Who’s that lady?

Excuse me, but I think you’ve confused me with someone else. Everyone keeps telling me that my oldest daughter is about to turn 11 years old, but you see, that can’t be possible. She is still two. I am still 29. I’m a carefree mom—not this bizarre worker bee you’re pointing at. THAT woman is inundated with projects and looks like a frenetic dump. I’m dozens of pounds lighter than THAT lady, who clearly hasn’t had time for the gym in a few years. She ought to be ashamed. I can’t have an 11-year-old child. My 529 looks like a spending account at camp, not something you’d use to fund college in less than a decade. And I’d have obtained a nice, neat, safe SUV for my kid to inherit in a few years. No way I’d still be driving this ratty minivan. Who do you take me for? Also, if I had an 11-year-old, I’d have written a book by now. That was part of the plan, you see. I think my graduating high school class even predicted it. My book would have been well received, and I’d be working on the second. At least the second. That woman you’re talking about? The one with the 11-year-old? She just writes marketing copy. Sure, she’s branched out to graphic design and Web development, and I’ve never even thought about doing that, but still. SHE hasn’t written a book. I would have done that by her age. Just look at her. She’s so busy she hasn’t been to the salon in half a year. Just the other day, her gray roots received a “compliment” from a third grader on her Girls on the Run team. (Okay, so she coaches a Girls on the Run team twice a week, for the third year in a row. That’s cool—but she’s letting herself go.) If I had an 11-year-old, I’d be that almost-40 mom that has her act together, with regular hair appointments and trimmed nails. I’d have a closet so organized they could use it in shelving commercials. I’d TOTALLY have figured out a system for doing laundry on a regular basis. SURELY by the time I had an 11-year-old. Yeah, there’s no way that could be me, folks. I still giggle like a teenager when my college roommate visits and someone makes a toilet paper joke. I’m still that 20-something Gen-X-er who wears pajamas all day when I don’t have to go out in public. If I had an 11-year-old, I would NOT be laughing like Beavis and Butthead whenever someone says the word “fire.” I would have had that older-woman responsibility gene kick in by now. Right? I see all these other moms with it, and they’re older than I am. They’re like FORTY. And they are all so put together. There must be a gene on a timer. Still, I do have a daughter with a birthday coming up in a week. And then I have another daughter, and her birthday is a few weeks after that. And I have a son. Sometimes I forget how old he is, because my memory is not what it used to be. Honestly, I have a hard time remembering the score in a tennis game from one point to the next. I think my son is 5. Anyway, with these birthdays coming up, I keep feeling like I should be planning something or buying gifts, but the oldest one doesn’t want toys anymore. She wants an iPad Mini. What the heck? When did THAT happen? One moment, it was all princess shoes and Justice gift cards, and now it’s an iPad Mini and leave-me-alone-I’m-listening-to-Fun. Who IS that kid? Where did my two-year-old go? Did someone swap her when I was sleeping? Fat chance. Nothing gets past ME at 3 a.m. when I’m wide awake, churning through all the things I have to do the next day, or staring blankly at the clock and wondering how much time should elapse before I officially say I can’t sleep on Facebook. I most definitely wasn’t sleeping. So you see, that’s not me. I’m not even sure that’s my kid you’re talking about. You’re simply misinformed. I like to listen to Fun., too. I like to blast the radio and belt out Bruno Mars songs in the car. I would rather pile up the dirty laundry and dishes in the evening than lose 20 minutes of “House Hunters International.” Is that something the responsible mother of an 11-year-old would do? I rest my case.