When little kids are not making up wild stories or telling bald face lies, like the time in third grade I told everybody there was a dolphin living in my pool, one of the best things about them is that they are refreshingly honest. Unlike myself, who is always wearing different “hats” and often feeling like I am presenting to people, my son is completely comfortable in his own hat at all times. One day I was risking our lives in rush hour traffic when I lost my temper in front of Leo. “What? Where do you want me to go you dumb ASSHOLE??” I holler at the guy who is incessantly honking at me as we sit in gridlock on the highway. Leo cocks his head and says, “Momma, I don’t like the way your face looks when you are mad.” Then he thoughtfully suggests, “Maybe that guy just needs a nap? Maybe he had a bad day?”
Regretting that my mom “hat” slipped and a bit of ugly truth slid out, I think: God, he is completely right. Schooled by a four-year old.
Sometimes I think of my son as a little Buddha, spreading truth and wisdom. And then . . . he tries to eat one of his boogers and the whole image is blown. Sometimes his honesty and openness is more embarrassing than inspiring. Case in point: I call The Ex to speak with Leo who is visiting him for the weekend. The Ex answers using the hands free function in his car and my voice is broadcast over the speakers. I hate being on speaker phone when The Ex is around, I can just feel him rolling his eyes at everything I say, however, he insists that cell phone radiation will warp our sons brain so I deal with it.
“Hey baby, what are you doing?” I croon to Leo.
“Oh, hi Momma! We just had Mexican food!”
“Momma, my dad is on a date right now.”
“Oh!” I say, a little confused, because his dad just answered the phone.
“Yeah he is on a date with _________n. She’s riding in our car right now.”
“Oh! Mexican.” I have to say something!
“She is really nice to me Momma, but I think it’s because she likes my Daddy.”
“Did you have cheese dip?” Why can’t I stop talking about Mexican food?
“Yes. But Momma, I wanna tell you something! You are more pretty than ___________!”
“Oh! Okay, well I am gonna go to the grocery store now. I’ll buy some taco shells!” What is wrong with me?
I hang up the phone, absolutely mortified. Why in the world would The Ex choose to answer my call, on speaker phone no less, if he had a date in the car?
Maybe this is The Ex’s version of being refreshingly honest and breaking ’em in quick? “Hey, I have a four-year old boy! He can’t sit still in a restaurant! He says all kinds of crazy stuff! My Baby’s Momma is always gonna be around! She is awful in awkward situations! Can you deal? ” And I hope she can, because dating someone with children is a huge undertaking, just ask The Fiance.
I can only hope that what ever woman gets the extreme joy of having my son in her life recognizes how wonderful he his. And . . . since we are all being so refreshingly honest, I must admit, I am wearing my shallow and petty “hat” and I am happy my son says I am prettier!
Because this guy is always funny: