So then…I see the package on my front step and jump with excitement!
My older sister Dawn’s helping our Mom clean out her attic, so she’s mailing my Baby Book across the country to me!
What? A book about ME?
That’s my FAVORITE topic! I can’t wait to see the photos and notes my Mom penned about the mini-me!
I rip open the package and see a sweet little old-fashioned baby book.
I gently open the book to see my name lovingly inscribed there. Awwww.
I tenderly turn the pages – which are EMPTY.
I call my sister. “What the hell, Dawn?! My Baby Book is EMPTY!”
“Well, you were the THIRD child out of five,” she says. “Our parents were pretty busy.”
“Oh, easy for you to say. You’re the second. Is YOURS filled in?”
“Um…yes,” she admits sheepishly.
“Well, why’d you even bother to mail mine if it was EMPTY?”
“I dunno,” she retorts. “I’m mailing Mom’s attic stuff all over the country – I don’t have time to open everything! Just be glad you got a book at all! The 4th and 5th kids didn’t!”
It reminds me of the time my friend Angie confided a secret:
One night over drinks, Angie says, “I lied to my daughter.”
“Why?” I ask.
“Well, the damn teacher asked the kids to bring their Baby Books to school so all the third graders could ‘get to know each other,’” she says, sipping her mojito. “What the hell do they need to do that for?”
“Uh-oh,” I say, smiling. “Sounds like someone’s a bit defensive.”
“Damn right I’m defensive!” she says. “I never made a Baby Book for her! I have one for my first kid – it’s packed with all sorts of his photos and crap – but by the time I popped out the next kid, I didn’t have time for that! I was chasing a toddler and trying to grab my baby off my titties long enough to sleep for an hour!”
I’m laughing because she’s acting out her words, boob-pulling and all!
“So what’d you tell her?” I ask.
Angie looks guilty. “I told her it’s packed away and I’ll have to get it out later.”
“Um…okay?” I ask, “So how—”
“I bought a new one!” she says boldly. “Yep, I just marched into the store and bought a brand new Baby Book. I found some old baby pics of her and glued ’em right in.”
“You did not!” I laugh.
She nods emphatically.
“But how’d you fill in stuff like ‘What was baby’s first word?’ or ‘When was baby’s first step?’ How can you remember so long ago?”
“I just made shit up!” She slugs the last of her mojito and motions to the server for another. “First word? How about ‘ball?’ First steps? I dunno — a year maybe? So I put 11 months. She’s a go-getter so she was probably early. Why not boost her self-esteem a little?”
Angie dips a chip and continues her rant, punctuating her words by pointing her chip in the air:
“First baby food? Sweet potatoes! Favorite baby food? Apricots!”
“Apricots?” I interject. “Are you sure that’s a baby foo—?”
“Shut up, Darcy! She’ll never know!” she laughs. “Favorite toy? How about a green ARMADILLO!?”
I gasp-laugh. “What if she asks to SEE the green armadillo!?”
She says mournfully, “It was accidentally sucked out of our minivan window when we made a sharp turn into Disneyland.” She makes sorrowful puppy eyes.
“You just made that shit up right now!” I accuse her.
“Yes, yes, I did. And I’ll tell her the same thing if she asks me. ‘Cause I love my daughter — but I didn’t have time to create a damn Baby Book back when she was a baby! And I’m sure as hell not gonna let her walk into that classroom empty-handed! So I made the whole damn thing up and passed it off as totally real – and she bought it – hook, line, and sinker!”
Angie looks me straight in the eye, defiantly – almost daring me to object to her deceitful little ruse.
I clink my glass to hers, smile, and say, “Honey, you’re an AWESOME mother!”
— Darcy Perdu
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(And yes, I’ve changed her name for this post — and her daughter does not read my blog, so the secret is still safe!)
(Speaking of secrets, here’s the HORRIFYING & HILARIOUS SECRET everyone knew but me…)
(Did you make a Baby Book for each of your kids, with the exact same attention to detail? Would you “fudge” some things like Angie? Do you still have your OWN Baby Book? I have mine. It’s empty. Did I mention that? COMPLETELY empty. I’m not bitter or anything. Cough. Should I mail it back to my Mom so she can make up some shit about me?)