When First-Time Mom Me Met Present-Day Me

by Meredith Ethington
first-time mom veteran mom

I’ve changed a lot in almost nine years of being a parent. But, if First-Time Mom Me and Present-Day Me met, it might go something like this:

(knock on the door)

First-Time Mom Me: Um. Hi. Uhh. Sorry to bother you, but did you know your child was playing outside by himself? In the front yard?

Present-Day Me: He is? Oh, it’s fine. We do that all the time.

First-Time Mom Me: Oh. Well, don’t you worry that he’ll run out into the street, or get kidnapped, or something?

Present-Day Me: Nah. He’s out there a lot. I’m more worried a neighbor is going to tattle on me. Wait. Are you a new neighbor?

First-Time Mom Me: No. I was just driving by and thought I should stop. I mean, what if a giant tree branch falls and hits him on the head? Or, a bee stings him? Or he gets a splinter? I just noticed he doesn’t have shoes on.

Present-Day Me: Yeah. I tell him all the time to put his shoes on. But, you know 3-year-olds….

First-Time Mom Me: (speechless)

Present-Day Me: Oh, right. Well, don’t you worry. He’ll be fine.

First-Time Mom Me: I could just sit with him if you want, until you’re not busy with whatever it is you’re doing.

Present-Day Me: Oh. Well, that’s not necessary. You see, I’m never not busy. So, unless you want to move in…ha ha.

First-Time Mom Me: (speechless)

Present-Day Me: Would you like to come in, maybe take a nap on the couch. You look tired.

First-Time Mom Me: Yeah, I don’t sleep much. She’s teething, so I have to check on her every two hours.

Present-Day Me: Well, come on in. I was going to let the 3-year-old watch some TV anyway while I worked. Yours is welcome to join him.

First-Time Mom Me: Oh. Well, that’s OK. She’s already had her 30 minutes of Sesame Street today. That’s all I’ll allow.

Present-Day Me: (laughs hysterically) Funny! Wait. Are you kidding?

First-Time Mom Me: Yeah, don’t want to screw her up by watching too much TV.

Present-Day Me: Right (slyly turns off TV playing some random kids’ show that’s been on for hours). So, I’m heating up some nuggets, but let’s be real, the 3-year-old will probably just have chocolate cake for dinner because the big kids will scarf down their food so fast that he won’t have even decided to take a bite of his, so I’ll cave and then he’ll probably just eat cake. But, at least he’s eating something, right?

First-Time Mom Me: (speechless)

Present-Day Me: (to 6-year-old) Get off the roof of the car!

First-Time Mom Me: How many kids do you have?

Present-Day Me: Three. But, it feels like 30, let me tell ya’. It’s a straight-up zoo around here some days.

First-Time Mom Me: Where’s your other one?

Present-Day Me: Oh. Not sure. I should probably go check. I think she’s at a neighbor’s house.

First-Time Mom Me: (speechless)

Present-Day Me: Okaaay, well, I have like five billion things to do, like make a phone call, while folding laundry, while changing a diaper, while figuring out what the 3-year-old might decide he wants to eat today, while writing a blog post, sooo, are we done here?

First-Time Mom Me: (momentarily speechless) Uh. yeah. Are you sure he’s OK out here by himself?

Present-Day Me: Oh. I’ll bring him inside if that will make you feel better. I mean, his brother is out here too, so how bad can it get? (crying starts)

First-Time Mom Me: Are you going to see why he’s crying?

Present-Day Me: (listens for a few seconds) That’s not his hurt cry. I mean, totally faking, can’t you tell?

First-Time Mom Me: Aren’t you worried? I mean, I don’t want to be totally paranoid, but I totally am. Ya’ know? First-time mom here. (laughs nervously)

Present-Day Me: Yeah, I know honey. (gives One Kid Me a slightly longer than normal hug) It will get better. Promise. (whispers in One Kid Me’s ear) Go home and take a nap while you still can, okay?