A lot of energy has been going into this consciously-not-acting-and/or-reacting-out-of-anxiousness thing. In fact, so much energy has been sent this way that apparently I have very little left to give to blogging. And parenting.
If this little non-anxious experiment were being supervised, I think I’d impress. I mean, you should see how many people I’m not screaming at every day. However, if you were to catch a scene like lunch today you would probably send me back to start. game over.
It’s just she (the baby) is really into this “being her own person” movement and of course, when I hangout with my mom friends or give updates on the progression of toddlerhood I try to spin this as a positive. But point of fact, 90% of the time it’s the hardest thing ever*.
As an educated adult, I am supposed to let the beauty of our differences outweigh the major ass pain side effects. And I do. Through a clenched jaw and on the days where the Zoloft is doing its thing I will happily tell you that our diversity makes the world go round and not because it’s a nice idea but because it’s true. But it’s also true that it isn’t always pretty or even cathartic or fulfilling in the greater good sense.
To bring this back to middle class motherhood for a second, Zo has reached an age where she wants to do everything on her own terms and it just so happens that everything she wants to do is the opposite of anything I want. Of course, what I want is for her to do things in a safe, wholesome, and healthy way. I want her to make smart decisions. I want her to learn from her mistakes. I want her to be thoughtful. But sometimes more than these Parenting magazine approved things, I just want her to do what I would do in the given situation.
Eat the zucchini. Don’t jump in the tub. Just walk!!! Put the hat on. Use the chalk on the porch not my feet. Don’t put the mystery object in your mouth. Be GENTLE!!! Stop. Go. Wake up. Go to bed. Follow me. Go in front of me. Get in the cart. Get out of the cart. Sing Twinkle Twinkle. Stop singing Twinkle Twinkle.
So I guess you could say that my strengths do not lie in being the educator or shepherding parent type and because of this I’ve fallen into total awe of the zen mom clan. The mothers who are able to say (with a straight face) that they appreciate who their child is as a person, an individual. This includes those who want to be real overachievers and nurture this independent spirit. When I try and go zen, saying something like “well, let’s just see what happens if you pour this bucket of bubbles all over the dog. Let’s just watch and learn.” Z sees right through it. She is SO onto me and she knows that I’m really saying “you’re a crazy person and THIS is stupid.”
I think the point here is that I should send my child to live among the zen moms at least until she’s ten.
No. The point is that this is a real thing that I think we try to hide from our kids until they’re old enough to handle that (GASP) mom is a person with her own way of doing things. I’m not saying no one has figured this out yet but with there being so much literature (and “literature”…) about being a more understanding and patient person towards our children it might do us some good to offer this kind of graciousness up to our impatient, imperfect selves and stop trying to to be so zen…
again, unless you’re just naturally, amazingly calm. In that case, I need your address…
So again, next time you see me feel free to make note of how little I’ve yelled at you. And for the love of God, eat your zucchini.
*excepting neurosurgery, metaphysics, and whatever they did to bring Apollo 13 back to earth.