It’s not like I’ve been blindsided or anything. The writing has been on the wall for months. I guess I was just hoping that it was a phase, that he’d come to his senses or at the very least not be so rude about it. I talk a pretty tough game, but I am incredibly crumbly on the inside. I have feelings just like everybody else. I may not wear them on my sleeve for the whole wide world to see, but I have them. Like right now, I feel betrayed and somewhat bitter. I know it’s all part of the deal, but still. I like to think there are people out there who still enjoy my company. I can be a pretty cool cat if the circumstances are just right. I know for a fact at least one person would even call me “fun.”
My baby boy is bored to tears with me. He keeps asking to play with Jimmy down the block. Can I go to Jimmy’s house? Can Jimmy come over? Can you call Jimmy’s mom and set up a playdate? I want to go to Jimmy’s! Every five minutes.
I get why Jimmy appears more fun than me. For one, I don’t play cars and Jimmy does. For whatever reason, the part of my brain responsible for imaginary play became completely nonfunctional after I turned 10. No amount of trying to access it is helpful to any party involved, and in some cases, it can make the situation horribly worse. I completely suck at it. It’s not like I haven’t tried. Furthermore, I know the well-meaning and sweet grandmother at the store would wisely say, “They grow up fast. Play cars now because one day you will wish that you did, and you will really miss the invitation.”
I beg to differ kind granny, but I’ll keep you posted.
I do other things though. I read books. I play catch. I bake cookies. I ride a bike. I can facilitate art projects. I know how to play hide-and-seek and most traditional board games. I can drive to places, like the park, or the pool, or Costco.
“I don’t want to go to Costco again! Costco is sooooooo boring!”
He used to enjoy shopping with me. He would beg to come along, and I didn’t have to entertain him or offer rewards in the process. We would just delight in being in each other’s company. Now I have to give him reasons to want to hang out with me. It’s like a daily job interview where I’m sitting across the room from him, wringing my sweaty hands, desperately providing reasons why I am qualified for the position, while silently bad mouthing poor little Jimmy in my head.
I sat in a chair and let my son throw 60 water balloons at me last week. Sixty. Get my drift? After I was attacked from all angles and cold and wet, I was given nary a sympathy hug. I didn’t get a towel either, just a forlorn soul wanting a real playmate. After that, I built a personalized car wash out of a cardboard vodka box from Costco for him to zoom his cars in and out of. He did it seven times. It took me an hour to build it.
“Can I go to Jimmy’s house now?”
“Not today, Bud.”
“Well then can you have a baby brother for me?”
“Because Mommy has had as many babies as she is physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of dealing with.”
“What does that even mean?”
“It means Mommy’s heart is full.”
Even if I wanted another baby (which I unequivocally do not), someday soon that baby will be almost 5, thriving in every way possible, heading to kindergarten in a few short months, and wanting absolutely nothing to do with me. I can’t keep having babies! It hurts, and they’re expensive.
We have one month left together before the shitshow of summertime ensues with the other two heartless miscreants who have selfishly moved on without their mother. One month. The pressure is mounting. His immediate future with countless Jimmies is planned. Mine is not.
I have feelings too! Who’s going to be my Jimmy when I want to play cars?
Kiss my ass, grandma.