Last night, Younger Girleen was troubled by a very particular sort of rash that made her a very unhappy camper. How do I know this? Because between 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. she sobbed out at intervals “Mommy, Daddy! My bauble hurts!”
First off, I suggest we ALL begin referring to our girly parts as “baubles” (If we are of that portion of society that possesses them). Authors of Mother-Blogs I’ve found myself reading occasionally wax anxious over what name they should teach their girl children for the the body parts that make them particularly girlish (fathers do not have this anxiety about their sons’ body parts, and actually, now that I think about it, mothers probably don’t either). But now, hooray— here’s Younger Girleen, to save the day! In my book, bauble wins hands-down over “front bottom,” a moniker a mom acquaintance actually once uttered in my presence. Without laughing.
(Even my parenthetical expressions have parentheses! This is a writerly talent on a par with being able to manage flashbacks within flashbacks, right?)
All this being said, nature abhors a vacuum, as we all know, and there’s no vacuum like the brain of a mother who’s lying in bed, every nerve tingling, waiting for the next cry of a child that she knows has not had done with crying for the night. Last night mine quickly became the perfect space for the Bad Mommy Spectre to insinuate herself into into.
O, Bad Mommy Spectre, my old friend, where’ve you been? I was missing you!
First things first, the Bad Mommy Spectre let me know in no uncertain terms that Younger Girleen most certainly had this particular rash because I had fallen down on the job. In fact, if I’d really been on top of things, she wouldn’t even be in diapers at this point. Bad Mommy Spectre and I then moved on at a merry clip to revisit the conversation I’d had earlier in the day with Elder Girleen’s teacher about the fact that seeing a picture taken of herself on a recent field trip with her eyes closed had forced Elder Girleen to have a complete and utter emotional breakdown for a portion of the school day.
Bad Mommy Spectre and I then hand-in-hand revisited the rest of my day (Bad Mommy Spectre shares some traits with the Ghost of Christmas Past from A Christmas Carol) and determined that the chaos of the dinner table, the kvetching, the refusal to let certain foods touch certain lips, the penchant for getting out of one’s chair and making a complete circuit of the house before sitting back down are of course all due to my neglect of my duties.
We then dwelled upon the fact that Younger Girleen’s best friend is moving in March (he’s her best friend mainly because his mother is the mother I most often choose to hang out with, but still…) and because of my lack of attention to her social life, I have no idea who we will invite to her birthday party next May. If I were a good mother, I wouldn’t be walking us over to X’s house so I can have coffee with X’s mother while Younger Girleen and X play, I would be forging friendships with the mothers of two-and-a-half-year-olds who won’t be moving any time soon. Even if I don’t like them!
Even recounting all this makes me tired. You get the picture, though.
Bad Mommy Spectre’s best friend is Bad Writer Spectre. Having less material to work with these days, Bad Writer Spectre just shows up every so often to tell me I suck, and then wanders off for a smoke break.