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?
If you let the children get out crackers and eat them all on their own at lunch time … does this make you a good mom for teaching independence and self sufficience?
Took a little drive through the surrounding farm country with the twins on a bitter winter day while we were waiting for their big brother to finish up an appointment. We’d done this drive a week or so before, and the twins know we pass several horse farms.
Plum: Horsies not movin’
Plum: Need battries
Plum (louder): Dey need battries
At that very moment we pass some horses
Plum: Der dey go! I turn ’em on!
Me: You did?
We pick up big brother from his appointment and he starts in on me again about the plan for when we arrive at home. As I sigh and begin to give him a hard time about nagging, his tutor says “NO negotiating with terrorists!” I agree and mention how I’ve got three of them. Once outside the oldest says, “she meant TOURISTS!” At which point I crack up and say, “no, she did mean terrorists.”
Peaches: It’s not workin’ (as she taps automatic stamper onto the paper), It’s not workin’
Plum: Here, I get it, I get it (grabs stamper)
BANG, BANG, BANG!
Plum: Hmmm, not workin’, it broken.
Change has never been a simple thing for me, and many new beginnings in my life have been surrounded with upheaval and turmoil. So at the beginning of this new year, I am picking One Little Word to help me welcome change — EMBRACE.
Embrace: (1) to clasp in the arms, to hug. (2) to cherish, love. (3) to take up especially readily or gladly; to avail oneself of or to welcome. (4) to take in or include as a part, item or element of a more inclusive whole.
I’ve been working hard to accept the things that come into my life, to accept the limitations of being a mother to young children, to accept the time it takes to affect change. But this year I want to greet my opportunities with open arms, I want to revel in what lies in my everyday, I want to jump in and see a difference. I think I am ready.
- embrace my creative side and declare it proudly
- remember to embrace my oldest, because he still needs it
- embrace my little ones before they aren’t little any longer
- hold on to and embrace my family, near and far, as our time together is fragile
- dive in and embrace new endeavors
- embrace my body and the power that lies within it
- seek out other like-minded individuals in my community and embrace budding friendships
- nurture and embrace the love that created this wonderful marriage and life together
- acknowledge and embrace my past, as it has made me the person I am today