once upon a time

  • I believed that the only difference between boys and girls was the all too often subconscious cultural view that boys and girls should be different and that given the right environment those differences could be at least minimized if not eradicated. And then I learned that the other half believes that if you truly love something, you must smash it!
  • I believed that any child could be reasoned with in any situation and patience, love, and understanding could withstand any storm. Until I spent upwards of 45 minutes trying to explain to one very sleepy 3 year old that I *knew* his head hurt and I *understood* that his eyes were sore and I *knew* that he had a tummyache and omigodwouldyoupleasejustlaydownandgotosleep!
  • I believed that picky eaters and poor sleepers were a product of their environment. And then we had that dinner where I let him choose what we would have and then help make everything and everything was still "yucky" including the chocolate milk that he insisted on rinsing his mouth out with after each and every bite got spit back into the bowl.
  • I believed that violence was a purely mimicked behavior. But I have the bruise on my thigh to prove that sometimes the only way to release that much frustration is to lash out physically at the one person you want the most to stay in the room with you.
  • I believed that mother's intuition would always kick in when push came to shove. Three years later it's still a daily guessing game as to how to best mother this child.
  • I was shocked and horrified by the idea of putting a child on a "leash". And then I took him to the zoo.
  • I was embarrassed for the parents of the child screaming in public. Now I just want throw food across the restaurant myself to give them a break from all those "embarrassed" and "understanding" looks.
  • I didn't believe that love and hate could define the same relationship at the exact same time. That was before the endless negotiations started that leave me crazyproud of his reasoning skills but exhausted with trying to keep up and hold my ground.
  • I couldn't understand how a parent could ever get so out of control as to ever think about raising their hand to their child. I now recognize that the line between *thinking* and *doing* is much broader than it seemed from over there.
  • I thought that there was an endless capacity for nurturing. Now I know that to nurture, one must in turn be nurtured. So while there is a seemingly endless supply, you can't just keep dipping from the same well.
  • I thought that getting enough sleep and eating the right foods and making time for exercise and friends and family and hobbies was just a simple matter of setting the right priorities. Puking babies don't give a tinker's damn about priorities.

Oh, universe, are your sides hurting from laughing at me yet?



Jacqueline said...

I don't know about the universe, but I am suddenly a LOT more nervous about my future.....

Lora said...

my favorite book right now is Growing Up Again. It's all about nurturing the nurturer. It's been my bible these past 2.5 years.

Amy Jo said...

Isn't it funny how much reality differs from our perception of what reality will be beforehand? Ah motherhood. Always a learning experience!

susan said...

Jacqueline - Don't be nervous. Just don't get too attached to any one thing / way of thinking. Pride goeth before the fall and all that jazz. Fear might be a healthy emotion, though...

Lora - I just put that on my "request list" at the library. If you swear by it, it's what I need. Sooner, hopefully. I'm not sure we'll make it to later!

Amy - If I had just thought to write all the stuff I was wrong about down as I went along, I'd have a book already written. Might not be a best seller, but I could always just consider it my gift to mankind, right?