I’m tired of being Zach’s mother. He’s so needy, always wanting something from me. This morning it was breakfast. And if I muster enough energy to get up again anytime soon, he’ll need his diaper changed. He’s 3. Can’t he get his own breakfast and change his own diaper? Better yet, can’t he just go pee pee in the potty like everyone else in this house? “C’mon Zach,” I coax. “All the cool kids are doing it.” No response. How about a new car? Maybe some cash? What is it going to take, kid?!? And then I remind myself, “He won’t go to kindergarten wearing a diaper.” His brothers managed to learn how to use the potty, sort of. Walls and floors and the toilet seat I sit on tend to be the target more often these days.
And what about that darn pacifier-pluggie thing? He’d rather chew on it, and it has teeth marks and pieces missing; it’s a chew toy, really. Why does my 3 year old still have one at all? Because he’s the 3rd kid, and I’m 43 years old and tired. Too tired to fight him- he can leave bruises and teeth marks on my arms, and so I put up with it in the name of sanity. Or is it senility?
Zach is sort of like an only child, at least during the day when his brothers go to school. He’s craving interaction and social time with his peers, with anyone really, but because I am craving quiet time with myself and a book, he finds his friends on TV and computer screens and sometimes plastic dinosaurs. Angry Birds, Annoying Orange, and Dino Dan are some of his favorites. He can work a computer like no one I’ve seen. He navigates Apple Technology like he built it himself, and if I wasn’t secretly hoping he’d become the next Steve Jobs and make me rich so I can spend MORE time alone with books, then I would be convicted and disciplined to limit his screen time as all pediatric experts say.
But instead, he spends hours conquering levels on Angry Birds and posting his high scores to my Facebook page, texting my friends, and finding funny videos on YouTube of his favorite character of the moment be it Annoying Orange, Buzz Lightyear or Mr. Incredible. He’s genius really, and his teachers are going to hate me. He will have the worst ADD they’ve ever seen. And he will make me rich.
Perhaps I’m not tired of being Zach’s mom of the future Zach, just of the present Zach who desperately needs to get off the couch and go to school where he can meet other little people his age and discover the world outside of TV and computer screens and a mother who wants to do quiet things now that she is old.
Don’t get me wrong. I love that kid. I just don’t love diapers, laundry, moldy sippy cups discovered under the couch, translating toddler talk, temper tantrums, sharing a bed, reading the same story 50 times, as much as I did when... wait, let’s be honest. I never loved those things.
So Zach, it’s time to move to the next level in our relationship. You need to become a little more independent and social so that Mommy can, well, become a little more independent and social. One day, she’d like to become a writer who tells people that she’s given up on the status quo of mothering and actually confesses the truth of the matter at hand. And the truth is, it’s okay to admit the truth. So, my precious Zachary, with kindergarten still a year away, open a Facebook account and learn how to type. You’ll make some great friends there.