Not to brag, but, as I get older, I get better and better at inflicting cruelty upon my youngest child. It’s become almost effortless, just being myself is enough some days. I’m pretty sure, at this rate, I could win a major Mean Mom prize before she graduates high school. I hope it comes with airfare.
I cannot take all the credit. She’s my last child, so I’ve had a lot of practice, plus she is a girl, so my opportunities to be mean or embarrassing, which is just a different sort of mean, have increased substantially. Boys are so much harder to disappoint. With a girl, it seems like we can ruin her life with a glance.
I dashed my fourteen year old daughter’s dreams this week because:
(I am 95% sure you’ve not heard this one, at least not this century.)
I am an incompetent seamstress.
Yes, I am, and in her view this is a deliberate act to keep her dreams from coming true. This never happened to Cinderella. She had mice, birds, and a fairy godmother ready to whip up dresses at a moment’s notice.
She asked if I could teach her to sew a dress.
I told her I could try to help her figure it out, but I have never sewn a dress, so it’s not something I can teach her. I can show her how to thread the machine and operate it. I offered to take her to Joann’s to select a pattern and said I’d help her with the instructions.
She told me she doesn’t need a pattern because she has drawn a picture of the dress she wants, and needs me to help her make it.
I told her that I have no idea how to draft a dress pattern, that you have to know how dresses are put together, how to lay the fabric and how many pieces and what shape to get the look you want. You have to draw a pattern from your picture and need to scale your pattern to your body. I said I’m sure we could find a book at the library if she wants to try to learn that.
If looks could kill, I would not have lived to write this. This week’s dream career as fashion designer is now beyond her reach because her mom does not sew.
Who knew the pain I could cause by not learning how to create a dress from a drawing? That one takes a lifetime of non-readiness to accomplish, people.
The truth is, I would love to be the mom who could turn a drawing into a dress. However, all my attempts at sewing clothes have ended in the rag bag. It’s not for lack of trying that I am incompetent in this area, but despite knowing that I am being as ridiculous as she is, I feel like the evil stepmom because I can’t do this one thing. I want to be the fairy godmother. I want to make her dreams come true. I doubt she will understand this until she is a mom herself. Until then, I’m just mean.