May 17, 2008

The Art of Under-Mothering

So the process of parenting for me can at times be so overwhelming that I want to throw in the towell. My latest challenge is getting along with my teenager and getting him up in the morning for school without fireworks. I must really be doing something wrong because today he threw rice crispys all over the place. I think even he was surprized at his over-reaction. He has lost his beloved ipod for a week and will be weeding the side of the house this afternoon. (too much detail?)

Sometimes, just sometimes though. I think I see the light. Like yesterday when it was Big Girl's school feild trip to the ice-skating rink. This field trip is a long standing tradition at the pre-school. One that I thought rather silly when my 14 and 11 year old kids went there 10 years ago. I thought "these kids can't skate, they are way to scared and clingy, what a hassle!" I hovered and overdid my attention to the situation, and got exactly wht I expected. Overly clingy, non-skating children. This year however, with Big Girl. I casually mentioned the field trip and told her what a lucky girl she was for getting to go. She repeatedly said to everyone who would listen "tomorrow's my lucky day!" We had maybe 1-2 conversations about falling and getting back up and learning each time you fell, etc. I didn't drive, and I didn't skate up. I showed up late when she had already gotten outfitted and watched as someone else held her hand and skated with her. As the scared clingy children held on tightly to thier parents' legs out on the ice, I commented to Ki Ki (my favorite pre-school teacher), that "this really is a feild trip all about bravery isn't it?" And her reply was even more insightful. She said "yes- and even more, it's about seeing if the parents can let go enough to let thier kids grow." By the end of the hour Big Girl was skating (or at least marching around on the ice) without anyone or any red cone to hold on to. She even unlaced and took off her own skates. One of the only children to do so that I noticed. Pretty cool. Ki Ki said I passed : )


Julie said...

Hmmm--Kiki is wise. Something to keep telling myself! Good luck with your fun and talented teenager. I am just here to relate and totally understand your helpful advice. Well, I guess I always have's just whether it's "helful" or not. You're a great mom!!

Kelly said...

Hey Julie- My trusty comment leaver. Bring the advise on baby~!

Camrin said...

I have to say after reading your blog this morning, makes me realize that being a mom is hard work!!!!
I was about ready to ring my sweet little girl's neck this morning. I am so glad that you posted this so it makes me realize that all kids are hard at times. Dantzel was throwing one of her 2 year old tantrums and so I put her down for a nap early. I gave her a sippy cup with warm milk thinking she would go to sleep faster. Well, just as I went in her room to check on her she had opening her cup and then accidentally spilled the milk all over her clean bed. As I get all her sheets off and head for the washing machine she follows me out and then pushes her baby brother to the floor. What the heck!?!
Anyhow, I don't have any helpful advice for you but maybe you could leave a little advice for me.
Thanks for being a great mom. I really do enjoy reading your family log. It makes me try harder everyday to be better. :)

Melissa said...

I love reading your blog. There's always a good moral to the story. :o)