I’ve never met my son’s other parents but I know they exist because Dylan constantly brings them up. “It’s time for bed, let’s get your pajamas on!” I announce to my resistant toddler, who begins insta-wincing in protest. Sometimes, I’m so excited that Dylan and I can communicate, that he’s reached new levels of understanding language and can anticipate what’s to come. And other times, it’s time for bed, and ain’t nobody have time for the headache that is toddler negotiations and clever forms of stalling.
I lift his shirt over his head and pull it off. “I WANT MY MOMMY!” He screams inches away from my face as if I’m merely his captor.
“Mommy is right here.”
“NO! NO! NO! I WANT MY MOMMY!”
So I look around, just to make sure some ghost mom from a past life, who is just waiting to rescue the lad from my cold, evil step-mother hands isn’t watching me in grave disappointment with our sleep routine. Affirmed, coast is clear, no need to douse the place with holy water.
We’re moments away from entering his bedroom and reading books when suddenly the front door opens. Dads home, fifteen more minutes of daytime unlocked. Dylan’s shut-eye induced depression vanishes and is replaced with bouncy, boisterous, boyhood. And I watch on as they play, pleased with their rollicks yet slightly annoyed that he’s getting all worked up before lights out, and then pleased again knowing that Dylan’s going to request that Dad put him to bed. “No longer my problem,” I laugh to myself.
“Do you know what time it is?” My husband asks Dylan, a form of mental terrorism that is met with screeching despondency. Yup, he knows what time it is. My now sobbing child is pleading, begging for, and lamenting over wanting “his daddy.”
“You have your daddy,” he assures our unreasonable precious baby lout.
“NO! I WANT MY DADDY!” Dylan repeats, certain that his other set of parents will save him from the torment of these impostors.
Whatever Dylan. These other parents are clearly the most patient bunch of people I’ve ever heard of. They probably gave him dessert even though he didn’t touch dinner, bought him toys even though he didn’t pick his room up, and they knew nothing of curfews, restrictions, and they had zero expectations. Each time I say “no,” each time I correct behavior, and every night before bed it’s the same thing, “I WANT MY MOMMY! I WANT MY DADDY!” The other ones, of course.
And even though I’ve never met them, these phantom parents have certainly made my life more difficult by spoiling the child with a taste of the good life. But the worst part? I'm super jealous. The spineless duo sounds amazing and I want to be their kid, too. My son prefers his other parents...and so do I.