My lack of identity came to an apex recently at Wal-Mart. Now I realize that as a mother, my sense of self has long been buried. But the struggle remains! I fight against it, sometimes through bouts of depression, my husband and children never quite realizing what is wrong with mommy. Hah! Mommy is just fine, it’s C that is screaming, C that is crying, C that is refusing to do laundry or cook dinner. My split personality is at war and on Sept. 13, 2007 a battle was won for Mommy.
There I was, feeling a sense of freedom that only a mother of mulitple children can feel. I was down by one. My eldest started kindergarten and feeling an urge to spread my wings I hauled the boys off to Wal-Mart. Now this is no small feat for us, Wal-Mart is in another town, half an hour away. A trip there is a marvel in logistical and tactical planning. One must not go to early, because the baby needs a nap, and if you time it just right the baby will fall asleep in the car and sleep through the whole event.Thereby lowering the enemy combatants down to one. But if you leave to late, you risk running into lunch time hunger as you pass the cookie aisle, (whether the child or mother is more at risk, remains unclear). Take to long and you’re really in for it, the baby will wake, hungry, the munchkin will rise up in revolt and you will spend the rest of your trip trying not to be caught on video tape and taken completely out of context. ("Officer, now isn’t really the time to tell me to be nice to my kids")
Then there is the tactical side, and this is where my four year old comes in. Many would be surprised to learn that I have stooped to levels of bribery, manipulation and if he had any opinion, cruel and unusual punishment to get him to cooperate. He is a study in the field of personal agenda’s, a master at persistence, and often times is mistaken for a rock in the road to perfection (that would be my road, not his). But I must admit, on that day he was unusually compliant (true I had promised him a soda for good behavior...).
So there I was, sleeping baby, happy four year old, not a care in the world beyond which brand of product I wanted, when it came out:
"Oh, Mommy doesn’t like those ones."
It’s done, it’s over. I’ve said the words. I’ve referred to myself in ’third person mommy’. With one last cry from the me inside, my assimilation is complete. And I didn’t even see it coming.