Posted: Thursday, September 18th, 2008
Yesterday was a pretty normal day at our house. I went to work. The boys went to school. Speed had a play date for the afternoon. Whiz went to soccer practice. We made a trip to WholeFoods on our way home… Through it all, everyone seemed happy and healthy. That is, until we sat down for dinner.
At dinner Speed was sitting at the table in front of his favorite meal in the world but wouldn’t eat a bite. He kept saying “I’m too sleepy to eat”. “I’m too sleepy to eat”. I’ve been at this a few years now and I know that there’s no such thing as “too sleepy to eat”. For once I’m a step ahead of him and I see through his ploy to leave the dinner table early and play. I calmly said “Listen Speed. You can stay at the table and eat dinner with our family or you can go up to bed. Those are your only choices”. Without a word he left the table and headed up to his room. Deep inside I knew it had all been too easy, but still I began congratulating myself on my brilliant mothering.
About 20 minutes later it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard anything from the littlest monster (unheard of). I went up to check his room and found Speed fully clothed, under his covers, sound asleep. I felt his little forehead and of course, he was hot as blazes and I was forced to face the fact that I had sent my sick baby to bed, alone, without so much as a kiss goodnight, bedtime story, cool cloth on his forehead, or dose of comforting Tylenol.
It stunned me. It knocked the wind out of me. BLAM! Just like that, I mentally gave back every Mother of the Year point I’ve ever earned.
Today Speed seems unscathed by the event (and his health was restored by the good night’s sleep). But I remain quite shaken. Friends have tried to assure me that “they’d have done the same thing”. My husband tried to talk me off the ledge with insightful comments like “It’s no big deal. He’s fine”. But I just can’t seem to let go of it!
I do an awful lot to promote the safety, happiness, and general well being of these little people. Why do I dwell on the little infractions more and celebrate the greatness less?
Are any of you other parents out there too hard on yourselves? What’s the last thing you did to deplete your “Mother of the Year” account? How do you handle the guilt of your infractions? Let us know with a comment. One will be selected at random to choose a treat from the Education.com Grab Bag (a closet filled to the brim with all the cool stuff people send our company…toys, books, and baby gear abound!)