After squatting out my child 4 ½ years ago, every single day of my life since, I’ve been a mom. The problem is that I don’t always feel like being a mom. Or maybe more accurately, some days I am better at being a parent than others.
This is a story about one of those days where I just wasn’t at my best. The night before I had a party, I was tired, and also my lady parts were leaking blood. It was not a good scene – like seriously, it was a murder scene in my pants. My preferred day would have involved a room full of pillows, an opium pipe, and someone reading to me the philosophy off a cereal box while tickling my back.
Yet as the universe would have it, The Munch wanted to go swimming. Now she has recently learned to swim without “swimmies,” and I wanted to honor her interest in cultivating this new skill. So I agreed to take her, even though I would have rather, I don’t know, covered by body in leaches.
At first everything was going fine. The Munch was doing a great job, and I was encouraging her efforts. But then, I got kind of bored, so started swimming around myself and going under water. I was still right next to her, but while I was underwater, Munch was momentarily stuck and couldn’t get to the side. She didn’t’ sink or anything, but she needed my help. When I came up to get to get a breath, I grabbed her and all was fine.
Munch: Mom!!! YOU CAN’T GO UNDER WATER!!!!!!!
Toni: Munch, if I’m underwater, wait for me to come up and then practice your swimming.
Munch: NO!! YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WATCH ME SO YOU CAN’T GO UNDERWATER EVER!!
Toni: Dude, we have been in here for an hour, and I’ve been doing nothing but watch you. Sometimes I want to go under water and have fun swimming too. You have to give me a turn to do that.
Munch: NO!! YOU ARE NEVER GOING UNDERWATER EVER AGAIN.
Okay, so I can understand she wanted me to be there for her in case she needed me. Which I WAS!! But I also felt like I needed to have turns practicing I was a mermaid.
Toni: Listen, we have to communicate better and take turns. I will tell you when I go underwater, and then you wait for me to come back up.
It felt like a good solution. But then Munch didn’t hear me say I was going underwater, and got SUPER mad when I did it again.
Munch: I TOLD YOU NEVER TO GO UNDERWATER!!
Toni: MUNCH! I told you I was going to. You have to pay attention, and let me have turns to swim too.
Munch: Well I DIDN’T HEAR YOU!
At this point we were both livid. Munch was mad because she wanted me to pay attention to her, and I was mad because I thought she was being a tyrant.
Toni: You know what? I can’t just spend my life doing only things for you. Sometimes I want go underwater, and you have to respect that.
Munch: Fine! If you go underwater, then I’m going to take Molly (the stuffed animal I sleep with), and you will never get her back. I will put Molly where you will NEVER FIND HER!! Then I’m never going to talk to you again.
Toni: Okay. That’s enough. We’re going to get out of the pool now, and go home.
This was the point where Munch splashed me. Now we were both already wet, but their was an intention behind the splash. She looked me in the eye, and splashed water in my face. It was a splash that said, “Hey Mom, fuck you!”
What I did next I am not proud of. But it’s what happened. I splashed her back.
Munch stomped away, and so did I. We were both seething. She then came over to me and splashed me 10 times while I tried to ignore her.
Toni: If you splash me one more time, we are going home, and you are going right to bed even though the sun is still out.
Munch: But I don’t want to go home and go to bed!
Toni: Well, do you think you have been acting kind?
Toni: Do you think you should apologize for splashing?
Munch: I think you should apologize for splashing too!!
Toni: I only splashed you because you splashed me first!
Munch. MOM! You’re acting like a child.
So then we had to BOTH apologize for splashing. My pride is officially not only swallowed, but also fully digested and has transmuted into shit that will now have to be evacuated.