One of my favorite lines from the movie Dan in Real Life is when Steve Carrell gets pulled over for the second time by the same police officer, who warns him that "this is gonna cost you." Dan's response? A smile and a mumbled "just put it on my tab."
Soon thereafter, he loses his license.
I empathize with poor Dan, except my tab is an ever-growing heap of mommy guilt. I realized pretty quickly after having Calvin that guilt comes with the territory. I don't think there's a mother alive who doesn't feel guilty about something or another related to her kids. For example:
When Calvin was about two days old, I sat in his room, exhausted and sobbing, wondering why I'd thought having a baby was a good idea. And then I cried more, because that's a terrible thing to think about your sweet, innocent child.
I'd like to start a tab, please.
When Nate first went back to work and I was home alone with Calvin for hours on end, I would stare at him and think: what am I supposed to DO with you? I don't know how to play with a three-week-old baby. So, I put him in his bouncy seat, sat on the floor next to him, and checked Facebook.
Yep, go ahead and add that, too.
When I left Calvin to play on a blanket in the living room for a minute, then came back in to find he'd rolled over and was watching Law & Order: SVU, I about died. Not only was he watching TV, he was watching a show about sex crimes.
When I let him fuss in his crib one morning so I could sleep a few minutes longer, then went into his room to find him laying in a puddle of pee, I wondered if there had ever been a more neglectful mother.
Pile it on, baby.
And when I dreaded having to drop him off at daycare because I had to go back to work, only to find a few days later that I kind of liked being back at work...
Tab, tab, tabby tab.
Now my milk supply has diminished. Even though I'm pumping two to three times a day at work, I'm not making enough for him to eat while I'm there. So this past weekend I had to buy my first can of formula.
Sigh. One more, please.
I really hope they don't revoke my parenting license.