An Open Letter to My Cousin, Mother of Two

Dear S, Annoying Cousin Who Always Changes Plans Last Minute,

16 years ago, I was a rising eighth grader, and you gave birth to your oldest daughter. You told my mom and I not to come right away, and kept delaying the time we’d get to meet my now-teenaged second cousin. My mom, as is tradition (since your shitty behavior reared its ugly head), said, “Yeah, because ‘S’ is the only person who ever had a baby.” I was 14 and never gave this any thought. You did travel quite a bit with her and your youngest son (born three years later), but I’m sure you forget a few things, based on your recent behavior (2004-present).

No, we cannot drop everything to come to these “cousinly” meetings. Now it’s me who has been up breastfeeding newborns, currently not sleeping, because A2, who you have never even met, is in a growth spurt and teething. Your daughter used to projectile vomit and never sleep. Remember? I know my biggest worries were my cross country races, dance class, and going to school, but I haven’t forgotten.

Call me a bitch meanie mom, but I hope your kids used to scream in the car, just like mine. I hope at least one of them, like A2, hated car seats as infants. I hope G, your oldest, pulled an A1 and constantly dropped her sippy on the floor or basically threw a fit when your son, J, got more attention. I hope one of them teethed hardcore and never napped, like A2. I hope they were a pain to put to sleep, like A1 was as a newborn. I hope they both had tantrums. I hope you wanted to flip out, scream, pull your hair out, smack them, and despise everyone else who seemed to have it “together”, traveling with their children like it’s the easiest shit ever.

I hope someone asked you if your 18-month-old had a diaper on, because their child was stupid enough to SLIDE the baby onto their lap, so pee leaked out. Tell G that a few drops won’t kill her, and that you haven’t lived until your kid has emptied their entire bladder, pooped, and thrown up on you. Factor in getting head-butted in the face and bashed with a Magna Doodle while a baby is screaming in the background, then it’s all in a day’s work. Oh, and your kids are three years apart. That would be a vacation, as would your life be for me now, since your kids are potty trained, can talk, can dress themselves, can feed themselves, have been to school, and don’t need booster shots for another 10+ years.

Have fun.

Signed, Mama J

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