There I was, in a public restroom. In the nineties my germaphobic mother got me into the habit of never sitting directly on other peoples’ toilet seats, she’d always hold me up. When I got too big for her to hold, she taught me how to kinda lean forward over the seat, you know the pose. It’s a habit I’ve never broken and have in fact, passed on to my children. So there I was today, leaning over a public toilet. And there my toddler was. Standing next to me, with her left hand over my chest and her right hand placed awkwardly under my thighs. She was “holding me up,” and chanting, “Otaaay, good dob, Mom, you tan do it, don’t dit yo butt wet, oday? Mom you ‘ave yo pee-wee-id?” And it hit me.
I’M BEING STALKED.
Right out in the open. By two nosy, miniature mudlovers. I’m sure this is something all moms deal with, but I’m pretty sure that children of single moms take their stalkery (that’saworddon’tlookitup) to a whole notha’ level. There’s no one else in the house for them to follow around, just each other. You’d think that when there’s more than one child, they’d stalk each other, right? Wrong.
When there’s more than one, they join forces and up the stalking ante. I close a closet door: BAM! there’s a kid. Wake up from a nap, open my eyes and rightinmyface – BAM! – a kid. Washing dishes, is that a mouse scurrying across my – BAM! – a kid, sitting on both of my feet, leaning against a cabinet, reading a book. Seriously?! Every time I leave a room someone asks, “Where are you going?” with a nervous tremor in their voice, as if there’s a room in our house with a portal to another time, and there’s a real possibility I could walk out of the living room and be gone for days. As soon as they hear the shower start to run they start knocking with all kinds of reasons I should let them in: “Mom I think there’s a man on the porch!” “Mom I’m about to burn myself!” “Mom the other toilet is stopped up and I have to do A NUMBER FOUR!” “Mom, Logan just called 9-1-1 on your cell, do you want me to say ‘whoops, nevermind?’” Stalker City.
Not to mention when I’m in my OWN PERSONAL ROOM THAT I PAY FOR, undressing, and they’re both standing there staring at me like little Freddy Kruger’s, and they take turns shattering my self-esteem: “Mom, do all ladies have hairy stomachs? Will your stretchmarks ever go away? Wow, did you know your boobs are different sizes? Is that bra clean?” I DON’T KNOW RYLEIGH, BUT IF YOU HAVE A SOILED BRA AVERSION THEN YOU ARE MORE THAN WELCOME TO TAKE YOUR STOCKY LITTLE SISTER AND MARCH THE HECK ON OUTTA THIS HERE PRIVATE DWELLING. Of course I don’t say that. I look at them and I know they just want to be around me. And if there was another adult in the house they’d stalk them as well, but there’s not, so…I take it like the hairy manlady I am.