Having found out more on The Narcissist's condition, I think it's safe to say she won't be reading anything I write on here from this point forward, so I can go ahead and tell y'all that yesterday my Big Child won THREE academic awards (one for being in the top 10% in the district in FOUR different subjects, one where he was one of only two students in his grade to receive the school's "Thinker" award, and one for straight As for the entire academic year), and was ALSO recognized for achieving a perfect score on the math portion of our state's standardized tests (so clearly the hospital switched babies on me, but I'm not giving him back).
He asked if we could go out to dinner to celebrate, and I had to say that no, we couldn't afford it. But Hotter and I talked about it and decided that I would use the P.F. Chang's gift card I'd been saving for his birthday to take Big Child out to dinner instead, just him and me, so that is what I did. Big Child had never been to P.F. Chang's, and it'd been a long time since I took him out anywhere (in fact, the last time we all went out to dinner was his birthday last year I think), and he was SO APPRECIATIVE. We talked about the menu, asked our server to answer questions I couldn't (yes, I left the poor guy a good tip--he was a good sport about it and did a great job), and played the "would you rather" game.
Big Child would rather:
* Go deaf than blind
* Eat a single live worm than an entire plate of mushrooms
* Grow hair on his entire face, including nose and eyelids, than grow boobs
* Win the lottery than be able to fly
He's asked me why I'd been upset earlier in the day (I thought I'd hidden it pretty well but he pointed out that I don't attack the yard like that unless I'm upset about something), so I told him about the situation with The Narcissist. "Is it okay if I'm not sad," he asked, "because I really didn't like her when she came to visit. She was mean to us while you were in the hospital and you could just tell she hates taking care of kids." I told him feelings aren't right or wrong, they just are what they are, and that I wasn't sad either. "Because she wasn't a good mom to you. I'm really sorry you had her for a mom. I'm glad you're not like her." Oh, y'all, my heart. My number one goal as a parent is to not be like The Narcissist.
On the drive home, Big Child asked me if The Narcissist being bipolar mean I might "get it," and whether his father being bipolar meant that he might. I told him that being bipolar is like having ADHD (which Big Child has) in that it may make some things, like being a nice person, or studying, more difficult for someone with the disorder than the average person. "But we all have a choice. Granny is bipolar AND she's not a nice person. They don't automatically go together. I think some people use things like that as an excuse. But just like you choose to work harder than someone without ADHD so that you can still do great things like win all these awards, someone who is bipolar can choose to still be nice to other people even if it's hard for them. I'm past the age where people usually show signs if they're going to be bipolar, and my doctors tell me I don't have it, but if I did I'd just try harder to still be a good mom anyway. If you end up having it, I already know you'll try harder too, just like with the ADHD, and you have a good heart. I'm your mom, so it's my job to worry about everything to do with you, but I'm not worried that you'll be like Granny or Daddy." He seemed satisfied with that.
I am so proud of Big Child, and I'm glad he thinks I'm such a good mom, but it makes me feel like that much more of a loser for not having the money to take him to the doctor when he needs it. That kid deserves the sun, the moon, and the stars. And doctor visits when he needs them.
I really, really, really need a job.