I have been feeling a certain kinship of spirit for them lately, a certain sympathy, ever since my son started dropping hints that I too had served my evolutionary purpose and was no longer considered essential. Although he varies in opinion about whether I am ornamental or undesirable, if motherectomies were an option, he would be petitioning for one. Since they aren't, he has been trying other avenues for getting me out of the way.
"Mummy," he asks me angrily many a morning, "why do you force my Daddy to go to work?"
"Well someone has to earn some money."
"But why don't you go to work?"
"Because I need to take care of the baby."
"But Daddy and I could take care of the baby and you could go away and work all day."
Feminism may rejoice, but the maternal heart laments a little the ending of his Lady Lydia phase. A mere short year ago my attempts to extricate myself in order to go to work or train would be met with wails and supplications to "Not go Mummy and stay with me pleaseee". However, it appears that having me in his life and under his feet all day has significantly dimmed my appeal.
Lately he has been experimenting with trying to write me out of the equation, or at least the share of food and related spoils.
"None for you Mummy! Only for me and Daddy."
Since I can fight for my share and am not obliging enough to let myself be ignored, my son has been toying with increasingly drastic measures recently.
"Mummy," mused he, "what would happen if you died?"
"Well then I'd be gone and you wouldn't have a Mummy and you might miss me and Daddy would miss me."
"But Mummy," chirps my little problem-solver, "it would be okay. Because then I'd be able to keep Daddy company and sleep all night with him in the big bed, every night and then later a new Mummy would come from somewhere."
If you hear that I have perished in suspicious circumstances friends, ask tough questions of the under 5s.