“Fanks,” said my son, admiring the band-aided finger and in the sweetest voice, he sighed, lovingly shook his head back and forth and said, “I luf you.”
“Awww,” I said, “I love you too, buddy!” I was leaning in for a huge hug when my son looked up at me as if he’d forgotten I was standing there.
“I was tawking to da band-aid.”
Wasn’t I the one who paid extra for those things? Did I really forgo the expensive shampoo that I love (deserve!) just so I could rank lower than cartoon band-aids with a character whose movie I would not yet allow my child to watch?
It’s the job. Motherhood. There are limits to how excited kids can get over the purveyor of toothpaste and hand sanitizer.
You’d think it would be different with my five year-old daughter. We each have two x chromosomes, right? Common ground from which to bond.
The other day in our backyard sandbox, I wanted to boost her self-esteem by telling her, "Honey, I'm always proud of Mommy’s little girl."
Big Mommy smile. Big Mommy encouragement!
“Um, I’m Daddy’s girl,” she responded, deadpan.
Her self-esteem seemed fine.
And also,she was right.
She was elbow-deep, scooping a muddy moat around a big mound of wet sand in a sandbox she'd built with her father whom, I admit, was cute.
I was sitting on the edge of the sandbox with my shoes on.
“But honey, Mommy’s so much better at putting your hair into ponytails,” I said trying with all my might to throw my husband under the bus.
She looked at me with her long lashes that practically swayed in the breeze. She tilted her head to one side. Her charming little face made my heart ache with love.
This is the moment she says the words, I thought. I love mommy best!
She said, “I hate ponytails. They hurt.”
Later that night when tucking my band-aid boy into bed, I tousled his blonde hair and began to leave the room.
“You furgot to hug me.”
Yessss! I’m back! The one you really love is the one you call out to for hugs at bedtime! Surely! I scooped him up and smelled that fresh-load-of-laundry scent that was my little boy.
I tucked him back in.
I paused again.
I turned off the light.
In the dark I heard a sigh from my little cherub. “I luf you.”
I hate those glow-in-the-dark band-aids.