I want Jeffrey to like me. I mean that. I don’t want to be “besties” per say. Nothing strikes the fear of God in me more than hearing the mother of a high school or college-aged student say, “We’re really more like friends than mother-daughter/son.” I run away in horror and pray for mercy on their souls. Big trouble is brewing.
I don’t believe that being a parent can EVER concede to being a friend. My mom, “the Captain,” has made that perfectly clear. Though we are thick as thieves, it is the Captain’s divine right to tell me the truth. Screw any semblance of tact, she’s my mother.
I know that in time my baby boy will have his own cronies to hang with and to lean on; but for right now, I really want him to like me.
I think that my partner Jeff feels the same way, I remember that soon after my finding out we were having a child, his number one concern was whether or not his child would affectionately listen to rap music; his second concern–whether he or she would hate him.
If you hidden camera’d our home, you would see the amount of time Jeff and I put into trying to win his fickle affection. It’s rather shameless and certainly pitiful to watch. The faces, the goofy noises, the awkward white people dancing…
All for the sake of a laugh.
We have lost our dignity.
You can surely imagine the depth of my pain when my one-year-old son dismissed me. I was catching up for a few minutes with his Grandma when I dropped him off before work. Apparently he had…well, he had heard enough. I was impeding him from going about his morning routine, and I needed to go.
With a shit-eating grin that only he can muster, Jeffrey waved his little baby wave and said, “Buh-bye.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m plenty used to being dismissed by family. It happens on a regular schedule. I can hear crickets chirping in the pregnant pause when the Captain passes the phone to my dad, Mr. Wonderful. When I call my folks, a typical conversation goes something like this:
The Captain: Hey, Mol. I got nothing. Here, talk to your dad.
Silence. (crickets chirping)
(I’ve come to find out after doing some deft reconnaissance work that Mr. Wonderful is shaking his head, frantically waving his arms, and mouthing the word “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”)
Dad: Hello. I got nothing. Alright. Love you, bye.
So you can see I’m fairly used to the brush off, but not from my son. I mean I’m really glad that he’s happy with his grandparents and with his other caregiver, Ms. Patty. I’m not one of those Munchausen moms who want their kids to break into hysterics for the sake of their own working mom guilt.
I just want him to like me—and I want him to fall out in laughter at my jokes.