I found an idea on Pinterest for an activity table using an old coffee table, so I posted the final product on Facebook. Now to be clear I did not post a picture of Charlotte licking a splintered piece of driftwood that I had just dipped in lead paint and lined with shards of glass, however the reaction was similar. My husband was excited because he had an excuse to buy a router bit to round out the edges for extra safety. I had yet to put on corner guards, give a shout out to my husband, or identify what type of environmentally friendly non-toxic paint I had used and my newsfeed was flooded with concern. I started musing that I have surrounded myself with people who exude the motherly trait. For example, I have never left to drive anywhere without my own mother reminding me to “drive safely”. I’ve never been a reckless driver nor have I ever gotten a ticket (although I have been pulled over. Ohhhh high school!). Now that I have a daughter of my own, I completely recognize that my mom's desire to always keep me safe will never change, even though her baby has just turned 30. Everyday I have to fight the urge to plaster Charlotte in bubble wrap and buy her a helmet.
While I was a Special Ed teacher I worked with a group of women whom my co-worker and I fondly referred to as “The Mothers” because they would remind us to eat our vegetables or put on a jacket when we had bike duty. Sometimes we’d have to ask one of the mothers (Mother Mary, actually) to plug her ears if we thought a lunch time conversation topic would be too risky for her pure heart. It is unlikely I will ever fall completely under this category, but I will always do what I think is safest and best for my daughter. I remind my husband to wear his seatbelt and I only feed Charlotte organic baby food. I’d like to believe I have my own blend of maternal snark; I will always put foam corners on tables and then roll my eyes while Charlotte pulls them off and uses them as teethers.