As confident as I can feel some days… okay, a few days once in a blue moon… I realize that I still am very clueless.
I’m talking about kids here.
Yes, there are those books – gazillions of them. Self-help books to help you raise the best, brightest, most well-adjusted, healthiest, funniest, kindest kids on the block.
I’ve looked at a few over the years, but haven’t put my heart into it.
It seems a lot of them contradict each other and every day there is a new book on the market showing you how to have a New Kid By Friday, Raising Your Spirited Child (which I bought in a moment of desperation after calling my pediatrician’s office in tears, certain my youngest child was the devil incarnate), Bringing Up Boys, Why Boys are Different than Girls (like I need a book for that?), Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice (I think I checked that one out of the library and didn’t even crack it), How to Have the Happiest Baby/Boy/Kid on the Block…
And then throw in Dr. Phil who I used to watch all the time when my boys were still napping in the afternoons. I knew all about my boys’ currency and how to deliver punishment in a loving, caring way.
Then I heard that bribing your kids isn’t the answer. Is that the same as finding their currency (video games, TV, time outside, time at a friend’s house), and threatening to take it away?
And then I heard that taking things away is wrong and focusing on the negative isn’t the answer. We have to pay attention to all the good things the kids do and praise them and then they’ll move away from the bad behaviour.
But I think we’re all doing okay, considering I don’t have a library of books telling me I need to do this and stop doing that and focus on those things while ignoring this stuff… I actually take a little pride in figuring it out by myself and using my instincts.
Of course tell that to my kids when they’re either in jail or in therapy in 20 years.
But hubby and I have our own system and it seems to work most times… until I’m too tired or busy or stressed to focus on being super-mom.
Actually, super-mom rarely makes an appearance except for first thing in the morning, when the day is fresh and new and I always believe I can start over.
And the same goes for after school pick up. I’m all smiles and butterflies for about 10 minutes.
I mean, when you think about it, I could very possibly be a super-mom 24/7 if my kids would just cooperate.
Maybe it’s not me. Maybe it’s them.
I know that’s not really the case. But it’s nice to think once in a while.
To be blameless. What bliss.
Until they end up in therapy or in jail in 20 years.
What made me think of this whole idea though is what happened at work yesterday to another working mom and her little boy.
She was asking for my advice.
Like I have a clue what I’m doing on a daily basis… but it was nice to be asked, I gotta say.
Of course that’s what we women do. And it doesn’t matter whether you know the answer or not; just be there as a sounding board and to put in your two cents – and it helps. It really does.
A sympathetic ear, maybe a story or two from your past experience if it pertains to the story…
I find it definitely helps me when I’m torn over something to do with my kids.
It’s like a sisterhood. I wonder if us women really understand how much we help and validate our fellow mommas when we do something as simple as say, ‘oh yeah, I’ve been there,’ or ‘I totally know what you’re talking about.’
Anyway, this co-worker’s son had red eyes on Monday. He had been swimming over the weekend and had been busy and maybe a bit run-down.
She was at work, waiting for the call from her own hubby updating her on the boy’s status when he woke up.
And she was asking me about my past experiences with pink-eye and if that’s what it could be. And other than the red eyes, it didn’t sound like typical pink-eye (from my own experiences with my boys and having had it myself).
No gunky eyes. That would be my big indicator.
And of course that particular day, we were having our department It’s-Christmas-So-We’re-Taking-You-To-A-Restaurant-Where-You’d-Have-To-Work-A-Week-To-Afford-Lunch lunch. And we all wanted her to join us and not miss out on this special event, so we figured maybe sending him to school might not be so bad.
For a millisecond. Only for a few minutes tops.
We didn’t really recommend he go to school. She didn’t think he should either, to be honest.
But for just a fleeting moment, and we’ve all been there, we put what we want first and tried to think of ways to maneuver life events so we can make it can happen.
Oh, it’s late. The kids should be in bed. But I’m having so much fun at this party. Well, at least they don’t have school tomorrow.
Oh, the kids really want to go swimming. But my favourite movie in the world is on TV in two minutes and I’m so tired from running after them all week. I deserve a bit of down time… Maybe we’ll go tomorrow.
Oh, it’s dinner time. And I have to cook. The kids haven’t had a vegetable in two days. Wait a second; didn’t the USA deem pizza a vegetable? Where’s the delivery menu?
So back to this working momma. Her son woke up and had Daddy look at him and then he went back to bed. The son, not her hubby.
No yucky, sticky eyes. But going back to bed? What kid does that when cartoons are on TV just begging to be watched?
You could see it in every lady’s eyes the moment we heard that.
You’re going home to sit with a sicky today and you’ll probably end up at the medical clinic for three hours on top of that.
Meanwhile, I’ll have a glass of wine for you at the lunch.
And I’ll probably have to take a cab to pick up my kids at school. Another deal you make with yourself – if I have another glass of wine at this festive lunch with all my wonderful co-workers during this delicious meal, would it be a serious social faux pas to pick up my kids using a taxi?
But it did cross my mind and promptly turned into a joke at the table (mostly just to gauge people’s reactions on whether I could actually get away with it).
So she missed the (very nice) lunch.
And she went home to her sick child who I’m sure was very happy to have Mom there to look after him and cuddle him and soothe him. That’s what Moms do. That’s what we’re here for, right?
No lunch can compete with that.
And guess what?
Wanna know how so very completely clueless I am?
She took him to the doc. And he does have pink-eye.
How’d I miss that one?
I’m sure my kids will have their own theories when they end up in therapy or jail in 20 years.