I know...doesn't seem possible, but it's true. Of course, I didn't realize it at the time. That is important for me to remember...because no one realizes their mistakes in the moment..other wise they would act differently.
I responded, "That makes sense. You know, Shelby is not a great swimmer either. So, I have her stay in the shallow end and I am in there with her. I would leave Garrett home with the sitter, and Dalton is in sports camp this week, so I would be able to focus on the girls."
"OK, that has to work", I thought to myself. Two lifeguards, me alone with the girls, in the shallow end...she's sold.
But no. I guess that I must look like a total degenerate, because she was not convinced.
"I know that my daughter would not want to stay in the shallow end...and you know how often kids drown in pools...and I would not want you to feel horrible if anything happened."
I offered up one or two more attempts to sell my stellar parenting skills, and ability to keep kids alive...but it was of no use.
And suddenly I was pissed.
I mean really.
This coming from a Mother who lets her two year old cross the street by herself and leaves her children in the care of an eleven year old babysitter.
I am definitely the more responsible mother here...damn it!
I was furious.
It was a total insult to my parenting abilities.
Does she not see how I walk Shelby across the street, insist that the kids always wear helmets when they ride bikes, have the kids on a firm bedtime schedule, feed the kids healthy food, and have a net around our tramp (unlike her)?! I even put those annoying little fluorescent safety signs out when the kids are playing that say "SLOW, KIDS AT PLAY".
How much more freaking SAFE can I get?
Have I done something that looks dangerous? The wheels in my head are now spinning. So, for a couple hours I am fuming. Actually, for about an entire day. So, I snubbed her yesterday at tennis. But she didn't seem to mind, or care.
That's another thing... She is a snob.
Gavin thinks that it's low self esteem. I think that it's mental illness, but it is LAME. You know that feeling when someone makes you feel like crap?...isn't it THE WORST!?
I felt it once or twice as a young child. But the first stinging memory of feeling "less-than" was when I was in the seventh grade.
There was a table with some kids, who were sitting around talking before the bell rang. I sat down amongst them, feeling comfortable, and joined in on their conversation. After I made a remark, I caught a boy making a face behind my back. It was one of those faces like "What loser", AND he rolled his eyes...AND all the kids laughed.
I was crushed.
I quickly retreated to another area of the classroom. It was the first time I really felt unworthy...like I didn't measure up.
And that is how this Hun of a Mother makes me feel...all over again. Like me and my so-stinkin-darling-charming-smart-funny-there-is-not-a-more-perfect-daughter, are not worthy of her clan. And you know what?...usually I would say "The Hell with you." Really. I mean it is not worth it to me in the slightest, to be around grown adults who have mental issues that are in any way going to make me or my daughter unhappy.
Problem is, her daughter is sweet. And her and my daughter do get on wonderfully. So Shelby is always asking for her...begging for her. No other friend can compare (in her eyes).
And then I have this epiphany: I have been that psycho... It is embarrassing as Hell to admit, but it's true. I have passed those same judgements on others. My son has some friends, who come from a family that always has some degree of drama going on. Their take on child-rearing is definitely different than mine.
I often find myself rolling my eyes in their direction, as the kids misbehave and the parents fumble around. "They are nothing like us." I have thought to myself, to justify the space that I put between myself and them. I have thought "They won't be friends forever. Dalton will soon outgrow them...they'll grow apart as they get older."- really I have hoped for this.
Their Mother has invited Dalton to numerous activities with their family. And each time, I too find some excuse as to why he can't go. Secretly, I do fear for Dalton's safety when he is in a car with them. I doubt they wear seat belts, and their vehicles are always breaking down.
So, I have made up one excuse after another...just like this Mother did to me. I have made them feel like they are lucky to have my son grace their presence...I have been that self-righteous-out-of-your-league-Hun...
So, if this lame-o of a mother must be an absolute looser to me...I guess I can be grateful that it has taught me how sucky it feels to be on the receiving end. And how I am vowing right here and now, that from now on I will never pull that shit on anyone ever again...no matter how many pairs of Crocks they own, or how many pink flamingos grace their lawns.
...because he is lucky to have friends who love him and make him feel so good about himself.
And so, when Shelby asks why her friend can't play...I tell her the truth. I tell her that her friend's Mom is nuts. And until this other Mother comes around to thinking sanely, I will let Shelby know that any one who isn't lucky enough to get to play with her, is SO missing out. Because she is stellar...and she is a good friend. One day girlfriend, you'll know without a doubt, that that is the truth.