The past few weeks Doc has been on surgery rotation. That means early mornings, long days and late nights. It’s left a lot of time for Rosebud and I to be alone. Which is
a little a lot exhausting and a lot of awesome. That includes Sunday mornings.
If you’re a church-attending mom, you know that Sunday mornings are the Super Bowl of motherhood. If you can get yourself, your husband, and your child(ren) out the door wearing clothing that covers all the important parts, hair free of breakfast crumbs, nose free of boogers, and walk into the sanctuary by the time the choir finishes singing their first song then yes, you deserve a ring, a trophy, two Reese’s cups, and a glass of wine. (Panty hose runs and wrinkles are acceptable under these conditions.)
With Doc gone, I’ve been taking on the sole responsibility for getting Rosebud and I to the Lord’s house with as few tears and as little swearing as possible. This past Sunday I was attempting to wrestle her into a pair of light pink stockings, and she was attempting to escape the torture. The conversation escalated.
“Honey, I need you to stand still for mommy.”
“Rose, sweetie, let me get you dressed so we aren’t late for church.”
*She starts throwing elbows
(Angry voice) “ROSE. STAND STILL RIGHT NOW.”
She jumped, all the fight drained out of her body, tears the size of the hope diamond ran down her cheeks, and with a shaking voice she cut straight to my heart. “Mommy. That scare me to death. Mommy. You scare me to death. That too loud.”
If you could only know the guilt that swept over my at that very moment. I looked up, half-expecting “World’s Worst Mother” to appear tattooed across my forehead. I hugged her close to me and rocked us both. “I’m sorry baby. I’m sorry I did that. I love you so much. I shouldn’t have done that. I love you.”
She was deflated.
With five little words, I had stomped out my Rosebud’s fire. One of the things I love most about her.
Sure, she got over it. She’d forgotten about it before we even got to the car, singing ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’ all the way to the church house.
But it stayed with me.
And I started to wonder at all the other ways I’d stomped out her fire.
When I brushed away the chubby hands attempting to tie her own shoes because we were in a hurry, maybe.
Or when I rushed through our bedtime routine trying to get to my chores so I could finally relax.
When I pulled her along when she tried to stop along the sidewalk to examine a leaf blowing in the wind because I had 15 minutes until I had to be at the office.
Doc and I constantly struggle with finding the balance between ensuring Rosebud is well-disciplined (see: not a spoiled, little brat) and trying not to break the wild spirit that we love about her. And it’s not easy (see: the hardest thing I’ve ever done). How do I mold her into a positive, contributing member of society while keeping her true (and crazy) personality in tact? How do I teach her to stand up for herself, but remind her that we’re in charge?
It’s particularly interesting for me because I see so many of my own character traits mirroring their reflection in her. How am I supposed to discipline Rosebud for losing her temper and getting frustrated when she can’t immediately grasp a new technique or task when I DO THE EXACT SAME THING. Or when she looks at us in the middle of the prayer at church and says: “I can’t be quiet, I need TO TALK.”–when well, that’s my fault, too. And I especially can’t get after the kid for sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to read books. It’s like God said “Oh hey, Hunter, did you need further insight into all the weirdness that is you? Here ya go. Here’s you in toddler form. Good luck.”
My whole pregnancy I spent praying that my child would be as patient, laid back, and easy going as Doc. Instead, in a cruel twist of fate, she’s as wild, high maintenance, short-tempered, and as fiery and passionate (about EVERYTHING) as I am. But goodness, do we love her for it.
One thing is for sure, I will never have to worry about Rosebud standing up for her beliefs or voicing her opinions and speaking her mind. God help us all and look out world.
Here’s to all you people with a strong willed child–may you have the wisdom and the strength to temper their spirit without breaking it. And good luck on Sunday mornings. Yeesh.
Oh, and here’s to all you people with a strong will…may all your children take after their fathers.
Love and other drugs,
E. Hunter W.
I mean, come on….this is the sass I live with.