My children come up to me about 3000 times a day asking me to do things. About 89% of the time, these things are simple things or mandatory Mom things (“Mom, can you wipe my butt?”)… The other 11% of the time, the things are physically impossible to do.
I defy anyone to tie a pink plastic leash with clips all over it into a bow. Or squeeze an American Girl doll into Barbie clothes. Or make a little girl’s hair look like a puppy paw. Or, against all laws of God and man, make a plastic horse stand on all four of its feet while being dragged around by a pink plastic leash with a giant knot in it. DEFY YOU.!!! Can’t be done.
I can’t say I understand why the pink leashes of this world need to be tied into bows, but when my babies are staring at me with their earnest blue eyes, I can’t help but give it a whirl (“Girls, I don’t think this is going to work.” “Yeah it is. Yeah. It. Is.”).
They stand there anxiously waiting as I crumple up the pink leash as best I can and wrap it around itself trying to make a sad facsimile of a bow. Or they impatiently wander back and forth while I try “stretching” the Barbie clothes and wedging an American Girl into them sideways, give up, and dangle the skirt off of a foot saying hopefully, “Maybe she can wear it as an anklet?”. They laugh at me when I discover that after 20 freaking minutes of putting a severely damaged toy back together, I have done it backwards, and scream, “WHYYYYY?!?!? AAAARRRRRGH!!!” and shake my fist in rage at the sky. That’s right, these children have the absolute gall to laugh at me after all I’ve done for them.
I’m sure you’re imagining that, seeing as the requests being made of me are physically, mentally, and emotionally impossible, my daughters are really supportive and accepting when they realize I can’t perform the task. Surely they see me struggling to appease their insane whims and show me some kindness and understanding…
When I hand them a wad of pink plastic leash and say, “Well, there ya go!” or a creatively accessorized doll or they look in the mirror and their hair looks more like a french braid than a puppy paw, they are very put out. They give me disdainful looks as they hand the things back to me and say, “Um, you didn’t do this right.” I say, “Sure. Um, it’s great! See!” They reply, “NO. That is not a puppy paw.” and wait grouchily as I try again. I’m not going to lie, it’s super annoying. Okay, I know you all think that’s mean, but don’t pretend like it isn’t. It’s annoying.
I can’t freaking do it, okay?!? I tried, and I can’t do it! Nobody can!!! Go ask Daddy!!! Blaaaaaaaargh!!! I say it a lot nicer to them (really I do), but you get the idea. They never take me at my word. Never. They insist. They plead. They whine. So I try again, and hand back a slightly better but still horribly wrong thing. And they perk right up. “Thanks Mama!” and then they wander off into whatever alternate reality they just came from.
Only to return five minutes later because the sham of a thing I’ve concocted has unraveled or fallen apart (again.).
So, if I wasn’t annoyed before (unlikely), I am, like, double annoyed at this point. However, being the amazing lady I am, I take the thing and say, “Okay, but this is the last time. Seriously.” And proceed to bungle my way through another repair job.
After the latest of these instances, I was sitting here asking myself what possessed my child to bring me that thing in the first place and I sorta realized, well, because she thinks I can do it. She honestly believes that somehow I can magically repair the unrepairable and fashion puppy paws out of kid hair. And she is infuriated when I (as any mortal), can’t do it. And even though it’s super annoying (it really is), it’s sorta sweet, too. My kids will both look at a thing, a disfigured/dismantled/impossible thing, and think that I can fix it, no matter what it is. Which I never can. They honestly think that I can figure everything out. Nobody else in the world thinks that. It’s pretty cool actually. And special, and humbling, and other mushy stuff.
And I am totally not looking forward to the day they realize, “Hey, this lady has never figured out a single thing! Ever!!!”
Was that cheesy??? Seriously guys, I am just a walking mammary gland… Oh man…