The Anti-Mommy WeekCassandra Barry
We were all supposed to go see Monsters Inc in 3D a couple of weeks ago. But that morning, Laszlo said he didn’t want me to go.
“Just me and Daddy are going to go,” he said.
What the hell? Usually he wants us all to do everything together. Sure, some days he favors one of us, but this seemed extreme. He was outright rejecting me, ostracizing me, leaving me to fend for myself.
Secretly, I was a little happy about it because it would give me a couple of hours to get some stuff done. Still, it stung.
I figured it would pass and I gave him about a half a day before he started freaking out, asking for me. I hoped. I thought that after finding out that Daddy didn’t carry snacks, water to drink, and extra toys, he’d be missing me pretty bad within no time. He’d come crawling back for some Mommy comfort, I just knew it.
Little did I know that this was just the beginning to a whole anti-Mommy week. Here’s how my week went after that:
One day, when Joel was on a business trip, Laszlo freaked out a little.
Laszlo: I only want Daddy!
Me: Wow. What am I, chopped liver?
Laszlo: You are chopped liver.
One night, he saw me making his lunch for preschool the night before:
Laz: What are you doing?
Me: I’m making your lunch for school tomorrow. Who do you think makes your lunch for school every day?
Seriously?! Joel has never once made his lunch for him. Actually, I take that back. I think he did it once.
A day or two later, this happened:
Laz: Me and Daddy are best friends…. Me and Daddy are stuck together.
Me: Well, actually, we are all stuck together. We are a family. Daddy married me.
(I couldn’t believe that it had gotten to the point where I had to throw the whole marriage thing in Laszlo’s face, in an attempt to prove that I was part of the crew.)
Laz: No. Me and Daddy are stuck together and you are by yourself.
Me: (Desperate for some appreciation at this point.) Hey, I was thinking about going away for a few days next month. How does that sound to you?
Laz: Would I be with Daddy?
One night when Joel was out working again, Laz said, “I only love Daddy.” He didn’t say it in the middle of tantrum. We were just hanging out. I had just served him dinner. (Me. Not Joel.) Laszlo just said it in a matter of fact way. As if to say, “Oh, here’s something you may be interested in knowing: I only love Daddy.” So I, equally matter of fact, replied, “Oh. Okay. Then I guess you don’t need me.” And I went to the door and opened it as if I was going to leave. And he pretty calmly said, “No! I want you to be here.” As if to say, “I don’t feel like being alone or and I would prefer your company to none at all, so please stay.”
I probably shouldn’t have pulled the “I’m going to leave because you don’t love me,” maneuver. Even though it didn’t really upset him, it’s not the kind of “martyr” mothering I believe in. Moms kind of are martyrs, but we shouldn’t act like we are.
But I guess I just couldn’t take it anymore. How much more abuse was I expected to take? Just the week before, I had stayed up with Laszlo while he was in the thick of pneumonia. Joel was away again for a couple of days. During the worst of the pneumonia, of course. I’m also the one who took Laszlo to the doctor, got his prescriptions and lost sleep over his health. But of course, that meant nothing to Laszlo either.
Part of me felt like I should explain that treating me this way isn’t nice. After all, I wouldn’t want him saying to someone at preschool, “I don’t want you to play with me.” Or telling someone on the playground “I only like that other kid, not you.”
But instead of making a big deal out of it, I should just “mom up” and hope that it will pass. And if that doesn’t work, I will just go away for long trip until he appreciates me. I hope.