Have you ever been super stoked that your kid did something amazing? Peed in the potty or did well in a class? Acted really “good” while other children were acting “bad.” Well, treasure those moments because the proverbial shit is about to hit the fan (also sometimes NOT so proverbial). Every time I think I have done an amazing job with GG God/The Universe steps in to smack me upside the head and give me an excellent dose of reality. Parenting a toddler really is like dealing with someone with a mental illness (they don’t always make sense, it isn’t their fault). I feel like it is the biggest emotional roller-coaster I have yet to deal with (some days it is a toss-up between that and being married).
Today she fought going to swimming because it was her 3rd class on her own without me in the pool and there has been much crying. The last time she got a ribbon for back-floating on her own for 10 seconds, albeit she screamed the entire time as loud as possible (she gets the loud from me). She has cried her way through the last two sessions while still making progress. Today she didn’t even want to get in her bathing suit. I was already feeling sick to my stomach and not well (welcome to your life post-partial-pancreatotomy so pushing her to go was extremely difficult. We get there and she does better this week. She asks to go pee in the middle (which I suspect was just a manipulation to get out of the pool because she didn’t go) but better safe than sorry. She doesn’t pee in the car and goes as soon as we get home. I am beaming by this point…
She tells me that there is cake “covering” her chair. WTF just turned-3 year old uses “covering” in context. Everyday she says something new and understands something I had no idea she understood. I digress, my streak is on so I am feeling pretty sassy and AwEsOmE! I hear her tell me she is “behind the bin” and sure enough she is. Another concept I didn’t think she knew. Score! *Can you feel where this is headed?*
She climbs up and eats lunch and then tells me about a half hour in that she needs to go pee. So down we go and into the bathroom we run. She gets up on potty and goes and I am over the moon ecstatic. Potty training has been a months and months long process for us and I hear it takes forever sometimes. Lately, we’ve been venturing out with just underwear which sort of feels like playing a scary game of Russian Roulette (except with other people’s furniture and carpets), ugh.
So I’m in the process of telling her that she has earned wearing her Doc underwear and she has done so well. She is pulling up her underwear and chattering excitedly which I see something. Does her underwear look wet? I feel them and they are not just a drop or two wet but soaking wet. Like Niagara falls just decided to visit her underpants. I backtrack to her chair and realize it is also considerably soaked and will have to be washed. There are even little wet prints from where she got down on the tile floor.
Being a stay-at-home mom means my mom guilt manifests differently than the mom guilt of those who go to work, so this feels like a major loss. So weird that my universe has become so small that my child peeing makes me sad, but it seems like we are backtracking and I have no clue why. Nothing has changed, I still pour a lot of energy into her behavior and potty training from the moment I get up until she goes to bed. I don’t have an excuse that it is because someone else was training her and she was nervous.
I went from being on a pretty substantial high to a pretty substantial low and being the even-tempered one with patience aplenty is not always easy for me. I am being taught a new type of humility. A lot of raising your kids is environment, but let’s face it, the other genetics part is a crap-shoot. You pray you don’t have one of those weirdo kids that likes to torture animals and in ten years becomes a serial killer (maybe I watch the ID channel too much).
My Mother has been emotionally gone from this earth for about 14 years now. Her personality was sucked away by illness, septicemia, stroke, and grand mal seizures. I miss her every day. She raised both by brother and I. Same environment, but my brother and I are very different. He spent his life lying and creating chaos and extreme wreckage. I spent my years teaching and trying to become a better person. I wasn’t always perfect at it, but at least I didn’t put the darkness on this earth that he has. The point is that we both had the same amazing mother that I carry with me everyday. The kind of Mom that losing completely and utterly wrecked my world for a very, very long time and almost for good.
Do I worry about GG? Do I worry she will choose a path like my brother and put darkness into the world? Do I worry she too will be an alcoholic/addict? That she might suffer from depression and/or anxiety? I do. I worry about everything. Then, I worry she will be like me and worry herself sick. I also know like I know like I know that a very great deal of this world is out of my control. I can show up and be the best me possible and try to live a humble and positive centered life and life will still sometimes create immense darkness.
I have to be the best me I can be because it isn’t about me anymore, and it hasn’t been for quite some time. I know I need to find more balance and my needs are important, but I also know she gets the food first, she gets the clothes first, she gets the best I can give her before I turn to myself because that is my chosen profession and it is also my heart. So, on the days where I am severely humbled I think, it was just yesterday that she was nursing and small and I ache for that baby still. I love the little girl she has become but it went by waaaaaaaay too fast. And I know before I know it, I will be at her high school graduation and wishing she would pee on the chair again just one more time.