threw away is irrelevant. The fact that she has watched that Sesame Street Elmo's Potty Time video over and over and can sing the Daniel Tiger When You Have To Go Potty song and can sing both of the potty songs that I made up for her and STILL DOES NOT USE THE TOILET is irrelevant.

So yes, I am blown because when I began the process last year, somebody was concerned that it was too soon. Somebody got really upset that she broke out in a rash, and insisted that we abandon the effort. Somebody got flustered and decided that it would be easier to let her wear pull-ups. Somebody gave up on the potty watch because the battery died within three days. Somebody expected me to read a book about potty training, when I have barely been able to finish a magazine these last three years, let alone a novel. Somebody assumed that the expensive day camp would handle the bulk of the potty training, so this should already be done.

Yes my friends, the person who made all of those tactical missteps is me. I should have trusted my instincts. At every crucial juncture where there has been an important developmental milestone to be met, I have faced the mountain and climbed, and this is no different. So I went to Target and bought three bulk packs of panties, a mattress cover, some disinfectant wipes, a gallon of bleach, disposable pee pads, two boxes of stickers, and later I will head to the Costco for more supplies.

Alright Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup.

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