"No, I swear, I am DONE meddling in my daughter's life".
Aaahh, famous last words.
The funny thing is (aside from the fact that she's SEVEN, so the meddling hasn't even been necessary yet!), it's recently become painfully obvious that I am a...oh god...it kills me to admit this...a "helicopter" parent. Oh jeebus....yes, I'm one of THOSE mothers. But...but...you know, she's an only child...and I tried for three years to get pregnant...I wanted to be a mother soooo badly...and by the time she arrived my marriage was essentially dead, so I could give her ALL. MY. LOVE. (yeah, I'm sure THAT helped my relationship with her father). Anyway, by doing everything for her, I've basically rendered her completely incapable of solving her own problems. Despite having watched my older sister do exactly this with her own child and oh, man, did I swear I would do things differently. Now, we're using the same parenting coach! ha!
Here's a funny story: earlier this year (she's in first grade) I picked her up from school one day. Two of her friends were coming home with us, and as we were walking to the car, Anna told me that a girl had punched her on the playground that day. Punched her! I asked for clarification ("Were you playing around and she accidentally hit you?") and was assured it was done out of pure meanness. Hhhhmmpph. That really pissed me off; NO ONE hits my kid. Hell, I don't even hit her; I do not believe in spanking. So we get to the car and as we're pulling out of the school lot, Anna yells "There she is, the kid who hit me!" Well, I wasnt' about to let that opportunity go; I asked Anna if she wanted me to talk to the girl. She said yes, and I asked AT LEAST 3-4 times "Are you SURE you want me to go talk to her?" and Anna AND her friends kept saying "Yes!" So...I pulled up to the curb, got out of my car, walked right up to this little girl and got right down in her face. "I'm Anna's mom, and I hear you hit her today." You should have seen the look on her face. She was, to say the least, speechless. I then said "If you EVER touch my daughter again, you will be very, very sorry." ha! I'll show that seven year old not to mess with ME. I strutted back to the car, and as I got in, victorious, all three girls in the back seat said "I can't believe you did that! You almost made her cry! You're MEAN!!!" Yeah. Ungrateful little shits. So we dropped it and that was the end of it.
Then today was an after-school field trip to the bowling alley, and I went along as a chaperone. Guess who was on my team of 4 little kids to watch over? That's right, Sarah, the little girl in whom I'd put the fear of god. And you know what? Not only did I not traumatize her for life or give her nightmares, she didn't seem to remember me at all. Not even when I had to "out" myself as Anna's mom. We laughed, we high-fived, hell, I'd go so far as to say she likes me.
But then again, maybe she's just silently plotting her revenge.