Birdy tore by on a scooter and another little kid followed closely with a plastic shopping cart crammed with toy food.
“We’re superheroes!!!” she yelled, out of breath as she zipped by.
“I can tell!” I answered, looking up from my papers.
I am the mom at playgroups who spends some of the time staring at an open Word document on my laptop, tapping away on the keys until the letters Centipede themselves around the screen and eventually come to form coherent thoughts. I’m the mom who gets on the trampoline with her kid (and immediately wishes that she didn’t, mostly because I spend the whole time panicking about one of us falling off the edge). And I’m the mom who occasionally fumbles through her purse and pulls out a piece of technology and stares at the graph on the screen, or grabs another piece of tech and bleeds with precision on it, or ferrets out a blue jar and eats several of those … giant smarties?
I am a mom with type 1 diabetes.
I sometimes wonder how it might look, through the eyes of the other parents and caregivers. Do they think it’s gross that I deal with blood at playgroup? Do they notice that I use hand wipes and carefully wipe down anything I’ve touched after testing my blood sugar, not because I’ve bled on everything but more because I want to demonstrate my respect for anyone’s potential concerns? Do they think I’m a sugar-addict, sometimes popping glucose tabs into my mouth and simultaneously wiping beads of hypoglycemia sweat off my forehead? Do they notice that my outfits always have a small pump bulge and usually some trailing tubing? Do they think it’s unfashionable to have glucose tab dust smeared on the front of my shirt?
What’s most likely is that they don’t notice at all. What feels like a big deal to me at times seems like an unremarkable blip on their overall parenting radar. They probably see another parent, just doing their parenting thing, and are unaware of the small, tangible differences. (I bet they’d notice if I didn’t shower, though. That’s a hard one to miss.)
“Mom, come make pretend pudding with me! In this little, toy kitchen with these real other kids!”
“Pretend pudding? How can I resist?”
I am a mom with diabetes, not a-bunch-of-diabetes with a side of motherhood. The proof is in the (pretend) pudding.