That Time Gum Ruined Everything

Dear Future Stella,

The only thing that really matters in life happened this past week- the Broncos won the Super Bowl. This is baby book material because this is the first time they have won in Current Stella’s life. I can’t remember what her first words were or how old she was when she rolled over front to back but I will always remember this.

OK, wait, I have to interrupt this to bring you a live play-by-play of what is happening right now with Current Stella. She is going ballistic because I threw away her gum (it was an empty package). She is just beside herself. Currently she is in her room, crying, and going on and on about how that gum is the only kind she likes and how she actually, really needs gum. She keeps saying I am lying at her (not sure how you lie AT someone but whatever). This is a direct quote heard from behind her closed door, “I am always allowed to have gum and now anytime anyone talks about gum it makes me sad. I really need my gum. I want to have my gum back. She was being so nice today and now she’s being mean. I just want one piece of gum because its so good. I know I had a piece left. She threw it away on purpose.”

Now there is silence except for occasional straining sounds and angry grunts. Anyway, here’s the thing. I can’t be certain there wasn’t one piece left in that package when I threw it away. If there was, I didn’t see it. Gauging by Current Stella’s rage she is probably right that there was a single piece left that she was hoarding for today’s ration after school. That is how her brain works. At the store yesterday she begged for gum in the checkout line because she was running dangerously low. I declined to purchase a new pack however, mainly because our cart was filled with an embarrassing amount of sugar as it was (Super Bowl food) and I knew I was going to get hit up hard by the Girl Scout Troup outside so I ultimately said no. I am regretting this decision now because she is just hysterical in there.

I had to take a break from this to go deal with Hurricane Current Stella. Here is a follow up to the rest of our evening. I will hopefully eventually circle back around to my original thoughts but I just thought you would want to know how that whole thing ended up.

After a 15 minute tantrum, she calmed down and I thought we would finish the night strong. Monday nights are always so special because it’s just the two of us. WRONG. When she came out of her institution, AKA her bedroom, and joined me in the kitchen I decided to tread lightly. I mentioned to Current Stella that I ordered her hot lunch for tomorrow. I thought this would make her so happy. Ever since my parents got her this amazing lunch box for Christmas I have been packing her lunch every day. Well, she mentioned that sometimes she still wants hot lunch. Ask and you shall receive- I can be that kind of bad ass mom on occasion. I really thought this was going to excite her. Boy, was I mistaken. She spiraled into all kinds of crazy almost immediately. She doesn’t want hot lunch, she wants a REAL lunch, whatever the hell that means. I was the lunch lady today at her school so I also ordered her hot lunch today so that she would have to come through the line and see me. She loved seeing me at school and ate the crap out of her food so on my way home I decided to order it for her again tomorrow. I am also on lunch duty tomorrow so I thought all of this made sense. I had no idea she has a very strict policy about not eating hot lunch two days in a row. Tears were streaming down her face and she looked at me with such disgust. How could I fuck this up so bad? She couldn’t believe my incompetence about getting her lunch wrong.

While I prepared her dinner I wondered if sending your kids to bed without supper is still considered a thing and if it is, how I could pull it off. Then I remembered she hadn’t had a bath in days so I had to power through two situations before I could reclaim sanity.

When I was filling up her bath water I remembered I had some little vials of bubble bath designed to improve one’s emotional well being. There are a bunch of different potions depending on what you are going through. I was planning on using these for myself but it was clear that Current Stella needed these more than me. It was a tough call to determine what kind of remedy she needed because she was so wound up at this point she needed everything so I just threw a bunch of different stuff in there, kind of like an emotional Hail Mary.


That stuff is crap and didn’t make a dent in her overall mood. She still looked at me with the glare of death and complained about every. Single. Thing.

At this point, my evening was only going to improve once she went to bed and I could curl up on the couch with my lap top and a glass of wine, writing to the future kid who hates me so much right now. So here we are. She’s in bed, I am inhaling the scent of the most wonderful candle and reflecting on what the hell just happened tonight. If I did throw away her gum, and the more I marinate on the scenario it appears likely that’s what happened, then I feel pretty bad. She’s just so organized and methodical that I could see how she would have saved that last piece for the right time. The injustice of someone throwing away something so special is definitely frustrating. However, she’s the most empathetic and understanding little girl to everyone about everything, why is she so harsh and angry when it comes to my mistakes? I can’t help but think that this is the beginning of the tumultuous relationship that is a mother and her daughter. Of course when your Daddy (do you still call him that?) got home from work she was all smiles and affection. Not one mention of the gum, or the lunch, just hugs and gratitude for her unicorn pillow that is all clean (because I washed it).

Anyway, what was I even talking about? Oh yeah, The BRONCOS!!!! The Super Bowl was in our backyard and we didn’t go, which might be something I regret forever. However, if I could go back in time and change one thing in the past 24 hours I would probably use that power to unthrow away Current Stella’s gum instead of attending the Super Bowl. If that doesn’t show you how much I love you and how sorry I am for mindlessly tossing something that was so coveted by you then I give up. Are you still mad at me?





Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, if this matters at all, hypothetically speaking if that piece of gum was still in its package on our counter I still wouldn’t have let you have it tonight. You had a few Girl Scout Cookies and begged for a marshmallow so there was no way on God’s green earth that I would have said yes to a piece of gum on top of all that. Hopefully that makes you feel a little better. So really, I saved you from what would have been an even bigger meltdown. You’re welcome.