Dear Two Year Old Child,
There’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you for a long time: you’ve got it all wrong. You are horribly mistaken. You have this illusion that I am capable of doing outlandish, impossible things.
There are several times everyday when you make a request and I simply cannot give you what you want. I hope you know that I really would if I was able, but I simply can’t. Cannot. Trust me, I’m not holding out on you.
The truth is pretty sad, but I finally have to admit it: I am not your Supermom.
I’m not a super hero at all. I cannot do amazing things. I cannot do the impossible. I do not have control over time or space or even all the books in the library.
This morning, you might remember telling me, “I have a starfish in my eye!”
Apparently it was invisible but I was willing to pretend it was real.
Then you insisted, “Get it out!”
I tried to tell you that I couldn’t. You didn’t want to accept no for answer. You started to get upset. You did your whiny-threaten-to-cry voice. Finally, I asked if the invisible starfish was hurting you.
“No, I’m okay,” you answered, in your completely normal voice.
So, please explain to me: why was it so important for me try to remove this invisible starfish? I don’t know. I hope you aren’t upset that sometimes a Not-Supermom such as myself just has to shrug her humble shoulders and walk away.
Really though, this whole Supermom thing has to stop.
Perhaps you need some kind of outside intervention. Someone with greater authority than I possess could possibly explain to you that your mother is only a human and that she has very real limits. Would you like me to take you down to the police station and have one of the officers explain these facts of life to you? Maybe you would respect the uniforms with funny hats and the super fast, loud police cruisers. Maybe if it came from a police officer, you would finally believe me when I say that when you drop food on the floor and the dog runs over and eats it, I do not have it in my power to make her, “Give it back!” The dog doesn’t even listen to me when I call her name, why would she spit out a delicious morsel of food upon my command?
For the record, I also want you to know that I have no control over your father.
You seem to have the impression that I can make your Papa do certain things. I have no idea where you got this idea. Nothing in your experience as a member of this family should lead you to that conclusion. I can’t make your Papa do anything. Believe me, I try. I really, really try. But Papa is not naturally inclined to listen to me. I cannot even get the man to stop leaving his shoes right in front of the door or to remember to refill the toilet paper when he uses the last piece. I’m sorry that your father forgot to take your tow truck our of the diaper bag. The diaper bag which is now car he already drove to work. No, I can’t get him to, “Bring it back!”
Also, I’ve tried over and over again to tell you that I don’t control the weather.
I’m unable to make the wind stop blowing so hard. I can’t tell the sun to stop shining in your eyes. I can’t get all of the melted snow to once again cover the yard. I know it’s not fair, but sometimes trains go past our windows as we drive on the highway. They are gone. I can’t get them to turn around and come back to you. And when we’re going down the road in our car, I can’t get construction vehicles to keep going in our direction. Sometimes they have to turn onto other roads. That’s just the way life goes. You have to let them go and focus your energies on finding a new object of fixation.
I hope that someday you will come to understand that all I can ever be is a mere human mother.
I try to pack you extra changes of clothes so that you will not have to go around in piss-pants. I always buckle you tightly into your car seat. I try really hard to follow your instructions on how to shape the play-doh. On most days, I even prepare the meals you chose the first time I asked. But I can’t make different food appear when you change your mind in the middle of my cooking.
My child, I love you a ridiculous amount, but I’m not Supermom. And you’re stuck with me so you will have to learn to love and accept me despite my terrible inadequacies.