While I brushed my teeth/romanced myself in the mirror last night, I studied my arms, maaaybe flexed them and was suddenly struck by this: HOW is my right arm not double the size of the left?
My right side is the dominant force in my life. (That leads me to presume the right side of the brain is the part that gets irrationally inconsolable with “not coming home for Christmas” commercials and Britpop ballads, and is also overly attached to Skittles and separating Skittles into colour piles to indicate which ones I share with my kid and which ones I only eat while silently open-palm pushing her forehead away.)
I kick with my right foot. (Cats that look at me funny, rocks that look like rats and balls when I play a sport with balls every seven years).
I throw with my right arm. (Awkward tosses of my cell phone charger to guests that immediately get embarrassed at my overhand WHOMP of a throw, and accidental over eager Dodgeball-esque face shots when I play “gentle” games of pass in our hallway with the kid.)
I also carry everything with my right arm. The exact day it should have started showing some Schwarzenegger-style vein pop-pop-pop was the day we left the hospital with a newborn. Remember baby car seats? (My right arm just thrashed in a muscle memory LSD-style flashback.) When you have to transport a newborn in a car seat from location A to location B, by the time you get to location B your arm is shaking like a Cross Fit wet dream.
Car seats. They don’t tell you in pre-natal training to start doing curls to prep yourself. They’re unexpectedly and unnecessarily so super heavy. The math just doesn’t make sense. The seat itself is totally manageable. Your kid is between 8-10 lbs. But you put that kid in that seat and suddenly it is taking every ounce of your being to not be super derelict, dragging that seat along the pavement with a dirty rope because it’s So. Fucking. Heavy.
Eventually the kid grows and you use your dominant arm to carry them. Everywhere. You pop a hip out to bear some weight. Their super-cute dead weight technique becomes a little played out until one day they use their tiny legs and arms to monkey cling to you and your arm is like LET-YOUR-BACKBONE-SLIDE-Carlton-Banks-dancing with glee and relief.
Then they learn to walk. Wait though. Just because a 3 year old may have legs that work exceedingly well to kick, jump and thrash, that does not mean they enjoy using them to you know, propel themselves on Earth like a small human should. Nope.
Alf and Elmo can walk, but not my 3 year old.
She remembers the glory days of 6 chins attached to a lolling neck and feet clad only in socks when I had her glued to a hip and she WANTS THAT AGAIN FOREVER PLEASE. She keens for it. Like a junkie wanting a fix, “UP UP UP.”
Stronger Moms say no and make them walk. Stronger Moms have bladders that work and words that permeate through a scrambled egg toddler brain in the throes of a “my life sucks and Little Einstein teaches me a lot but walking my own goddamn self is not one of those lessons” whine.
So, even though I have already loaded my right arm with any groceries, plastic bags, purse, garbage or a larger bag containing all of the above (my husband doesn’t derisively call me Bag Lady for nothing), at the end of the day I still scoop her up and walk the following walk: Car to parking garage elevator. Elevator to skywalk to secure door #1. Hallway to secure door #2. Elevator to our floor. Off elevator to our front door. Delicately set her down and collapse in a heap of dirt and sweat and bags.
The secret that she knows is that no matter WHAT happens, I will not drop her. There could be Yosemite Sam bullets being sprayed at my feet, fire snakes being dropped from the ceiling or rabid miniature pigs with laser eyes setting my boots on fire, but I will not drop her. She trusts in my right arm more than I do.
At the end of the day, I should be grateful I have this excellent appendage to help me out. Probably give it a smooch too, all winning QB styles. My right arm may not physically show off; it may be coy about its abilities and inner workings, but I’d be right fucked without it.