I Ruined You Before You Were Three
Sins of an average American mom
Hey, kid. One day you’re going to learn stuff about your childhood that I’m sure you’re going to insist I explain to you. Things you’ll be certain ruined you, and you’ll probably be right, and I’ll have lost the sharp clarity of my reasoning over the years. So I figure I should write it all down. Save us both the heartache.
Ruining you didn’t take long. By all accounts, I’d completely fucked you up by three. I didn’t wait until you were a vulnerable teen. I did it young, when you were still too young to ever have a chance.
This morning I read an article about how screen time is going to turn you into a homicidal junkie. Those hours I let you watch Finding Nemo and play that bug game that keeps you happy and quiet while I have a glass of wine and try to connect with my husband, they’ve ruined you. You’re going to turn into an antisocial dick with no interaction skills. You’ll never date. You most certainly won’t ever have sex. Your father and I will house you and your collection of black socks and vintage Nintendo sets in our basement until you are imprisoned for life for a crime that could have been avoided if I just hadn’t given you that screen. So I’m sorry about that.
Also, you have a TV in your room. You probably don’t want to hear the speech about how our house isn’t huge and there’s only so much kid space and we wanted your room to be a place where kids could hang out, play, watch movies, AND STAY OUT OF THE ADULTS’ WAY WHILE WE TRIED TO TALK, but I can see how that doesn’t matter. We never should have put that TV in your room. If I’d known it would keep you from getting your first job out of college, I’d have obviously made a different decision.
I stopped breastfeeding at nine months. You won’t get into medical school because of it. I tried to make it okay by buying your formula direct from Germany, but I can understand how that seems like a cop-out. What I should have done was continue to pump. Which I did. After that first four-day stay in the hospital with five clogged ducts, I kept after it. I hooked myself up to that machine for another six months, but in the end I couldn’t take it much longer. I was working these insane 12 hour days and commuting and you were spending so much time with the nanny…