If I Was Graded As A Parent, I Would Fail

(photo via tammypalazzo.com)

My oldest child was not, is not an adventurer of any sort.  He was hesitant to walk, late at learning to climb and has never really been too interested in anything that might be slightly dangerous.  No, he was and is a pretty calm and chill out type of dude.  Now Dylan our current baby is the crazy one!

Not quite a baby at almost 21 months old, but still small and young enough to worry constantly about.  He started pulling up on things at 9 months, walking at 11 months and getting into all sorts of trouble along the way.  At 15 months he was climbing up a wooden toy chest, fell and gashed his nose hard enough it required 3 stitches.  That ER visit has been by far the hardest thing I have had to go through with my boys, post to come!

But you get a good idea of their personalities and how completely opposite my two little guys are.  Not only are they different, but my parenting style and approach has changed along the way, while learning to discipline and interact with my rambunctious baby. I’m a lot more laid back when he falls, not easily scared when he climbs too high and generally okay with most things he does as long as I’m nearby and can see him.

So we were at a play date a few days ago at an indoor soccer field with just a handful of other children and their moms.  We had just finished up lunch and had some left over oranges lying out and of course my little guy thinks he is old enough to do things on his own.  So he grabs an orange slice and the plastic butter knife and starts to try to take off the orange rind. I watch cautiously as he tries a few more times unsuccessfully.  Finally the fifth or sixth try he somehow manages to stick the knife in the orange slice and it stays.  He now has a homemade skewer 🙂  he feels accomplished with himself and walks around eating his now skewered orange slice, Bad Mom Example #1.

About twenty minutes later he decides he wants a lollipop. As he grunts and searches through my bag for something good, I haphazardly hand him a lollipop and send him on his way.  He unwraps it like a pro and takes off running, enjoying his sucker, Bad Mom Example #2.  Of course I’m watching him closely, but I don’t know very many mothers who even allow their child to roam free with not only one hazardous object the plastic knife, but then later a sucker as well.  It’s not that I’m less worried than others or I don’t watch him like a hawk, but I’ve just learned with this child, to hold him loosely and watch him closely!

Well today we had a birthday party to attend at a local bounce house place and for yet another example of why I surely would fail if I was to be graded daily on my actions as a mom. Everything was fine until it was time to eat the cake.  In a large room with two picnic tables and ten 6 yr. old kids hopped up on pizza and soda is where Dylan wanted to be.  I allowed him to run in behind the others so he didn’t get pummeled. Of course he needs to sit on the picnic tables just like all the others, but his balance and coordination still have years to catch up with the children he sits next to. As I slowly inch closer thankful that he seems to be doing ok with the big kids he all of a sudden loses his balances and falls backward.  The whole room went quiet.  He looked at me with his big brown eyes, stunned that he just fell.  I quickly picked him up as he started to cry and carried him out of the room looking for an ice pack.

Needless to say we find one and after a few minutes and quick checking all is well.  He walks away in search of cake with nothing but a tiny scratch.  A few moms in the room marvel at how they are surprised he barely cried and seems to be just fine after such a hard fall.  I’m embarrassed I wasn’t closer to him and let him fall, but happy to explain that he’s a tough little boy and is constantly getting hurt or into mischief and that those experiences have made him into a strong little boy!

Sadly I believe that I will continue to make failing grades in motherhood, but because of them my children and I will learn valuable lessons and grow along the way.  I just have to come to terms with not being the “perfect” mother.


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