It’s Hard Work Being His Favorite.

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“Mommy, You’re the Best.”

“Hey Mommy………..I love you.”

I hear each of those phrases at least forty-eight times a day.

Noah likes me. A lot.

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And by a lot I mean he really prefers to be with me at all moments.

It’s utterly precious until it’s not.

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All the honest Moms out there say “here, here.”

“Not” starts somewhere around 10am in the morning when I need just a second or two by myself.

But that is an unreasonable request, he quickly lets me know.

And I have to ask…

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So to have a tiny second to myself, I try gifting him with the lovely bonus of a break from school. And I steal away to my room for just a second of silence from his incessant talking and questions and talking and questions.

But he comes and finds me.

During break time.

It’s as if he doesn’t understand that break times are for Mommies.

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So I do what any normal mom would do.

I take a shower.

Thinking that this is the one place I can have a moment alone.

Until I start to get out of said shower.

And notice a tiny set of blue eyes peeking from the other side of the cracked door.

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I scream.

Naturally.

Because my brain doesn’t immediately compute that it’s the stalker I birthed from my own body and not some other more nefarious stalker.

Which makes my tiny stalker cry.

“Mommy! You scared me!”

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Yeah. Because I wasn’t scared at all.

So we get in the car to do errands.

Where it becomes most apparent that he can only process thought if and only if he thinks out loud with the preface of “Hey Mommy….?”

After which he’ll wait 3 seconds for an interested answer.

I don’t give it. Because I only have so many interested answers a day and he’s already used them up before I get out of bed.

So he continues without feedback.

“Hey Mommy….did you know I once forgot to put my goggles on when I went down the slide at the pool?”

“Hey Mommy…I really like Pokemon.”

“Hey Mommy…you should really see mine and Ali’s city on Minecraft.”

After the first few Hey Mommys my brain feels like Louis C.K.

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After ten more Hey Mommys (and we haven’t even gotten out of the neighborhood yet) I feel like Klum.

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At Hey Mommy number 25 (we might have made it to the interstate by now) my insides are full-on Snape.

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Halfway through our 20 minute trip we reach Hey Mommy number 53 and all I hear and see and feel and am is Schwarzenegger.

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It’s rough being so thoroughly loved. But it’s precisely why we become Mommies.

For my Wistful Future Self.

A few weeks ago, I shared this video on Instagram. This is Noah’s current favorite phrase to me, thanks much to Farkle from “Girl Meets World.”


(You have to click it to finally make it stop…or it’ll just continue in an eternal loop.)

(As a note, I tried to get him to say “Hellllllooooo GiANN!!!” to the babysitter the other night but Noah told me, “No. NO. I…I just…I could NEVER do that.” So it’s nice to know I’m special.)

Anyway.

This moment made me realize that I rarely video my kids anymore. I don’t know why – I just don’t. I tried that one second a day trend last year and I made it to January 9th before giving up in frustration. Video is just not my strong point.

But, I don’t want to be sad one day that I don’t have their adorable little kid voices recorded – you know, when I’m old and empty nesting and telling other frantic frazzled freaking out moms, “You be sure to enjoy EVERY MINUTE!! It goes by in a flash!” and they flash their middle finger at me.

Yeah.

Anyway. Noah has been kind enough to take matters into his own hands – to help me remember him as he is now forever. He’s learned to audio text me from his iPad. And I figured out how to save them onto my computer.

Sometimes, his messages will remind Future Me of the phrase that was the soundtrack of my life.

And sometimes, his  messages will remind Future Me of how long he could draw out an interruption of, say, me teaching his sister math, just to tell me…

(And then, you know, I feel all the guilt for being frustrated for math interruptions when all the kid wanted to tell me was that he absolutely adored me.)

And then some of his messages are so fantastic, so wistful, so delightful, that they will be the very ammunition that makes me tell that poor young mom to enjoy EVERY MINUTE.

Because I will miss being worshipped endlessly like this when he is a college student who never has time to call his Mom unless he runs out of Mac and Cheese.

But Noah does not, however, leave me hanging in this flux of eternal sentimentality. He doesn’t mind at all reminding me of what else he might like to call me.

But who knows. Maybe I’ll be so crazy that I’ll wish for that one day, too.

Surely not.

On Parenting The Male Variety.

“That bad smell you’re sniffin’ is my feet.”

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Because that’s what a little boy tells his sister, who is across the room, when she happens to have the sniffles.

He was sitting in my lap, though, so I should know – he wasn’t wrong.

His shoes have smelled so dead-rotted-carcass lately that one night I was in the living room after his bedtime, and I put all the throw blankets in the laundry room to wash and had sniffed every pillow on the couch before I realized that his shoes were hiding under said couch.

It’s like he plants little surprise gifts for me to gleefully discover while he sleeps.

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But he’s not just a rancid smell.

He’s also a confidently panicking backseat driver.

He can see my gas gauge. And notices when it turns from blue to orange. And freaks. The crap. Out.

“Mommy please can you get gas right now? There’s a gas station! STOOOOOOOOP!!!”

And then there are his veiled suggestions.

“Mommy I’d just like to let you know that the Waffle House is nearby.”

Never gonna happen, kid.

But his latest craze in over-stepping his job description is being a hands-on-the-wheel hawk. I really had no idea how often I took both hands off the wheel (usually when moving half a mile an hour or less) until Noah decided that freaking out about it was his new mission in life.

The first time it happened, I thought it would be fun to egg on this annoying little quirk in my son, so I began singing and holding my arms in the air like I just didn’t care.

I mean. What’s the point of having a new car with perfect alignment if not to drive without my hands on the wheel?

This did not help my life.

It did, however, ramp up his constant state of car anxiety by a gigapanic. He could see every microsecond that took place while I switched between driving with my right hand and my left hand and he would start screaming and/or crying. Because nothing makes a Mommy a better driver than a needlessly wailing five-year-old.

As I was driving out of the Chick-Fil-A drive-through (at a quarter mile an hour) and handing the children their bags of food, he began crying and yelling “Don’t drive right now!!! PLEAAAAAAASE!!!”

After the fifteenth time of telling him to never mention that my hands weren’t on the steering wheel again, he adopted the habit of simply growling quietly.

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His anxiety also bleeds over into his life ambitions…such as this conversation we had.

“When I grow up I want to shoot fireworks.”

“Okay buddy.”

“But I don’t know how to.”

“You can read on the internet how to do it.”

“But I don’t know how to read.”

“You will when you’re grown up.”

“But where IS the internet?”

“You know what I’ll just teach you how to shoot fireworks.”

“Okay.”

And he has many questions about the future, too. Questions I do try to answer with the best of my abilities.

Noah: “Mom, what does voting really mean?”

[I explain the entire democratic system]

Noah: “Well, [Redacted toddler friend] says voting is showing our booty and that isn’t nice.”

…It doesn’t take much to imagine the conversation that particular friend overheard her dad having about voters showing their booty.

But Noah’s greatest talent, by far, is his ability to always plant his elbows firmly into my boobs.

Whether he’s in my lap and sitting up, or crawling into my lap, or I’m three rooms away and there’s no need for elbow-to-boob contact of any kind, he slays me. Literally. And it’s not like I haven’t told him every single time to never ever plant his elbows into my chest ever ever again, but apparently, elbows have no long-term memory.

Right now, because I’m still not allowed to lift him, his use of elbows to lift himself has become even more pronounced.

Which is how we reached the climax of our elbow/boob misunderstandings.

I was laying on my bed first thing in the morning, and he came in to cuddle with me/beg me for breakfast. Instead of going around to the other side of the bed like a NORMAL HUMAN, he decided to lift himself up and over me.

Instead of pushing on the bed with his palms to lift himself like a NORMAL HUMAN, he planted an elbow in each boob and lifted his entire 48 pound body with a double-elbow-to-boob deadlift as if he was going to use them to javelin over me.

(And they totally felt like javelins, lemme tell you.)

…Except that he didn’t seem to know how to transition from hanging from his elbows to climbing onto the bed, so he just hung there, looking at me expectantly.

In the eternal second during which my boobs were being ground into my spinal column, my thoughts went as follows,

“THE PAAAAAIN!!! Oh crap I can’t lift him over me I’m gonna die I’m gonna die right here whatdoIdo to get this kid and his pickaxe elbows OFF MY BOOBS RIGHT NOW!?!?!”

My survival instincts kicked in and completely eclipsed my nurturing mother instincts. Without processing what was happening, I grabbed his shoulders and in one move, shoved him off of the bed.

MOMMY. FAIL.

He landed a few feet away in a clump, and I looked down in horror at what I had just done (okay really I was just hoping that this finally taught him to respect the boobs.)

He started crying and climbed up onto the bed (this time with no boob contact) to be comforted, but not without giving me a shocked and accusatory look. After a full examination, I was able to determine that his feet got a bit rug-burned from the fall.

(But this rug-burned feet recovered way faster than my boobs, so there’s that.)

Since I know his Book of Blame has an extremely long-term memory and he’ll be saying “Hey Mom remember that time you threw me off the bed?” for the next fifteen years, we’ll see if that helps his elbows remember the lesson from the moment.

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…But if I had to bet on it, I’d say they did not.