Monday, March 24, 2008

quote of the day:

"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 kills me to admit this...a "helicopter" parent. Oh jeebus....yes, I'm one of THOSE mothers. 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.


jpogue said...

It's HARD to not try to protect your kids from the "evil" children at school! However, now we both know that letting kids figure out their own revenge is something they need to do in order to have confidence that they can get through life without mommy's help.

At least you're starting early with the parenting coach. Wish I'd found her 10 years ago! Kids really should come with owner's manuals...

Dee said...

My owner's manual was Dr. Spock, no, not the space geek. I read that book so much I literally wore it out, pages falling out, some faded from reading and tears falling on the pages. And I still screwed everybody up. ----- Owners manuals don't help !

kate and david said...

Oh mom, don't be so hard on yourself. Hardly anyone comments on my nervous tic anymore, and I can finally use a spatula without sobbing.

PS. I love you! :)

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

I don't know, I still point and laugh at Kate's ticks and twiches.

OK, none of us are perfect, but compared to a lot of OTHER parents out there, we have all done a pretty darn good job with our kids. We've raised a darn good crop. We don't have a single one in prison or using crack.(yet...)

My owners manual MY MOM. I tried to remember the advise she gave me, and I passed it along to my girls. I often wanted to go beat up a kid or a teacher, (especially in Lisa's case, she was sooooo sensitive,) but I knew they had to protect themselves because I couldn't always be there. As they got older, Dr. Phil became my owners manual.
I've still managaged to screw them up, but they are strong enough and smart enough to deal with it. So are your kids, sisters.