[Me and my sneezin bebeh on a sunny sunday.]
This weekend was gorgeous weather. Those cheerless naked tree limbs are suddenly stuffed with blossoms; the miniature petals glide on the gusts of wind and catch in Zoe’s angel hair. Every window in the house is open and every fan is whirling fervidly. The waft of fresh cut grass floods the living room, I take it in and appreciate it because I know I should be enchanted, but I’m not…I don’t know why. This weekend was wearisome for me. I kind of just wanted to shut the door and find a way out of my gloomy mind. BUT. I don't get to do that anymore ever since I decided to make another human being. So... I am breathing and sending for more grace, patience, acceptance, goals, and the self-discipline that meeting goals demand.
Actually, the issue of discipline has been on my mind a lot lately. Zoe is approaching the age where she is prodding it out of me, and I find that I am lost on it. I truly have no idea how to go about disciplining a child “the right way”…the right way for her, for the world, to ensure she turns out a quality person respectable of boundaries. I'm so terrified of wounding her. Little girls are sensitive. At least I was. Whenever a situation transpires with two basic choices to make -- I have two battles going on inside of me: to be the nice mom or the mean mom? To comfort her when she's being naughty or let her cry about it and deal herself. I fear both. I realize in the adult realm it's not that black and white, but in the baby world it is perceived that way. In certain facets, I would consider myself the more laid back mother when it comes to rearing Zoe. I let her do and play with pretty much anything that won’t kill her or give her disease as long as it keeps her high spirits. We have a lot of broken and missing things in our home as a result. I want her to have structure, to mold her to a particular healthy degree, but I always second guess myself. I never want to be the stifling, mean mom that doesn't let her explore, as that is how she learns. I also don’t want her to run amuck or throw tantrums to get what she wants after I take it away. I remember someone saying once that disciplining your child is the greatest act of love…and I believe it in theory, but it’s much more complicated in practice. Do we just have to have faith and wait to see how it pays off ultimately when they develop into adults?
I always sort of told myself I'd do things a certain way when I had my own kids. I wasn't sure what that certain way would be, but it would be the best, when the time would come. Well, the time has come and I'm still not sure how to do it up to my ideals. How do you really prepare to be a parent? Only the anti-child seem to have that answer. I think I had the answer when I was 17, but I must have misplaced it.
Patience. I need to get that tattooed somewhere so I am prompted by it every day. Since becoming a mother, it is the ultimate lesson I wake up to be schooled in every single day. The virtue of it has taken on an entirely new significance in my life. She has been sick with a tummy bug since Wednesday night. Yesterday she bounced back and forth from a blissful giggling girl to the saddest bug in the world. She wouldn’t eat or drink and I feared her becoming dehydrated. After numerous hours passed and several desperate, fruitless attempts were made to feed her everything…anything in my house; I basically tried forcing her bottle down her throat while she batted it away and bawled in obstinate resistance. I was ashamed of myself. No one talks about it, and I don’t feel proud to admit that being a parent can be MADDENING and FRUSTRATING and HARD. I realize that I especially feel this way when I’m trying to control a situation. Which leads me back to my conundrum about disciplining. I’m really looking for that balance, and I’m practicing finding it every day. I’m trying to be the best mom. I love this little cricket and do everything for her out of love and with love…but I’m also a pretty damn flawed human being. Hard to believe, I know...I know. ;)