Home > Uncategorized > I Think I’m Losing My Mind This Time

I Think I’m Losing My Mind This Time

Yesterday, I had a moment.  A bad one.  One of those moments where I felt like I was in some surreal, alternate reality and I would have happily committed myself to an asylum.  I’m pretty sure someone’s going to revoke my mommy card once I publish this, but I have to tell you about it.  And if you’re a mother and you’ve had a similar experience, please tell me that I’m not dancing on the edge of dangerous mommy instability, tell me that this is one of those funny/weird mommy things that happens sometimes.  If you’ve never had this happen and you do think I am dangerously unstable, please feel free to hold your comments.

The family went to Walmart.  It was one of those occasions that I try to avoid, when everyone needed or wanted something and had to pick it out themselves, so we sucked it up and took the family to the store.  We were all in the electronics department browsing for one thing or another when it happened.

In my defense, my mind was far elsewhere.  I was worn out from an unprecedented level of badness at work all week, I hadn’t had dinner and I was tired and starving and all I really wanted to do was get my groceries, go home, put on my pajamas and eat something.  But I was trying to be a trooper, so I was browsing the discount DVD bin in search of a horror movie acceptable for my daughter.  And because I’m a sucker for discount bins.

So, anyway, we were all in the same general area, but we were all somewhat scattered.  Don’t judge.  My kids are old enough to wander around Walmart and they’re both trained in karate and loud screaming, so it’s not necessary for me to keep my eyes on them at all times.  Moving on.  I glanced up from my bin, because I couldn’t remember if we already owned the Family Guy Star Wars spoof and I found it for five bucks (!!), and I saw her.  Looking at the CDs, there was a blond girl.  She was wearing flip-flops, shorts and a baggy t-shirt, and she had her hair pulled into a quick ponytail.  Just like my daughter.  But that’s not her.  Or is it?  No…of course not.  But it could be her.  Good Lord, is that my kid?

Friends, I stared at that little girl like a deranged stalker until she finally turned enough for me to see her face.  And finally, completely, understand that it was NOT my flesh and blood.  It was just a blonde girl.

Oh. My. God.

This is my child, my firstborn!  I’ve been looking at her precious face, and even the back of her head, since the day she was born.  I know everything, everything, about her.  I know that child better than anyone on the face of this planet, but I mistook this other blonde girl for my baby.  Someone take me away and put me in the round room, because I have finally lost it.

As parents, we hold an image of our children in our brains, and that’s how we see them.  Every once in a while, you get to see how they really are. (I’m actually talking about appearances here, nothing deeper or more meaningful.)  I’ve been struggling with this issue for a while with my daughter because she’s almost a teenager and really not a little girl any more.  She’s still my little girl, but to the rest of the world, she’s a half-grown young lady.  My brain can’t quite jibe my pigtailed baby girl with this tall stranger that lives in her room.  I am apparently so turned around by her young-lady-ness that I couldn’t pick her out of a blonde-girl line up.  At least not if all the blonde girls had their backs to me.

My mommy intuition is failing.  I suspect that this is a defense mechanism that kicks in as our children near adolescence.  Let’s be honest, if you knew as much about your seventeen-year-old as you did your five-year-old, you’d never sleep another wink.  It’s time to start backing off and letting her grow.  It’s not my job to dress her or cut up her hot dogs anymore.  I’ve finished laying the groundwork.  Now it’s time to take a step back and just keep her on the right path.  I’m not sure that I’m ready to stop being Mommy and start being Mo-om-with-an-eye-roll, and maybe that’s why I’m so determined to see my baby when I look at her.  It’s not my choice, though, and it’s not optional.  If I don’t start recognizing my beautiful, mature young lady as she is, then, sooner or later, I’m going to take the wrong kid home from the store.


image via google images

  1. April 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    You are NOT crazy (at least, not because of this event…!)
    Do you know the commercial where the Dad is handing over the car keys and giving driving directions to his daughter, and she looks about 4 years old? Well, that happens to me all the time now. I look at my “children” (ages 26, 21 AND 19) and for a second I see my babies standing there! Welcome to the wonderful world of “they’re growing way too fast”!
    Great blog, very funny!

    • April 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Oh, I am so glad it’s not me. I might be losing my mind, but at least it’s in a normal mom kind of way. And that commercial always brings a tear…

  2. April 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Nope, not crazy. Although a trip to an asylum sometimes sounds like a vacation to me… That’s probably a better indicator of crazy!

    I sometimes look at my kids (in our own home so I’m fairly sure it’s them) and think, ‘when did you start looking like that!’

    • April 29, 2012 at 8:07 am

      No one ever told us that moms want to run away from home, sometimes, too… a tropical beach with cabana boys would be nice, but an asylum is better than nothing. 🙂 I think we’re sane. Or maybe just the same brand of crazy.

  3. Martha
    April 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Crazy no.. scared yes.. I know that feeling.. “what happened to my little girl!!” Mol and Mel even tell Lexi all the time “quit growing up” .. It does all go by so fast.. not sure how mine got to adulthood.. but it is scary but we have done a good job of laying foundation and they will always need there mommy’s just as we need ours 🙂

    • April 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      Are you kidding me…just looking at Mollie and Mel makes me want to cry. Whatever happened to my tiny little flower girl and her little sister who was too tiny to even be a flower girl? (sob)

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