I reached up to grab something I’d hung over the shower curtain rod to dry, and it came down, along with the rod and the curtain and a big noise. So I grabbed the rod and a stool and started to put it back up.
Peanut wandered in the bathroom, and Pumpkin grabbed her by the shoulders, turned her around, and steered her out. “This is going to be a disaster,” she told her little sister.
“A disaster?” I said. “I can hang a shower curtain! I lived on my own for 10 years before I moved in with your dad!”
I was getting mad. But was I mad at what she said, or what she had learned from watching us?
I moved out when I was 18. I put myself through school while often working multiple jobs and 60-hour work weeks. I hung my own pictures on the wall and put air in my tires and paid my own bills. If a shower curtain fell down, I hung it back up.
But she didn’t know me then.
Now, Mr. G and I divvy up the household responsibilities. I do most of the cooking, because I enjoy it more. We both do laundry. He cleans the floors, I clean the bathrooms. He loads the dishwasher, I take care of the stuff that needs to be hand washed. He pays the bills, I make the grocery lists and pack the lunches and the school bags. I think we split things up pretty equally, and play to our strengths.
But somehow she got the idea that I can’t do a simple task like hang a shower curtain.
Maybe this is not a big deal in the big scheme of things. But it’s kind of stressful being a mom of daughters. I want them to know they can do anything they want. Be anything they want. The world still doesn’t treat girls as equals, so they need to know that we believe they are.
And the way they will learn that, I suppose, is by watching us. But does it mean I have to actually do everything to prove to them they can do everything? I don’t think that’s the answer, either.
But I did get that shower curtain back in place. So there’s that.