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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Motherhood Moments: Laughter & Panic

This morning, I had one of those motherhood moments that immediately made me laugh.

Last night, I had one that made me panic and hate myself for a bit. I don't hate myself any more, but I doubt I'll ever laugh at it.

Both. Were opportunities. For learning. and For growth.

I love the growth, but could pass on the panic and guilt. I'm not sure that's possible though.

Here are the moments. Laughter first.

My daughter is nearly 2 and a half. A very verbal & social 2 and a half. But still very much 2 and a half. We started potty training her last Thursday. She's been doing amazing. Uh-Mazing. Like 0-2 accidents daily amazing. Now, mind you, we were mostly setting her on the potty every 30 minutes or less. But still, amazing. We even had a breakfast & park outing yesterday with Zero accidents.
What happens when you're too amazing? You get cocky. That's what.
I took her to the grocery store this morning. I asked her half-way through, "Do you need to sit on the potty?" A: "No." Okay, she's a big girl. She knows. Yes, but only 0.5 seconds before she pees.
So, right between milk & eggs. "Mommy, I have to go potty." Before "OK" could get out my mouth, pee was streaming down the cart. Oh, well. I had extra clothes for her, so off we went to change. We talked about how mommy would just take her, until she knows sooner & what a good girl she is for telling me. Then I had a talk with myself about bringing extra clothes for me. Then we finished the shopping. (Blissfully, only 2 more items in my pee-soaked shirt.)

Now, Panic.

My daughter likes to help me cook. I love that. But it's challenging. Finding a thing that's safe for her to do. Finding a safe way to do it. Even when you think you've got it just right, she might decide to jump up & down on the chair instead of cooking like she said she wanted to. Or, suddenly, the knives might be right there in her reach. Ack! Not relaxing. But I consider it good practice for when she gets older? Maybe I'm crazy. But I like her knowing & experiencing how her food happens. So I keep trying.
And I will keep trying after last night. (I think.) But MUCH much more carefully. Like, maybe you're over there doing totally fake cooking while I'm over here doing the real thing. Except, I bet that won't work, and she'll see through my facade.
Anyway, I've stalled long enough. My daughter got burned. Not badly, but literally.
I wasn't feeling my best, so we were having a lazy afternoon. Blue box Mac'n'cheese for dinner in front of football was up next. I told her she could help. I meant that she could help stir the sauce together. I set a timer, to show her how long the pasta had to cook before. Not having it. The empty box & a spatula? Yes! For 1 minute. But she wanted the real deal. So, I pulled the chair over and stood with her. I gave her a long spoon, and told her to be very careful. Sure, yes - my 2 and a half year old knows just how to be careful with hot water. You betcha.
You know what comes next. Over-vigorous stirring. Splash. Burned belly. Hysteria.

What I'm so glad didn't come next. Finger-pointing.

In my mind: That's exactly why I told you you couldn't help.
because who wants to blame themselves?
Out of my mouth: I am so sorry. It is my fault. I can't let you do things that I know might hurt you. Even if you get mad at me. I am so sorry.
because that's the truth.

** We removed the shirt, grabbed the boo-boo pad from the freezer, snuggled up & wiped away tears.

I'm sure in my husband's mind: Idiot! You're the adult. She's the child. Don't put her in harm's way just to shut her up.
because that's the truth.
Out of his mouth: There. You're okay. Mommy took good care of you.
because that's the truth too.
Then he finished dinner. Then we all snuggled in front of football & enjoyed our Mac'n'cheese.
Her belly is fine. She is fine. Our family is great.

It was completely, 100% my fault. I know that. My husband knows that. But he also knew that blaming me wasn't going to make it better.
My daughter might not know it was my fault. But she knows that it isn't hers. And she knows that mommy & daddy are a team. Even if we sometimes fail to stop her from getting hurt, we work together to take care of her.

And we always will.

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