Pretending to be the Mother They’re Pretending I am

Today has been one of thoseĀ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but only slightly. No, we haven’t experienced a major catastrophe, meltdown, illness or otherwise majorly stressful event. Rather, it’s been one of those days that wear you down, drop by drop, like a slow leak in your roof that’s hard to pinpoint. It’s hard to fix, because you can’t nail down the source.

After failing to get the mower started, and giving up on getting anything done outside (this God-forsaken Kansas wind!!!), I let the girls stay on our covered front porch to play while I went in and did dishes. I turned the AC off, and opened the storm door glass, so I could still hear them through the screen.

“Oh, hi sweetie. How was your day today? I missed you SO much. I’m here to pick you up.”

I turned off the water, and crept to the living room, where I could watch them unobserved. They appeared to be playing house, alternately playing the role of mother and baby. The mother would drop the baby off at daycare, go to work, and return shortly with big kisses and sweet words. The deck box was the car, where they would climb on top and turn an imaginary steering wheel.

“Oh, you can go play with your toys honey. Ok, I’ll make you some dinner. What would you like?”

Their mannerisms, their phrases, were so…kind. Sweet. Lovely on the ears. But who was this mother they were portraying? Certainly not me. Well, not today. I’ve been barking and grumbling and droning on with my most annoying shrill mom voice. “Stop! What are you doing? Pick that up! Where’s your cup? I just got you a drink!” Not a proud morning.

But listening to my girls, you would think their mother was always soft-spoken, patient and willing to stop whatever she’s doing to tend to their needs. Then again, they were playing pretend. Not exactly going for accuracy. So why couldn’t I? Why couldn’t I fake it til I made it out of this slump? Surely, if a two and four-year-old can pull this off, so can I. Shortly, the girls themselves grew frustrated with the (God-forsaken) Kansas wind, and decided to come inside. Then, my preschooler put my new-found desire to play pretend to the test.

I even let them lick the beaters.

I even let them lick the beaters.

“Mom, can we make cookies?”

I took a deep breath, and in my most saccharine voice answered her, “Of course, honey. That would be wonderful.”

I have no agenda today, nowhere I have to be, so why not? Why not just play house with my girls, and pretend to be the mother they’re pretending I am? The second sheet of oatmeal cookies is in the oven, my kitchen is a mess, but I’m feeling better.


4 Responses to Pretending to be the Mother They’re Pretending I am

  1. This is fantastic. My kids pretend I’m sweet too.

  2. Emily Davis says:

    Love you story. It just shows it’s all in your attitude!

  3. Arnebya says:

    I’m afraid I’ve yelled so much I’ve broken their ability to portray me nicely. Even my 3 yr old pretends to be the mom (he refuses to be the dad) and he yells. I’m working on it because I hear me too.

  4. Robbie says:

    I miss the days when my kids played pretend & I could listen in on them. They always catch me now.

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