I know Chloe and Sophie love me. Yet my girls are no different from the millions of other kids around the world who treat their parents like chopped liver.
I’m Mom. My devotion to my daughters’ well-being sometimes feels all-consuming. I’m laser-focused on their happiness (except when I’m not). In case the girls ever harbor any doubts about my love for them, the following list should allay their concerns about where my loyalty lies.
The Top Five Things I Hate To Do But Do Anyway Because I Love My Girls
(1) Sit on sand. I adore the ocean. But ask me to plant my ass directly on the sand and I cringe. So when Sophie begs me to sit next to her on the wet sand and I comply, despite my aversion to thousands of those minuscule particles going where the sun don’t shine, it’s my way of saying “I love you.”
(2) Baking. I love our arts and crafts-style kitchen. Especially the backsplash of snow-covered mountains inspired by the French alpine town where my husband and I first met. I just hate using the kitchen for its intended purpose. I cook out of necessity. And I only bake when Chloe or Sophie implores me to make something sweet. I flip through all of my (mostly unread) cookbooks to find the perfect (i.e., easy) recipe and talk to myself a lot – a bit like a crazy person, in fact – as I attempt to ensure the edibility of whatever concoction they’ve talked me into making. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
(3) Arts and crafts. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the equivalent of a colonoscopy and 10 being the equivalent of a luxury beach vacation on a private island, doing arts & crafts with my girls comes in at about a 2. Their skills in this area have so far exceeded mine that I’m better off simply serving as their official cheerleader while they create. I’d much rather provide encouragement and supplies than try to make something myself. Sophie has told me that I’m pretty good with pipe cleaners. But I think she says that just to console me. When Sophie asks me to make something, a bunch of the brain cells in the right side of my brain die a little. I then feel guilty, so I sit next to her on one of the miniature kid chairs we bought when she was a toddler and hope that it doesn’t succumb to my weight. I study all the crap she sets in front of me. I make sure to look like I’m concentrating VERY hard. I fold, I color, I cut. I hate Elmer’s glue, but I’ll pretend it’s my best friend to prove my love for her.
(4) Help with school projects. I never used to have any feelings – good, bad, indifferent – about the word “project” until I had kids. Now that I’ve been a mom for 13 years, however, I have given serious consideration to banning the word from our family’s collective vocabulary. School projects cause parents and their spawn to enter into wars of attrition where the only winners are the stores that sell all the supplies needed to complete the damn things. Some of our worst shouting matches – wife vs. husband, mom vs. child, sister vs. sister, mom and dad vs. child, sisters vs. mom – have been caused by these cursed assignments. And yet, when push comes to shove, I swallow the calming prescription meds that I have stockpiled exclusively for such occasions and limit my yelling to only those moments that really merit it, like the time Chloe insisted on generating electricity using a magnet for her school’s science fair. Love, love, love, I tell you.
(5) Find Their Missing Shit. Sophie calls me “Finder Mom.” It’s an affectionate nickname, although as the years go by, it’s one I’ve started to resent more than enjoy. The girls constantly lose things. They make half-assed attempts to find the things they’ve lost and then inevitably come whining to me with their tales of woe. They don’t ask me for help. They just wait for me to stop whatever I’m doing and hunt for their stuff. Because whatever it is I’m doing isn’t nearly as important as tearing apart the house for the crap they misplace. When I relent and start looking for the missing item, what are the girls doing? They’re watching TV or playing games on the iPad. And when I find their missing shit (which I always do, by the way)? “Oh, thanks, Mom,” is their typical nonchalant response – as if they weren’t in tears 20 minutes earlier mourning the disappearance of a prized possession.
Now it’s your turn, readers. What do you hate to do but do anyway because you love your kids?