I’m sorry that I’m not always there to pick you up when you fall. I’m sorry that you face planted while trying to walk last weekend, cutting yourself on the inside lip and bleeding like crazy. I’m sorry that the only thing I could do to comfort you was give you a hug and put on Atención Atención, your favourite Puerto Rican children’s show. I’m sorry that you got upset when I tried to turn it off. That frog song is really catchy. I totally get it.
I’m sorry that I made you cry when I wouldn’t let you put my headphones in your mouth, or eat the cat’s food, or play with an aluminium can that you found in the recycling bin, or touch the toilet brush. I took these things away because they’re dangerous, or disgusting, or both. Someday you’ll understand that I’m trying to protect you, not just deprive you of all the things that are the most fun.
I’m sorry that I can’t give you a bigger flat with more space for you to run around in right now. It must be frustrating to practice your walking in such a little place. There are only so many times we can do the hallway-living room-hallway-bathroom-hallway-bedroom-hallway loop before we both start to go a bit crazy.
I’m sorry that I didn’t do a better job of teaching you how to put yourself to sleep. You’re SO much better at sleeping than you used to be, but you still need my help sometimes. I should really just leave you to figure it out by yourself, but then you might not sleep – and I really like when you sleep. When you sleep, I get to sleep. Or drink wine in front of the telly. Mommy needs both of these things.
I’m sorry that I let you get a sunburn the other day. You were well covered in long pants and a jacket, so I was surprised to see a little red stripe on the side of your neck the morning after we’d been playing outdoors. You’ve clearly inherited my oh-my-God-the-sun-is-touching-me-I-can’t-handle-this skin. I’m sorry about that too. Sunscreen is going to be your new best friend.
I’m sorry if I sometimes seem distracted. The truth is, sometimes I get bored of reading That’s Not My Lion… for the thousandth time or watching you walk around and around the coffee table. I wish I didn’t, but I do. I love hanging out with you, but there are times when I wish that you wanted to do the kinds of things that I like to do, ie sit on the couch with a bag of pretzels and watch RuPaul’s Drag Race.
I’m sorry that I’m still trying to figure out how this whole motherhood thing is supposed to work. Some days I totally smash it. Some days I let you pick up a half-eaten rice cake off the floor and stick it back in your mouth. I assume I’ll get better at this eventually. Until then, don’t judge me for using the same muslin for a week or forgetting to brush your two tiny teeth. You just chew on the toothbrush anyway.