Friday, June 12


A while back, a controversial video surfaced of a woman dragging her child through a Verizon store with the help of one of those backpack leashes. As I watched this disengaged mother pull her limp child, I was horrified that I wasn’t horrified. Instead, I thought to myself “I totally get that.” Apparently the tyke wasn’t listening and decided to pull the old “go limp” maneuver that I myself perfected as a college student whenever someone tried to throw me out of a bar.

My former self would have been outraged that a mother would do that. However, my current self has actually hidden from Piper to make her think that I’ve left her behind. My former self thought that if I was in public and I knew your child’s name, you were doing something wrong. My current self would be able to retire many times over if I had a dime for the number of times I’ve been in public and said “Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper, Piper.” It’s safe to say that my former self was an idiot.

Someone once told me that, aside from Brook Shields and Tom Cruise, no one really talks about the dark side of motherhood. And they’re right. Remember in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke is hanging onto that upside down Space Needle thingy? His hand’s just been cut off and he’s all kinds of sweaty and windblown and the only one there to offer help is Daddy Darth Vader? He extends his hand, and says “join me.” And you can see the desperation on Luke’s face he ponders his choice between physical death and spiritual death. In the end, chooses to plummet into the darkness below.

You may be thinking, “wow, you sure have put a lot of thought into the Empire Strikes Back.” I find that scene pretty poignant, not only because of the limitations of Mark Hamill as an actor (everything was downhill after he starred in Sarah T. Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic with Linda Blair), but because sometimes I truly believe that Piper is trying to take my spirit and to crush it. Those are the days when "there is no escape. Don't make me destroy you," sounds like sound parenting to me.

I know that if I really wanted to take some drastic steps, I could get this child under control. But like Luke, I choose instead to fall into the unknown hoping to come out on the other side. However, my unknown is actually going to my bedroom, locking the door, and reading celebrity gossip magazines. I don't know if that would have worked for Luke. It certainly would have put a different spin on the movie, but would have totally explained the gay-ness of Return of the Jedi.

In my scenario, reading gossip about Jennifer Aniston's potential love child, prevents me from embracing my inner Darth. I always try to remember that I am the adult, but there is just something about having a 3 year-old scream “you aren’t my friend anymore!” at the top of her lungs can drive you over the edge of your very own Space Needle thingy. Once after being told that “I was a bad mommy,” I actually gave Piper the finger. I threw my kid the Rockefeller. I figured that she doesn’t know what it means and lacks the dexterity to imitate it. It’s definitely better than the time I muttered “fuck you” under my breath, and as she walked away I heard “you fuck you.” You may send my Mother of the Year certificate to me via email.

But at the end of the day, I love my kid more than anything. I just hope that by the time we get along I'm not half man, half machine. Although it would be cool to have James Earl Jones as my voice. Everyone would do as I say.