As parents we do our very best to ensure our kids have a memorable childhood, one that makes them feel fulfilled in their adult lives. One that they can be proud of and want to bring their significant others home to meet us, and hopefully keep them out of weekly therapy sessions where they will blame us for everything gone wrong. In the 6 short years that I have been a mother, I KNOW I have already contributed to some of those sessions. I won't tell you about ALL of them, you don't have that kind of time, and you may question my ability to keep raising these girls, so I can just touch on a few recent ones.
For some reason Emma has had a rough time sleeping through the night last week, and she woke up at least 3 times to come and tell me about it. The first time I was still awake, so it wasn't so bad. She'd had a dream that a giant marshmallow came to sleep with her and she was scared by that. I let her cuddle with me in bed for a bit and off we went to put her back to sleep with wishes of pleasant dreams of princesses and chocolate. (handled that one pretty good-pat, pat on the back)
Until the next night.....
It was about 2 or 3 in the morning, I am sleeping away, dreaming of princesses,( or maybe princes) and chocolate, I suddenly feel like someone is watching me so I open one eye, slowly.
I jump right up trying to get my heart back out of my throat, and to breath so I don't bring on a stroke! Emma is standing right at my face, staring, hands crossed in front of her, not saying a word. She looked just like that girl from the movie The Ring, you know the one that crawls out of the well. Yeah, so not only am I trying not to have a stroke I'm trying not to pee myself, or hit my kid in "self-defence"!
"WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, don't sneak up on me like that, I just about punched you in the face!" (good one Catharine....)
"I mean, what's wrong, why are you up?"
Tears start now, (yup, good one) "I had a bad dream and now you said you were gonna punch me in the face!" WWHHHHHAAAAAAAA.......... (oh geez......)
"NO, NO, NO.....I didn't mean that, you just scared me because I was sleeping and didn't expect you there! Sorry Emma......What was your dream about?"
"My shoe broke and a train went by me really fast."
"Did the train hit you?"
"NO! Could it hit me?!!!" (oh geez.....) Nice. Now I'm adding to it.....
"Okay well the good news is you woke up, now for even better news, I'll put you back to bed and you can dream of princesses and chocolate. And next time you need to wake me up, maybe announce yourself softly and poke me in the arm instead of just staring at me, and hopefully you won't get hurt."
I tried my best to go back to sleep but all I could think of is when she goes to school she 's going to tell her teacher that I was going to punch her in the face!!!! And then how about the time when she asked if she could eat lunch and I said, "Hang on, I'm checking Facebook!" Great, now her teacher thinks I don't feed her, because I am addicted to social networking. Or when I was brushing her hair in a hurry and it was being pulled and she cried and said, "Stop brushing so fast Mommy you're hurting my feelings." And I said, "Seriously? Get used to it, being a girl is hard!" I'm surprised I haven't been called in to have a "meeting" at school to see how things are going at home!
I know I'm not alone, and as much as we make mistakes that may lead them to a therapist we won't be far behind in our own sessions or just simply self medicating for things they've said and done to us.
I have two favourites so far.... when Emma was about 3ish, we were at the video store in town and she was over looking at the movie covers in the comedy section, when she comes across a picture of a woman's cleavage, it was rather large yet clothed and she yells, "Hey Mom! Check out the nipples on her!" Clear as day, and EVERYONE heard. (sigh). And another is when my girlfriend was out with her nine year old son and we were watching a stand up comedy DVD and the comedian says the word "sex", and without missing a beat her son says, "Hey mom, that's what you need to do with Dad!" She tried her best to shush him, but I am not mature enough to just ignore that, and so I pretty much lost it with laughter, and snorts and tears!
I pray my moments in lack of judgement don't have a permanent impact on my kids little minds, and that they come out of their childhood productive members of society. And I pray that I come out of raising them, sober, and with many, many blog entries to read at their weddings!