The other day the big kids were downstairs playing quietly while I was feeding the baby upstairs in her room. As H dozed off to sleep, I stared at her in the way that mamas do when they realize that time is flying by and their babies are growing faster than they would like. I admired the shape of her little feet and rubbed my hand down her chunky little thigh. I stroked her perfect little head and took a mental snapshot of how lovely she is and how grateful I am to have her. That got me thinking about how grateful I am to have all three of them, all wonderful in their own way, and as soon as I got H down for her nap I went downstairs with the intention of telling Jax and Em how amazing they are, my heart overflowing with estrogen and sappiness.
I sat on the bottom step of our stairs and called Jax over, then hugged him tight and whispered how much I loved him in his ear. I told him all the wonderful things that made him “you” and praised and told him how I proud I am of him. He gave me one of his very rare shy, sweet smiles (not to be confused with his crazy, I-am-loving-life superhero smiles) and went back to his Playmobiles. Then I called Em over and perched her on my lap. I hugged her tight and told her I had a secret for her.
“What kind of secret, Mama?”
“The kind where I tell you all the wonderful things about you and why I love you so much.”
Then I told her, too, why she is so amazing and all the special things that make her my girl. I expected a hug and a maybe an I love you kiss, but instead she turned her head and burst into tears.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, completely perplexed. I thought I was being an awesome, extra-special, living-in-the-moment rockstar mom. She took a deep breath, let out a wail and cried,
“I THOUGHT THE SECRET WAS GOING TO BE A TOOOOOOOOOY!”
A toy you say, you ungrateful little demon? I pour my heart out to you, attempt to build your self-esteem with accolades enumerating your many gifts and talents, not just how beautiful you are but why are you are so worthy of love, and you whine that you wanted a TOY? Well, isn’t that a fine how-do-you-do, you commercialized little monster.
That’s my Em. Always keeping me on my toes.
Next time I’ll just tell her she’s a nutjob.