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Broke Wife, Big City
a “Threenage” Drama King
By Aprill Brandon
He’s moody. He’s disrespectful. He hates everything I do.
Yup, my little boy is growing up. I can’t believe he’s a teenager
Oh wait. Sorry. That was a typo. I meant to type threenager.
I always thought people were exaggerating when they talked about the
Terrible Twos. My angel was just that when he was two. An angel. He was
sweet. Polite, even. And, oh, how he loved me. Every day was an emoji
shower of hearts and googly eyes with this kid. He loved his Momma.
Me and my stretch marks I got from giving him life were firmly
entrenched on that pedestal. And I loved it there.
So, of course, these same people had to be exaggerating about when
their kids turned three. They just had to be.
Not at all.
My angel has fallen. Only now I’m apparently Satan.
Because no matter how many tantrums he has, no matter how many times he
screams directly into my face, and no matter how many toys he hurls at
my head, I’m always the bad guy these days. I am mean Mommy. A mean
Mommy who yells for no apparent toddler reason. And only a mean Mommy
wouldn’t let him jump off the back of the couch onto the cold, hard
floor or hurl a heavy wooden toy car at his baby sister’s still
somewhat soft skull.
I know he’s manipulating me. I’m just surprised it’s working.
And, oh, how it’s working. So incredibly well. Because he’s hitting
below the belt, right straight into my uterus, by making it clear, in
no uncertain terms, that he now prefers Daddy to mean ‘ol Mommy.
Now, since having kids, I’ve tried to be the mature one, no matter how
much it goes against my basic personality. When my son calls me a
stupid poop face, do I respond with “at least I can wipe my own butt!”?
No. Except for that one time. Because I’m the grown-up now.
So as much as I want to respond with this new development in the family
dynamic by setting fire to all his stupid toys and slashing his
security blanket with a knife, I can’t.
Because I’m the…sigh…grown-up now.
But it’s slowly killing me.
As the mom, and as the primary caretaker, you get used to a certain
level of favoritism. In my not-so-humble opinion, it’s our payment for
all we do in lieu of actual money. Daddy got laid and I got 10 months
(IT’S ACTUALLY 10 MONTHS) of discomfort and extreme farting, followed
by a scalpel to my gut and shredded nipples and weird-smelling yellow
poop in my hair. Followed by 3 a.m. feedings and hours of theatrical
Dr. Seuss readings and cleaning up spills roughly every 23 minutes.
So, yeah, I get to be the favorite parent.
Except now I’m not. And again, I’m trying to be the mature one but IT’S
NOT FAIR. *throws nursing bra against the wall*
Daddy is indeed great. That’s why I married him, in fact. He’s
wonderful. But Daddy gets to leave and go to work.
So, by the very nature of our parenting arrangement, he always gets to
be the fresh parent. The one who hasn’t had to say “stop it” 1,987
times or play “This Parent Is My Jungle Gym” for nine hours straight.
And trust me when I say I’m so happy I have a partner who works at a
highly demanding job all day and can come home exhausted and yet still
swoop up both kids immediately before he’s even had a chance to put
down his computer bag (making sure to pet our dog in the chaos to
boot). He’s a very hands-on parent and the kids love it. And the stupid
dog loves it. And, of course, I love it.
Except I’m starting to hate it.
Because that’s the thing. Daddy always gets to be the hero. And I am
the swamp demon hasn’t showered and won’t let them eat cupcakes for
But I guess it’s only fair that Daddy now gets his day in the sun. I
selfishly hogged my son’s favoritism for almost three years.
But, still, it stings a bit.
At least until I remember I’m still his baby sister’s favorite.
Can’t get enough of Aprill? Can’t wait until next week?
Check out her website at http://aprillbrandon.com/