I went back and forth over whether to post this quote. To say it was embarrassing is an understatement. And it’s about the trials and tribulations of dating, with children – something I always have a harder time opening up about – in a public forum, at least. And then I decided this is one of those things I will look back at and laugh over, and is a teeny tiny piece I will want to remember. If I’m writing to capture the story, I should leave out only those pieces that are truly, truly necessary. Right?
So this happened. We were sitting around the table on Sunday night, eating dinner – me, Jeff, the girls and X-man. And apparently, X-man needed something.
X-man: Hey, Jeff!
Jeff: X-man, I’m “Daddy.”
X-man had been doing this all day Sunday. I get it. Not only is the “call your parents by their name” thing a popular phase for the four-years-old set, but he had also been listening to my girls call him Jeff all weekend. So I tried to explain. I think kids like having things explained to them – it beats having to do what your parents say just because they say so, right?
Me: He’s your daddy, X-man, just like I’m the girls’ mommy. The girls call me Mom, and you call me “Miss Katie”. Gracie and Bee call him “Jeff” because he’s not their daddy.
Bee: Well, not yet.
And that is when I died.
There was that crushing, enormous roar of silence for a second and then everyone started laughing and I covered my eyes with my hand and felt myself blushing scarlet even as I was laughing. AS A COPING MECHANISM. I was laughing, but I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me whole! Doesn’t that girl understand my commitment issues? It took me weeks and a brown paper bag to breathe into just to use the word “girlfriend”!
Eventually, everyone calmed down, and I was still hiding, so Jeff asked – both with great kindness and empathy and with a goodish deal of teasing – whether I needed to go compose myself. So I crawled out from behind my hand, gave a big sigh, and pretended the entire thing hadn’t happened.
And even though I’m putting this down on paper (per se), I am still pretending it didn’t happen, so let us never speak of this again. Okay? Okay.