I’ve determined that I will probably be a terrible mother. Seriously. I’m worried.
You know those crazy mothers who never let their kids do anything because they might get hurt? Yeah, that’s going to be me. Have you seen Tangled? You know what I mean.
I don’t want to be this way. I don’t. Really. I want to be a good mother, a great mother, the best mother ever. But, if taking care of Clark is any indication of my mothering style, I’m definitely headed straight for Overbearing Lane.
This is the sweetest cat in the world.
See, my friends and I recently took in a stray kitten. She’s the sweetest thing. Yesterday, two of us attempted to give Josie a bath. It was not a success. She, like most cats, wanted nothing to do with being submerged in water. We tried to dunk her gently; she needed to be wet after all for the shampoo. She never tried to bite us or scratch us. Heck, she never even cried. She just started shaking and looked at us with her huge trusting eyes, and we couldn’t do it. Josie got a wet towel wipe down instead of a bath. We just couldn’t bring ourselves to add any more trauma to what was probably already a pretty terrible several weeks (at the least) on the streets.
Look at that little face.
This same night, I brought baby Clark over to my friend’s apartment. He was overcome with curiosity about the new cat tree she’d just purchased and was too excited not to try it out. He quickly climbed to the top and leapt onto the windowsill. Onto the windowsill next to the very open window… on the fifteenth floor. I immediately snatched him up and, for the rest of the night, positioned my body between him and the windowsill. From that moment on, he barely had to glance at the ledge before I scooped him up and held him tightly in my arms.
Why does this make me a bad mother?
Well, you see the window was not exactly wide open. The glass was raised, but between the windowsill and the outside were rather sturdy metal bars and a pretty thick screen. My third friend even assured me that her full-grown 10-pound cat had run full force at the window and not fallen out to her death.
I, however, could not get the image of Clark plummeting fifteen stories to a terrible death out of my head. I couldn’t imagine having to experience that, to know that I could have prevented it. I’d never be able to live with myself. So, as I assured my friends, I was much more content to entertain him with a toy safely in the folds of my lap far from any perilous (or maybe not so perilous) windowsills.
Extrapolate to kids: I am going to be a terrible, overbearing mother. I already know.
As additional support for my conclusion, I offer you this second anecdote.
Today, I took Clark to the vet for the first time. He’d been there once before as a tiny baby, but he wasn’t yet mine (in other words, I was not present). He needed to have some blood drawn for diagnostic tests, two kitten boosters, and a rabies vaccine. That means needles, several needles. He was terrified and kept trying to hide his face in the crook of my elbow. He looked at me with his huge, adorable, trusting kitten eyes which seemed to ask “Why aren’t you helping me?” I almost died. I could barely watch as the doctors flipped him over and tried to restrain him to stick the needles in him. As soon as they let go, he ran to me and leapt into my arms. He snuggled his face against mine, and in my heart, I felt myself saying, “I won’t ever let anything hurt you. You’re my baby.”
With a kitten, this is pretty easy. They stay inside. They can never feed themselves. They always need you for basic survival. With kids… not so much. O dear.