“You used to be the best mommy, but not anymore.  You’re not being the best mommy at all.  Daddy is still the best daddy though.”

The insecure, guilt-ridden, people-pleasing mommy inside of me, the one that fills my head and heart with paranoia and doubt, wants to plead with you to take it back, to promise me that you don’t mean it; to validate me and all that I do for you, my beloved Superman, while I give you a big warm hug and whip up a batch of your favorite meal du jour.

The tired, overworked, overwhelmed mommy inside of me wants to yell back “Oh yeah?  Well you’re not exactly poised to win any awards right about now either, so there!” (insert hands on hips and tongue sticking out in order to drive home the point).

The quasi-rational mommy inside of me, the one that somehow manages to squeeze past the other two, bites her tongue and stays silent, letting you ramble on about how unfair your six year old life is, how I demand too much of you, how utterly hopeless the circumstances are.  I consider this evening’s exchange not unlike a scrimmage before the big game.  Each time you push my buttons son, and I manage to grit my teeth and rise above it, I am fortifying myself for the years when your testosterone levels flood your body and paralyze the brain cells responsible for human-like-behavior and all I am left with is a hairy sixteen year old with the personality of a doorknob.

And not a fancy doorknob, like this:

But a regular, run-of-the-mill doorknob, like this:

I can hear you thumping around in your room, stomping your feet in protest as you put away toys your friends left behind.  You know the rules my darling.
I have to take several deep breaths because this is hard for me son.  I can’t stand anyone mad at me, least of all my you.  My blue-eyed wonder, the best BIG brother, a boy with a heart capable of love and compassion far beyond your chronological age. 
Plus, when you’re grounded from t.v., I have to fill the time with, gasp, parenting
You are testing me.
Like the red-blooded child that you are, you are on a quest to find out just how far you can go before the poop hits the fan. 
Well, the poop has hiteth, my love.
This defiance in you.
This passionate need to argue every point I make, push against every boundary I set; I have to say, I preferred being spit up on and having to change neck-high diaper explosions in the middle of mommy group meetings at Starbucks.
But we will get through this, you just wait and see.
You can’t resist my unconditional, unwavering, codependent love forever.
I’m a mom.
I have Hallmark on my side.

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