I have to admit something. It’s something that won’t come as a surprise to those that know me best, but you’re getting to know me pretty damn well these days so it’s about time I just say it. So many little girls grow up dreaming of their wedding day, and how many kids they’re going to have. But while they were off playing “House,” I was usually dressed in flannel and digging holes in my backyard looking for Native American artifacts. When I thought of my future, the only thing I really pondered was whether I wanted to be a doctor, an artist (whatever that means), an archaeologist or a writer. Now, I’m still trying to be some of those things, but I’m also a mom. And that’s a bit funny to me. Even still.
The good news is that you’re three now. The baby phase is officially over and that means I can breathe again. Because taking care of something that couldn’t feed itself was horrifying. The whole guessing game: did she drink enough milk? Is there poop in there? Is she sleeping too much? Too little? How much wine is left in the house? And WHY THE F*$K WON’T SHE STOP CRYING? There is really no other way of saying it: baby-caring is really not my thing. But, now, things are different. Now you’re onto teaching me quite a few things about life that I’m not sure I would have ever realized had I not had the opportunity to see them through your young eyes:
- Drop the Duds. “Mommy, Joey (pseudonym used) is not my friend.” Upon being horrified that my daughter is already a bitch at age three, I respond, “Why, Eva? Joey is a sweet little boy. Everyone is your friend. You need to be friends with everyone!” Without hesitation, “No, he is not my friend. I do not like him at all, mommy. I do NOT want to have a playdate with him.” Takeaway: Life is too short for forced relationships. If I had only realized this decades ago, I would have saved much time and money spent on years of psychotherapy and saved my liver from the likelihood of cirrhosis.
- Poop your Pants. ME: “Eva, you’re three now. All of your friends use the potty. WHY ARE YOU STILL POOPING YOUR PANTS?!” EVA: “I want to poop my pants mommy. I don’t like the potty. I like diapers.” ME: “But [insert every three year-old’s name we know] ALL use the potty!” EVA: “AND I DOESN’T, MOMMY!” Takeaway: Stop giving a shit about what anyone else is doing. You do YOU. And if I had only learned years ago to let other people wipe my ass, I probably would never have needed that Xanax prescription.
- Ask for Candy. While in the queue for gas, you roll down your car window, “‘Scuse me! Get me a lollipop, please!” To which I respond, “Eva! You wait for him to offer you a lollipop. That was rude!” You scrunch your brow and say, “Why? I want a lollipop. Now I have one.” Takeaway: Ask and ye shall receive. Four years later, I’m still sitting here waiting for that bonus my boss never gave me, but this kid got her lollipop in four seconds.
- Watch TV. ME: “Mom, please stop letting her watch so much TV while she is over here.” Eva stops in her tracks (at just shy of three years old) and grabs my arm, “Mommy, look! It’s a Pterodactyl. They can fly, but an Ostrich can’t but they have wings too.” Takeaway: Maybe I should stop reading the American Academy of Pediatrics website. And maybe I should think about hopping on that Dinosaur Train. I have no idea where the hell it’s going, but one thing I’m sure of is that it’s not giving Donald Trump a ride to the White House.
- Stay Young. A stranger approached us the other day and asked, “Hi there! How old are you, darling?” To which you responded (several weeks after your third birthday), “Two!” I interject to correct you, that you are indeed three and to remind you of how fun it is to be a big girl now. “No, mommy! I two!!” You begin to wail, “I NOT a big girl. I a little girl and I two!” Takeaway: Getting old sucks. If only I had spent my childhood trying to stay two instead of trying to become a doctor. You are just so much smarter than that. Wise beyond your years.
So, as you’ve grown older it has come to my attention that the human species does, in fact, intellectually regress with age. Shortly after birth, your powers were so great that you were able to prevent an entire household from sleeping for a whole year. Grown-ass adults were running to your beck and call, wiping your butt in the middle of the night and even spending thousands of dollars on you without you having to even ask. At three, you are now able to explain to your mother how many of these things work. I guess now all I can hope is that Kid President makes the ballot in November. Because at 70, it seems as though my good man Bernie has quite a lot of learning to do.