Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grumpy Mommy, Guilty Mommy

Kids know your weaknesses and they exploit them. My kids, for instance, know that my Achilles heel is my extreme suspectptibility to guilt.

The other night at the tail end of bedtime (yes, bedtime is so protracted that there are various stages to it, like the life cycle of a caterpillar) I climbed up the bunk bed with my massive nine-month-pregnant belly swaying on the ladder, to sing lullabies to Primo. That sentence alone should make it clear why I was not chipper. I can't even believe I am still climbing into that damn top bunk in my gravid state. I watch myself doing it and I think, "Lady, you're nuts. Cease and desist this coddling immediately." Yet I continue. And as I continue, I grow more and more annoyed.

So I heaved my gargantuan mid-section up to the top bunk, huffing and puffing like I'd just ascended Mount Kilimanjaro, and I curled up next to Primo, very begrudgingly, and sang -- with little enthusiasm -- my usual repertoire of Ein Klein Nacht Musik, the which would be better-termed Go-The-Fuck-To-Sleep Music. Then, pierced with self-imposed guilt about my lack of enthusiasm, I told Primo that he was a good boy and I really loved him. And he, touched, and feeling similarly warm and fuzzy, issued this rejoinder:

"I love you too Mommy. But do you think you could stop being so cranky once the baby is born? Can you make it your New Year's Resolution?"

I succeeded in biting my tongue and not saying out loud, "Sure, I can stop being cranky. Just as soon as you can manage to GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP BEFORE 10 O'CLOCK AT NIGHT."

Of course, I felt guilty just for thinking it.

Catholic guilt, man. There's nothing quite as powerful.