The Unfit Mother

Day One. I awake to the doorbell. My toddler son has not yet crawled into bed with me to snuggle as he usually does, so I shuffled quietly down the hall to answer the door.

To my great shock, it's my son — in just his boxers and t-shirt — with a big grin on his face. I profusely thank the two women that have brought him home. As soon as I get my son inside, I ask him what he thinks he was doing.

"I ran away!" he informs me jubilantly.

We talk about him leaving the house without an adult and I give him his first lecture on strangers. I'm pretty satisfied that he won't do that again, and why not? It worked with his brother and sisters.

So later, while he is happily snacking at the table and watching his favorite show, I slip off to quickly dress for the day. Less than a minute later, at the exact moment I am down to my birthday suit, the doorbell rings. Fearing that my son will answer it, I rush to make myself decent.

AGAIN I find my child outside in the company of the same women that had helped earlier.

This second episode kicks my mom-guilt into overdrive. How stupid am I? What kind of mother am I? Have I finally won the Darwin award?

I march my son down the hall to my room and make him sit on a time-out while I dress. I now have a reluctant and sullen but permanent shadow.

Day Two. My son uses the potty all by himself. He announces that he has to go, runs down the hall and does his business. USUALLY he skips back to announce his achievement. This does not happen today.

I discover that the bathroom door is closed and locked.

"Open this door RIGHT NOW."

"No!" He's laughing.

I demand. He opens the door. He takes a time-out.

Later, I step out front to let the dog in and my son rushes to close the door behind me. And locks it.

"Open this door right now!"

"No, no, noo-ooo-o!"

This is about the time when a mother realizes her worst fear. The child is in charge…and he knows it. Thank goodness I have my "I mean it" voice down pat. A wary little boy opens the door and thus begins the wailing and gnashing of teeth as he is sent to his room indefinitely.

"But I sorry, Momma!"

"You better believe it."

It might take a few deadbolts and a key on a chain around my neck, but I'm going to survive this twerp and live to see the day he has kids just like him.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Guest

    He sounds like a handful!  There's a reason why God made babies and children cute:  it increases their chances of survival!

  • Guest

    God loves you .

    Wanna precious door-locked memory? My daughter, Helena, was not yet two and just beginning to go into potty training on her own initiative. She was and is one usually of crack intellect, like her Mom. But, this day, Helena shrieked from the bathroom that she was ‘locked in’. It was not a lock easily overridden from without, so I started just to calm her down and ask her why it just would not unlock by turning the handle. She tearfully responded that ‘I don’t k-n-o-w!’ So it went for some minutes while I tried to wrangle with the lock from the other side.

    Finally, my logical wife Sharon asked our daughter ‘are you still on the potty?’ (Helena insisted on using the ‘big’ potty from the start, balanced precariously as she would be.)
    Helena responded ‘Yes’.
    Sharon said, ‘Get off and try the door’.
    (‘POP’) and the door opened. Helena had tried to stretch to open it while still on the seat. She just could not muster enough twist strength to get it unlocked.

    And, never again was she ever locked in anywhere that she could not prise herself from.

    Remember, I love you, too

    Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell @catholicexchange.com or … yahoo.com)

MENU