Not too long ago, I read an article by a woman explaining why her child isn’t her best friend. While I agree with a lot of the points she made, I was a little taken aback by one particular line:
“See, when I hear mom friends of mine refer to their infants, toddlers or even teens as their best friend, I can’t help but feel sorry for them.”
I have twin boys, and I’ve referred to them as my “best friends” plenty of times.
And I don’t feel like that makes me pitiful.
Don’t get me wrong, I have adult friends, too. In fact, I’ve also referred to my mom as my best friend. She is. So is my husband. And so is one of the women I ran cross-country with in college.
But so are my kids.
Maybe that makes me a Best Friend Whore. Or a Polybestfriendist. Or some other whacked-out term that I’m sure a few of the people reading this article will coin and crucify me with.
But guess what? I don’t care. I believe that you can have more than one best friend as well as different types of best friends. My kids happen to be a couple of mine. Here are 23 reasons why:
1. They never judge me. When they see me shamelessly spraying aerosol whipped cream into my mouth, or eating cream cheese spread with a spoon, their only criticism is that I didn’t offer them any first.
2. They know exactly how to make me laugh. Sometimes it’s a goofy face. Other times it’s a joke that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. And sometimes it’s just the sound of their laughter.
3. We tell each other everything. Me: “Mama is feeling really overwhelmed right now.” Toddler: “I made stinkies.”
4. They help me pick out my clothes. Every time I look down at my feet and see one green sock and one blue one, I think of their enthusiastic faces as they pulled them from my sock drawer. And I smile.
5. They know how to make me feel better. Just the other day I was having some body image issues and was crying while talking to my husband about it. Out of nowhere, my son ran up to me, said, “Mama sad,” and wrapped his little arms my neck. And not in the typical toddler-chokehold way.
6. We w(h)ine together. Toddler: (tugging on my pants) “I’m thiiiirrrrsty.” Me: (uncorking wine bottle) “Me too, honey. Meeeeeee too.”
7. We talk about boys (often while w(h)ining together.) Mickey Mouse, Elmo, Jake, Boots, Daniel Tiger. We’ve analyzed the best and worst qualities of them all.
Toddler: “Dora’s monkey has red shoes. I want red shoes. I want redddddddd!” Me: (popping open a bottle of red) “Me too, honey. Meeeee too.”
8. We can go hours without talking and the silence is never awkward. It’s called nap time. And it is glorious.
9. They think it’s funny when I fart.
10. We often match without planning it. Sweats, t-shirt, and no bra FTW!
11. We binge watch Netflix together. Confession: I kind of like watching Sofia the First. (It’s on Netflix now!) The theme song is catchy and it gives me the warm fuzzies when I see how she’s always got everyone’s backs in the castle. Plus, I find Cedric’s cynicism totally entertaining. Oh, and that high-and-mighty Amber bitch? Hilarious. Seriously, it’s like an allegory for the various parents you might encounter at the playground. If you haven’t streamed it yet, you should.
12. We’ve seen each other naked. I’m kind of responsible for bath time and diaper changes so…yeah. And it’s not uncommon for me to be startled mid-shampoo by an inquisitive little toddler peeking around the shower curtain.
13. And we are honest about what we see. Me: “Oh, bubba, looks like you’ve got a little rash on your booty.” Toddler: “Mama no wee-wee.”
14. Actually, they are honest about pretty much everything. Toddler 1: “Mama’s face…ewwww.” Toddler 2: “Hair! Lot of hair on Mama’s legs!”
15. They’re always there for me. Like…ALWAYS.
16. We dance like Meredith and Cristina in Grey’s Anatomy. And we are each other’s “person.”
17. They keep my secrets. They can’t even pronounce the words “passive aggressive,” so there’s no way they’re going to tell Mrs. ***** that’s what I called her the next time we run into her.
18. I have more selfies of them on my phone than of anyone else.
19. They do my hair for me. Peanut butter and jelly beat even the strongest mousse on a salon shelf. And who needs to pay for a professional haircut when your kid will just yank it out for you?
20. We have inside jokes. For example: “We’re going to sit quietly and look at books now so Mama can get some writing done.” HAHAHAHAHAHA.
21. They make me feel beautiful. Because whenever I look at their vibrant faces and marvel at the incredible things they can do with those amazing, miniature bodies of theirs, I remember that it was my body that made them.
22. They motivate me to be the best version of myself. Because I know that’s what they deserve.
23. I would do anything for them. If you’re reading this, and you’re a parent, I don’t think any further explanation is necessary.
© 2015 Samantha Wassel, as first published on Sammiches & Pysch Meds