Please know I am not kidnapping my own kid. Even though he likes to scream “Mommy!,” arms outstretched, lurching forward out of my arms towards G as fellow mall-goers stare, he is fine. He’s mine though when tired and/or hungry and/or over it (read: every time we’re at the mall), O only wants his Mom. At this point, Mommy herself is usually tired/hungry/over it and I’m doing my best to take the whirling dervish so she can finally shop for something other than diapers.
But no wonder people stare…if some kid is being carried away by another woman while yelling “mommy!” – who is that person? Usually, I flex my best “exasperated parent look” while explaining loudly that we’re going to play and give Mommy a break to thwart any calls to mall security. Once we get beyond view, O’s immediately cool and we spend the time balancing along the tile floor lines or pretending to drive the train toy that Baba forgot to bring money for.
Every so often I am reminded (especially in my rural surroundings) that not everyone knows who or what I am. While our friends, colleagues, doctors, teachers and such know that O has a Mama and Baba, there are plenty of people who don’t. This morning we took O for an annual check-up at the ear doctor. The nurse filling out paperwork asked “Who’s the mother” to which G replied “We both are”. The woman looked up, surprised, and said “Oh! How did that happen?!”. G mumbled something about “the miracle of science” but said nurse’s mind was already blown (forget about trying to explain what a Baba might be).
While my sensitivity towards having to explain who I am and how I can be a parent to a kid who already has a mother has waned somewhat, I still am keenly aware, thanks to O’s public and Oscar-worthy dramatics, that our family make-up is still abstract to a lot of people. I’m fine with taking the long road and am always happy to chat about who we are…just please don’t call security.