I’ve changed a lot in almost 9 years of being a parent. But, if First Time Mom Me and current Me met, it might go something like this:
(Knock on the door.)
1 Kid Me: Um. Hi. Uuhh. Sorry to bother you, but did you know your child was playing outside by himself? In the front yard?
Present Day Me: He is? Oh, it’s fine. We do that all the time.
1 Kid Me: Oh. Well, don’t you worry that he’ll run out into the street, or get kidnapped, or something?
Present Day Me: Nah. He’s out there a lot. I’m more worried a neighbor is going to tattle on me. Wait. Are you a new neighbor?
1 Kid Me: No. I was just driving by and thought I should stop. I mean, what if a giant tree branch falls and hits him on the head? Or, a bee stings him? Or he gets a splinter? I just noticed he doesn’t have shoes on.
Present Day Me: Yeah. I tell him all the time to put his shoes on. But, you know three year olds….
1 Kid Me: ….
Present Day Me: Oh, right. Well, don’t you worry. He’ll be fine.
1 Kid Me: I could just sit with him if you want until you’re not busy with whatever it is you’re doing.
Present Day Me: Oh. Well, that’s not necessary. You see, I’m never NOT busy. So, unless you want to move in….ha ha.
1 Kid Me: …
Present Day Me: Would you like to come in, maybe take a nap on the couch. You look tired.
1 Kid Me: Yeah, I don’t sleep much….she’s teething, so I have to check on her every 2 hours.
Present Day Me: Well, come on in. I was going to let the 3yo watch some TV anyway while I worked. Yours is welcome to join him.
1 Kid Me: Oh. Well, that’s OK. She’s already had her 30 minutes of Sesame street today. That’s all I’ll allow.
Present Day Me: (Laughs hysterically) Funny! Wait. Are you kidding?
1 Kid Me: Yeah, don’t want to screw her up by watching too much TV.
Present Day Me: Right (slyly turns off TV playing some random kid show that’s been on for hours). So, I’m heating up some nuggets, but let’s be real, the 3yo will probably just have chocolate cake for dinner because the big kids will scarf down their food so fast that he won’t have even decided to take a bite of his, so I’ll cave and then he’ll probably just eat cake. But, at least he’s eating something, right?
1 Kid Me: ….
Present Day Me: (To 6yo) GET OFF THE ROOF OF THE CAR!
1 Kid Me: How many kids do you have?
Present day Me: 3. But, it feels like 30 let me tell ya. It’s a straight up zoo around here some days.
1 Kid Me: Where’s your other one?
Present Day Me: Oh. Not sure. I should probably go check. I think she’s at a neighbor’s house.
1 Kid Me: ….
Present Day Me: Okaaay, well, I have like 5 billion things to do like make a phone call, while folding laundry, while changing a diaper, while figuring out what the 3 year old might decide he wants to eat today, while writing a blog post, soooo….are we done here?
1 Kid Me: ….. Uh. yeah. Are you sure he’s OK out here by himself?
Present Day Me: Oh. I’ll bring him inside if that will make you feel better. I mean, his brother is out here too, so how bad can it get? (crying starts)
1 Kid Me: Are you going to see why he’s crying?
Present Day Me: (Listens for a few seconds) That’s not his hurt cry. I mean, totally fake, can’t you tell?
1 Kid Me: Aren’t you worried? I mean, I don’t want to be totally paranoid, but I totally am. Ya know? First time mom here. (laughs nervously)
Present Day Me: Yeah, I know honey. (Gives her a slightly longer than normal hug) It will get better. Promise. (Whispers in her ear) Go home and take a nap while you still can, OK?