Technically, I am of “advanced maternal age” and in some circles I’d even be considered “perimenopausal.” So why is it when a young woman in her 20s tells me that my son pushed a little girl, I feel like that 10-year-old girl in the confessional for the first time — with all my sins exposed?
I’ve joined our local YMCA to get in shape — okay, I really joined because they offer free babysitting. Plus, the twins need socialization. Apparently Mr. Plum needs quite a bit more, because this is the second time he has gotten a bad report. I know this is normal for preschoolers. I know that there are always new kids for him to meet and deal with each time we go to the Y. I know that with continued guidance, he will learn to handle things differently. But man, the SHAME! Maybe it is the catholic guilt of my youth, or the vicarious jewish guilt from my husband, maybe I’m just prone to it — but these encounters make me want to crawl into a hole. I feel all judged and then I
obsess worry over it (obvious huh? since I’m writing about it).
Is it an inherent part of motherhood, to take on the trespasses of our children? I don’t think fathers feel such failure when their children make these type of mistakes. When I told my husband about the first incident with Mr. Plum, he asked if he had seemed sorry. When I said that yes, he indeed seemed regretful, my husband just said — good. And for him, that was the end of it.
Do you cringe at every (developmentally appropriate) infraction your little ones make? Do you worry the next step is a trip to the state pen? Or are you a mother duck, and it just rolls right off your back?