Confession of the Week:
I made an extremely bad call in determining that my kids are ready for more independence.
Now that Cole and Bella are 6 years old (well, 6.5 to be exact), I've allowed them more freedom and independence.
Okay, scratch that. I've pretty much demanded that they cut the imaginary umbilical cord that keeps them attached to me like a stark raving mad mother nursing a bottle of wine.
Last week, we met up with some friends at one of our local pizza hangouts. While we were waiting for them to arrive, Bella skipped up to me and said, "Mommy, I need to go pee".
Shrugging my shoulders, I replied, "Yeah....and I need a refill of Wellbutrin."
She stood there completely frozen, staring at me as if I had just told her that Star Magazine reported that Justin Bieber has putrid garlic breath.
"What?!" I challenged her. "If you have to go to the bathroom, you're fully capable of taking yourself. I can see the bathroom from here. Tell you what, get a head start and I'll come check on you in a few minutes, okay?"
With that, she nodded her head and ran off to the bathroom. And I, being the good mother that you all know me to be, promptly forgot she was in there.
After a few minutes, I saw her come out of the bathroom, holding something in her hand...a pearly-blue stick, it looked like.
She stopped in front of me and proudly announced, "Mommy, look what I found in the bathroom. Isn't it pretty?"
A combination of disgust and horror crossed my face and she screamed, "What's wrong?!"
"Oh My God, put that down! Like, throw it away! That is SO disgusting!" I bellowed, sounding more like a Kardashian sister than a mature 40-something mother of 4.
Her eyes widened in fear, "Why? What is it?!"
"Just go find a garbage quick and toss it, PLEASE! And then get back here so I can sanitize your hands!" I implored.
I cowered in embarrassment as my young daughter raced over to a complete stranger and asked where the garbage was, while waving the pearly-blue "stick" in her hand.
The woman looked mystified, as I imagined her coming to terms with the fact that perhaps the scientists were correct when they alleged that all those growth hormones in dairy products do indeed cause early puberty in young children.
After throwing the "stick" away, Bella came back to me and urged me to tell her why I had become so alarmed.
"Uh, well..." I began, not quite sure how to word it. "That was the outer tube of a tampon. You know, it's just gross because it was empty so obviously it had been USED". Just the mere thought of it again made my stomach twist into a million knots.
I squirted a huge blob of antibacterial gel into her hands and instructed her to completely sanitize her hands. When she had the nerve to question me, I blurted, "You just touched something that was in someone else's VAGINA! You better sanitize your hands NOW, missie!"
The look on her face was now one of confusion and repugnance. "Eeeewww", she shrieked. "Oh My God, that's SO gross!"
"Yeah," I agreed. "And you, my friend, held it in your little hands and thought it was the prettiest thing ever". She rolled her eyes at me, as if this was already yesterday's news.
When our friends finally arrived, I immediately told them what had happened because how precious is motherhood if you can't tell the whole world about your children's most embarrassing moments.
My friend laughed and told Bella, "Don't feel bad. When I was around your age, I found a used tampon holder and pretended it was a trombone. I actually put the end of it in my mouth!"
Bella, always one to try her best to be polite, couldn't help but shudder in disgust. Because merely rubbing a used tampon tube against her cheek was so much classier than putting in in her mouth.
So...perhaps I've been a bit premature in thinking that she's ready for more independence and freedom.