You know those moms who micromommy their kids for their entire lives? You know…….those ones who have to literally be right there to catch their child when they fall? Come now….you know them…. the “helicopter moms” who hover ceaselessly over their child’s every activity? Those moms that have a checklist ready before their juvenile, teenybopper, pubescent, teenager, adolescent….okay, adult….okay, 23 YEAR OLD….leaves the house. Them…everyone knows one of those moms. Well dammit…..me…… I am those moms….present and accounted for!!
Now, let me enlighten you about my oldest son Pepper. Pepper, such a special spice, has the thought process of a guppy. He is smart…..but also thicker than a bowl of oatmeal!.
When he was younger, Salt and I would be sitting in my car at 06h50 EVERY week morning, waiting for Pepper to FINALLY emerge from the house. Like a repeat button had been pushed, Salt would then start bitching about how stoooopid his brother was, and complain that we had to wait for him every morning.
At approximately 06h55 (in winter terms….the car windows had already defrosted), Pepper would mosey on out the front door, holding at least one sock in his one hand, and a shoe in the other. This was first prize, as sometimes he would mosey on out like that, but 2 minutes from school realise the other sock and shoe were not on his foot, but still at home.
So, you get the general idea about why Pepper’s brain power has yet to be determined? Smart-thick-sharp-dim-wise……oatmeal!!
Anyway, those were the ‘good’ days. That was before a cell phone… a license… car keys…. a wallet…and later…. a student card for University….and recently….the latest addition……A MASK!!! What was this cruel world throwing at my poor child??
Pepper then became a driver, and I was acutely aware of the fact that this dim genius would need the Mother Of All Checklists to be enforced. To be fair, I did try and let him learn his lesson on his own, but you absolutely need to believe me when I tell you…THE BRAINLESS CHILD NEVER LEARNT HIS LESSON!!!
So I just did what needed to be done….
‘Pepper, do you have your keys”, I would ask, as he was about to dart out the house.
“No….have you seen my keys anywhere?” he would ask, as I would know this how????
“On the dining room table” Salt, his younger brother, would bellow from his room, behind a closed door.
“Do you have your wallet?” I would ask, as he was about to dart out again.
“No….have you seen my wallet anywhere?” he would cautiously ask, a little hesitant after the glare he received when he asked about the keys.
“On the second shelf in the bookcase,” yelled Salt, still behind the closed door.
And so on and on….. and on this would go. So to cut corners, I eventually would just ask one question and included all the possible items he could potentially have forgotten. Sometimes this worked, other times, the length of the list led to this strategy failing. Ten minutes later, there would be Pepper, back to fetch something he had forgotten.
So friends (more particularly one friend), always told me that this was my fault, as I never let him think for himself. Well friend….how the hell did Salt always manage to think for himself? How did HE manage to leave the house unassisted?? Furthermore…how is it that Salt knew where everything belonging to his brother was, while his brother had no cooking clue??? Nope, I did that because I realised very early on, it saves both of us a whole lot more extra time and effort than if I did not.
So cut to Pepper getting his degree and waiting to start work. Oh, he thought he was a big man now, did Pepper, he did not need his mommy any longer. He was off to renew his Driver’s License. Now you can imagine…this checklist had to have a temporary addendum….passport photos, proof of residence, copy of ID etc. As Pepper was leaving the house in a big rush, I recited THE Checklist…..as always. I heard myself in my head, and suddenly realised that I could not go on like that. The child just needs to sort himself out. So, between him dashing in and out of the house about 5 times, to tick the list, I yelled….
“This is the last time I am doing this. I cannot be doing this every time you leave the house, you need to remember these things yourself!!”
“Well maybe if you stopped doing what you are doing, I would learn to remember on my own,” the little insolent twirp had the ABSOLUTE AUDACITY to say.
So, obviously, I decided at that moment, that I had totally ruined my child’s life, my friend was right, and my poor Pepper would now suffer the consequences of my actions. I needed to ensure he finds a wife who will photocopy THE Checklist for safety and continuity of my Pepper’s existence. I would have to email his future Employers to explain that they needed to understand my little darling’s handicap, and do whatever needs to be done to work around it. I would need to blind copy any of his future clients of this problem, as OBVIOUSLY they would need to know this too.
Before I did that, I decided to (in the words of this dense genius) ”stop doing what I had been doing, so he could learn to remember on his own.” Well….that did not go so well. Dense genius then started unilaterally approaching me, running through the checklist, to know where everything is.
“Don’t know…don’t care,” I would repeat every time this happened.
The big dilemma though, was that I was very quietly stressing that the child had left something important behind, and could not stop obsessing about it. So, when he came back (every time….at least once) to get something he had forgotten, I virtually had to superglue my tongue to my pallet, in order for me to avoid asking any questions (aka ”micromommying”).
So what, you might ask was the end result? Well since then, he has lost a remote for our gate (second one), dropped his phone one too many times (a lot better than the four previous times when he either lost the phone or had it stolen), thought he had lost his wallet…and I have no doubt that there are smaller things which have slipped my mind, or bigger things of which I have not yet been informed.
So, what am I to do about this child of mine? Well, the only thing I can do…….. I have begun ensuring I…. I mean HE, finds a wife who will photocopy THE Checklist for his safety and continuity. I will be emailing his now current Employers to explain that they needed to understand my little darling’s handicap, and do whatever needs to be done to work around it. And yes, his future clients will be blind copied in the email.