See, I could be a better mother, the kind of mother I want to be.
I could hang off their every word. Every word about Britney and Justin, about Barbie and dinosaurs and who holds the worldÃ¯Â¿Â½s record for the longest fingernails.
I could be enthusiastic about everything they do. Every art project, every experiment. I would happily wipe up paint from the kitchen floor, table, chairs, walls and windows, not saying a word. I would gladly wipe that gunk off the ceiling. I wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t say a word about the latest game involving a dozen barbies, two dressers spaced a room apart, and lots of string. I would never make them do chores or homework.
I would let them use the computer whenever they wanted. I wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t stand over them, reading the email they receive to make sure the sender isnÃ¯Â¿Â½t a 44 year old married man from Pittsburg. I would let them safely browse all sorts of Internet sites without comment and without pushing them out of the way saying, Ã¯Â¿Â½Oooo, click over here! That looks cool!Ã¯Â¿Â½. I would let them play all sorts of computer games, never once insisting it was my turn, or never even thinking about beating their high score.
And speaking of computers, I would never, ever write email or journal entries or post comments or just plain read while the children fought behind me, or while the baby was pulling at my waist as I ignored her whines. IÃ¯Â¿Â½d never do that.
IÃ¯Â¿Â½d always cook a well-balanced meal. IÃ¯Â¿Â½d never serve leftovers or preformed meat products. I would make all the baked goods from scratch, not scrounge the bargain bins for 50% off cookies and muffins. I would never serve holiday cakes after the holiday, or goods that expired yesterday.
I could speak loving, encouraging words to them all the time. I wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t scream, yell, insult or cajole, even in jest. IÃ¯Â¿Â½d never have to apologize for saying something like, if I was your age I wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t want to be your friend either, if youÃ¯Â¿Â½re going to be that mopey. I wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t do that, no not me.
I would feed the baby all organic foods. Sugar would never pass her lips. She wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t know what the tv remote is used for. She would never even cry, because IÃ¯Â¿Â½d hold her every second of the day, tending to her every whim. I would know exactly what she wanted at all times. She would have a regular nap and never fall asleep at her high chair or in her foam Elmo seat. I would nurse her until she is really done, even if it takes all night, and not unlatch her as soon as I can get away with it, so I can get up and watch tv before coming back to bed.
I would know what IÃ¯Â¿Â½m having or supper the day before, and not look in the cupboards at 4:59.
I would never hog the popcorn bowl at the movies.
I would get up before the kids and have a hot breakfast waiting for them. I would never stumble out of bed after they did, wander into the kitchen all bleary-eyed and warn them to leave me alone until IÃ¯Â¿Â½ve done my tea and email reading.
I would never read a book, just for myself. I would never learn how to make a web page. I would never go to a girlÃ¯Â¿Â½s night out. I would never go shopping without them and IÃ¯Â¿Â½d always pay them allowance on time. I would never read the newspaper and have deep discussions with anyone about world events. I wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t have a cause of the moment because IÃ¯Â¿Â½d be too wrapped up in my kids.
See, I could be a better mother. I could do all those things. But I wonÃ¯Â¿Â½t because then I wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t be me.