We sat in the car together while Beautiful munched on Ak-Mak crackers and peanut butter--the emergency snack I brought to the theater where she is rehearsing.
Beautiful: "Mom, Dan's just been told he has to relieve someone on the sub for a couple weeks because of an emergency medical situation and we also just found out he'll be shipping out early in September--right before the baby's due. I have a terrible cold, I'm having anxiety attacks, I didn't pack enough food to last all day plus through tonight's rehearsal. I just need a nap."
Me: "Dan won't be gone too long. You'll have plenty of time to spend together when he comes back because you'll be done with this performance run. I'll go home now and get you some dinner, some juice, some vitamins and would you like a blanket? I'll come back up and stay for awhile, rub your back--whatever you need. Will that help a little?"
Beautiful: "Thank you, Mama. I have got to stop crying before I go back inside. I look so ugly when I cry."
Me: "No you don't!"
Beautiful: "Yes, I do. I've been told that."
Me: "Who would say that to you?"
Beautiful: "You did, Mom. Many times. And you also told me I can't run fast."
Me: "Oh, that. I only said those things so you wouldn't embarrass yourself in public. I didn't want other kids to make fun of you so I was honest."
Beautiful: "You didn't want other kids to hurt my feelings so you made sure to hurt them yourself? You know you're the worst mother in the world, don't you?"
Me: "No, I'm not. And I have empirical proof! Every January my Grandma W. calls her youngest daughter to wish her a happy birthday. Do you know what her birthday greeting is? 'I never remember the other 7 kids' birthdays, but yours is easy because it's 2 days before mine.'
"And--there's more! My friend A's mom came to visit her daughter after her daughter had a mastectomy. When she came into the house and saw all the flowers that had been sent by friends and family, the mother's reaction was 'Well, this is a little much, isn't it?'
"See? I am not the worst mother in the world!"
Beautiful: "Okay, maybe you're not the worst, but you're definitely a contender."
Me, channeling Mike Myers: "Throw me a frickin' bone!"
Beautiful: "That was a disturbingly good Dr. Evil impression. Yeah, and I notice you're quoting a movie that you wouldn't let me see because it was 'inappropriate.' Good example you set, Almost Worst Mother In The World."
Me: "So what you're saying is that I'm a horrible mother except when you need something or want me to take care of you or do errands for you or help you with your taxes?"
Beautiful, exiting the car to go back to rehearsal: "Pretty much : )
"My stomach feels better now. Thanks for the tidbits!"
Simultaneously: "That's what she said!"