I never flinch when one of my beloved offspring declares me the “Worst Mom Ever,” because to be honest, they don’t know the half of it.
C’mon. It’s not that I’m deliberately “bad.” Indeed, the tears I’ve shed, the books I’ve read, and the committees I head, I think, all give testimony to my devotion to “good” parenting.
There are times, though, with seemingly little effort -- ba-dow! – I squarely reclaim the title.
Take, for example, when the kids are sick or hurt. Let me be clear, in instances like those, I’d always gladly, desperately, prefer to take their places and bear their pains. Still, there’s something perversely satisfying, after deciding the situation calls for a professional, in hearing a doctor announce, “It’s strep.” Or, “Yes, Ms. Wiles, it looks like he needs stitches.” Or, “Hmm. I think we need to see a specialist.”
At moments like those, it’s all I can do to suppress my true feelings, which run along the lines of, “Yes! I knew it! I knew we needed to go to the doctor! I knew this was a real medical situation! I was right!”
Not exactly banner parenting. Far from it. Still it’s not just the kids who are subject to this “I was right!” behavior. I do it to myself.
Yesterday, Son and I went for a run. (OK. His was a “run,” and let’s just say that mine was something less.) At the last minute, we decided to take Josie, the high-strung rescue dog, so she could “unstring” a bit.
She loved it. Loved, loved, loved it. Son ran (far) ahead of us. As I trudged – and Josie cantored -- through our first mile (have I mentioned that my 30th high school reunion is in fewer than four weeks?), a bicyclist pedaled up behind us. Josie (have I mentioned that she’s high-strung?) got spooked. Mid-stride, I tripped, and then, flipped over her, landing on my palms, my knees, my top lip and my left elbow.
As my nephew would say, “Crap! With an S-H.”
I reckon that would be “shap.”
I finished the run, er, trudge, with a split lip, blackened and blued palms, bloodied and gravel-embedded knees, and a keen pain in my elbow.
Returning from his three-mile sprint, Son hardly noticed. “You need a towel,” he noted. “You’re sweating a lot.”
When we returned home, Son played video games, I began dinner (grilled sausage and grits, asparagus in lemon and butter sauce), and Josie? She ran away.
Three hours later, Son recovered her, and by then, my elbow was really bothering me. I tossed and turned all night. Should I go to the doctor? Won’t he just tell me I’m old? What if he says it’s just a bruise? Still, after a sleepless night, I made the call.
Doc found nothing broken. Yes, I was injured, but there was nothing to garner real sympathy. All I could really tell people was that I fell down and went boom. Still, Doc sent me on to the orthopedist, just to be sure, who, praise the Lord, took x-rays from a slightly different angle, allowing me to now triumphantly say, “I have a fractured elbow! I knew it!”
Shap. I'm still a mom, though, which means someone's about to pose the dreaded "What's for dinner" question. Time for Plan B.
So tonight, instead of grilled salmon, it’s delivery pizza. Well, that, Celebrex, hydrocodone and this light little radish salad.
Of course the kids don't like radishes. Yet another way for me to regain the title, "Worst Mom Ever."
Radish & Chive Salad
This refreshing and crisp salad is super simple -- no real measuring required!
One bunch of radishes, cleaned and sliced as thinly as possible
One small bunch of chives (bunch should be no heftier than your pinkie finger), minced
2-3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
Generous sprinkling (about 1/2 teaspoon) of kosher salt
Toss all ingredients together. Chill about 30 minutes and serve.