See my crown? It was made out of pipe cleaners, green tulle, and plastic beads. Ben made it in school for Mother's Day. Not so sure I deserved it.... In fact, at one point last week, I was sure all of my Mother's Day gifts were going to be returned.
In a single 24-hour period I managed to miss Ben's Mother's Day luncheon at school AND drop Aidan Kai on his head. Yup. Mother of the Year. Let me explain...
I dropped Ben off at school on Thursday morning and read a sign on the classroom door that said that the kids would be making lunch for their moms, and any moms who could not attend at 11:30 were to pick up their packed lunches from the school frig at the end of the day. Obviously, I read this and understood it. I am repeating it here. I also repeated it to my husband at work later that day. So why...can someone please tell me...did I not actually, apparently, process this information enough to actually attend the luncheon?!? I did not miss the luncheon because I could not get out of work. I did not miss the luncheon because I did not know about it. I missed the luncheon because my head is always so damn filled up with to-do's, responsibilities, stuff, dreams, fantasies about sleeping, Weight Watcher points, and general miscellaneous noise, that I knew the information and yet did not know the information.
My husband just stared at me blankly, a puzzled look on his face, and asked, "If it was today, why didn't you go?" I could have gone. In fact, it was one of those days at work that would've been perfect for me to have taken my lunch at that time. I just stared at him, and as the realization set in, the tears immediately started. I missed my son's first school Mother's Day luncheon! I missed it! For no reason! What if I was the only mother not there? What if my little boy was the only one sitting at the table without his mommy? What the hell is wrong with me? You have to understand; this is so not like me. I am one of those people who writes everything down: I have a planner and I actually carry it around and use it; I keep post-its around to remind me of upcoming events and errands. I am organized! Reliable! Responsible! I am anally retentive, damn it! Anally retentive mothers do not miss Mother's Day events!
But I did.
And I was absolutely devastated. It did not matter that, when he got home from school and handed me my packed lunch (a sandwich with mustard, cheese, turkey, carrots, lettuce, and peanut butter) and my crown, he did not mention any special school activity. It did not matter that, apparently, most of the other moms did not attend either. It did not matter that he did not even notice I was missing. Because I missed it. I missed an opportunity--the first opportunity--to sit with my son at his itty-bitty little pre-k table and make lunch together and share pretzels and juice and see him in his school setting with his friends and his teacher. I was heartbroken. Even, if he did not notice a thing. So heartbroken, in fact, that I spent half of my day crying (not teary...we're talking bawling) and the other half trying to make up for it by eating the aforementioned sandwich, roughhousing and wrestling with him all afternoon (not usually my choice of play), and letting him watch TV during dinner. I think the hardest part for me is that it was solely and completely my fault, and I missed it for absolutely no good reason other than I was not paying attention.
I dropped the ball.
And a mere 12 hours later, I dropped the baby. Yep. Again, because I was not paying attention.
I was trying to take Aidan Kai's "Today-I'm-9-months-old" picture, but he kept throwing himself forward on the sofa in an attempt to crawl. So, brilliant mother that I am these days...I think: "I know! I'll give him a toy so he is entertained and sits still for my very important picture!" Except I totally miss the obvious: if I need to give him a toy so he stops trying to lunge himself off the sofa, why would I think that he would stop doing exactly that while I get him a toy? The second I turn away, I hear a loud "Thump" and turn to see an empty sofa. In that millisecond, I actually think to myself "Please, oh please, tell me he did not fall off the sofa." But where the hell did I think he could have gone?!? Poor thing had tossed himself headfirst between the coffee table and sofa and was lying there, face up, with a look of complete shock and terror. I don't know who started crying first: him or me.
"That's it!" I yelled to my husband, as I rocked and swayed and shushed and checked for broken bones, concussions, and blood. "That's it! Return my gifts! Revoke my Mommy Card! I am not worthy!" (I'd like to be able to say that this is just for humor's sake, but no, I really did say all of that. And, I believed it.)
The thing is, I never thought I'd be Soft. I never thought motherhood would turn me into one of those ridiculous, sniveling, pansy saps who is oh-so-heartbroken about "trivial" parenting stuff. Yeah, apparently, when you're a mom, some of it doesn't feel trivial at all, and even those of us who think we're one of the Tough Ones turn into mush when we feel like we've let them down...when we feel like we dropped our guard (and the baby) and didn't quite meet our own self-imposed standards. Fortunately, no one gave my sons (or my husband) a copy of this list of standards, so they all still deem me worthy of being the Queen. And thus, I shall keep my crown.