I have a certain personality trait that everyone around me has always known. Everyone except myself, that is, until recently.
I’m a 100% type-A outta-control Control Freak.
That’s me. And, as I repeat daily to my husband, you have to love ALL of me…
So all you punks out there reading this and thinking “duh…..,” I have to admit that this really is a recent revelation for me. Maybe part of me still imagined myself barefoot in the rain at yoga camp. Or maybe since I’ve lived in six countries over the last 12 years I still imaged myself as some peaceful vagabond hippie-type. Or maybe since my hair is curly I thought my personality naturally followed suit.
But then I became a mommy, and all those assumptions came smack up against reality. Because the truth is, when it comes right down to it, I much rather prefer order, precision and cleanliness to spontaneity and clutter.
This is not necessarily a desirable trait for a mother of a seven-month-old baby boy.
I really do wish I were one of those ultra-cool, ultra-relaxed Earth mommies I see everywhere, sipping coffee calmly in the café while their little angels sleep soundly in their strollers. But that’s just not been my experience thus far. For better or for worse, I’m the mommy giving her little one his bottles at precisely 08.00, 12.00 and 18.00, plus feeding him puréed fruit/veg/porridge mush at precisely 09.00, 13.00 and 16.00.
If we’re late, I get nervous. If Per Christian is still sleeping, I start pacing the floors. If we’re out and about and there’s no suitable feeding area nearby, I start to panic. I literally start to crawl out of my skin when a feeding time approaches and something gets in the way.
Per Christian probably couldn’t care less – I’ve never once heard this kid cry out of hunger, even when he was a newborn. I always jumped up and popped him onto my boob before we got to an actual cry. In fact, I don’t even know what his “hunger cry” sounds like.
So now – picture this Control Freak Mommy in a foreign country on her first major pantry-stocking shopping trip. This is an always an important event in any country you move to, both as an interesting adventure to see what new goodies might be available and, at the same time, as a potential nightmare if you are a CFM like me.
Imagine this scenario…. I’ve been advised to start PC on chicken and fish at 7 months of age. That’s in two days. Not before, not after (see how the CFM already rears her ugly head???).
So we’re at the ginormous Carrefour in Canary and I’m looking for boneless chicken breasts for his first real meat-lovers meal. It’s getting close to 16.00 (see timetable above), we still have 17 aisles of grocery store madness to cover, and I can’t find the f*cking chicken breasts.
I start to panic.
I’m thinking: “My son needs to start eating chicken in exactly two days and I can’t find the right stuff. I’m a horrible mother!!! I can’t feed my son properly!!! He will remember pangs of hunger caused by lack of chicken in his diet, and he’ll have to cope with his mother’s negligence during his therapy sessions in 20 years!”
Of course, I couldn’t actually vocalize all of that intelligently in the middle of Carrefour. So what I did instead was give my husband the shock of his life when he turned around in the deli section and confronted a CFM rocking back and forth with a tear-stained and utterly distressed look on her face.
I’m not kidding, folks. I cried over chicken breasts.
I’m so lucky to have the husband I have because he immediately hugged me, discovered the trigger point of my CFM madness, and made me see the humor in the entire situation.
And then we both laughed, and we did actually find the chicken breasts.
On the way home, I realized I might potentially be a 100% type-A outta-control Control Freak. Or maybe I’m just a a mother of a seven-month-old baby boy.