Several years ago, I sat beside my editor as he read my story. He offered a few suggestions, then asked what I thought.
I hadn’t uttered more than two sentences when he started laughing.
“You’re talking to me like you do your toddler, aren’t you?”
I froze. He was absolutely right. I was even using the Mom Voice, which made things even more embarrassing.
You’d think that by now I would have stopped lapsing into that tone, but no. These days, I have an even more annoying habit of treating my friends like my offspring. I use an arm as a barrier if we’re about to cross a street too soon. I inquire about their health in waaaaay too much detail. And as poor Moody Mom now knows, I can be a bit of a pest.
Sunday, I took her with me to the gym. I was going to my Zumba class, and Moody Mom was going to try doing her knee exercises in the pool. (She dislocated her left knee several weeks ago.) It occurred to me on the way that she might have some trouble getting in and out of the pool.
So after checking the kids into the playroom, I walked with Moody Mom to the indoor pool to check out the stair/ladder situation.
“Are you sure you’ll be able to get out?” I inquired doubtfully.
“Oh, I’ll be fine,” she replied, gesturing toward a set of stairs.
“Well. OK,” I said. Then I went back to the locker room.
Moments later I was in the pool area again. Moody Mom was perched on the edge, doing exercises.
“Just making sure you’re OK,” I said.
“I’m fine,” Moody Mom said with a laugh.
Moments later, I was back a third time, on the pretext of giving Moody Mom a key to our locker.
“So you’re sure you’ll be able to get out?” I asked again.
“Yes,” she said. “Now go to your class.”
I spent much of Zumba imagining Moody Mom thrashing around helplessly in the pool
Can you tread water with only one working leg? What if she re-injures her knee trying to climb those steps? What if she accidentally wanders into the deep end? OMG, what if she DROWNS?!
As it turns out, Moody Mom was perfectly fine. She’d even enjoyed a leisurely soak in the whirlpool.
Still, when she accompanies me again, it will take much self-restraint to keep from ordering her to wear a pair of water wings.