The question came to me again. Am I as bad at this as I sound? I read through a comment on a past post that was meant to be flattering but thanked me for sucking at this thing called “parenting”.
My original intention for this blog, much like parenting, was to create something for my child to look back on over the years and through many changes it’s become a flea market of milestones, mishaps, and medical oddities. Even my opinion on my life and struggles which one reader oh-so charmingly condescended once that I was “not bad for a mommy blog at being funny”. Yeah, I’ll admit, I deleted his comment. That was back in my blogspot days.
So with the closing of the year, and the counting of my blessings and blemishes, I noticed something again when a friend joked to me that they were relieved that they weren’t the only one that sucked at this. Am I as bad at this as I sound?
Both kids require coaxing for sleep and wake every few hours. One with nightmares from anxiety and the other because he’s a wind-up toy sent from the future to destroy us. Nora, in her sage wisdom from her inexplicable depths, patted my back as I hung my head in defeat over Owen the other day, “It’s ok, mama. You’s the best mama for us.” I began to cry and hugged her as Owen continued licking our cat.
She’s the tenderest of souls I’ve ever met. She loves giving presents and hosting parties, makes cards for people on a whim, and worries over others far too much. I’m pretty sure the Dalai Lama would seem like a dick in comparison if they were to ever meet. (I’m biased I think but that’s because a.) I gestated her and b.) I’m right.)
There’s a grit there though, a determination, that I’m trying to encourage forward. I see it when she lifts her brother out of the way or attempts the rodeo of hugging him which is not all that unlike hugging a bag of Legos. Painful and discouraging when it ends with bruises. Yet she is persistent in her love for him and kindness but I want to be sure she understands as well that she doesn’t have to put up with people’s mistreatment.
We’ve read books together, discussed incidents, and role played. I thought we were doing so well at getting her confidence up and preparing her for “big kid school” as she liked to call Kindergarten. Then we discovered she was being traumatized by a classmate and were devastated right along with her. Am I as bad at this as I sound? Have I failed my baby? How can I ever truly protect her in this world?
My parenting, much like my writing, doesn’t think too much about other’s opinion of me because it really doesn’t matter. What matters to me are the creatures I’m responsible for bringing into this world and I do my very best to show them how much I love them and will protect them every day. As dysfunctional as it looks, I try as hard as I can even as I accidentally feed them sugar or let them watch too many cartoons.
So our son calls the tv “Bob” because we watch “Bob’s Burgers” with them for our evening family time, so what? So our daughter wants to be a unicorn of rainbows, so what? So we have baby gates to cage the movements of our almost three year old so we can hide ourselves and our belongings from him, so what?
Is it bad to want your kids to be kind? Is it bad to be a bit psychotic when another kid victimizes them? No. That’s all I want to say anymore. “NO.”
So to all of you that have been handed a raw deal this year (because, frankly, we all have), I wish you a happy new year. One with less tantrums and more triumphs, one of health and prosperity, one of hope and endurance to find the humor even when the lights go out…which they did, four times this past year. And we have rats, did I mention that yet?
Oh yeah, before I forget, %$#@ you 2016.