Insanity du Jour

On a regular basis I tell myself out loud that the local Psychiatric Hospital Reps are on their way to take me away. They’re driving to the North Hills as we speak. It’s either them or Child Services, as I’ve inevitably said something not very PC or age appropriate to my kids. And I’m not referring to the occasional and frequently blurted expletive. And not just now that they’re teenagers and very little can shock them, but when they were young and couldn’t distinguish sarcasm from a frightening metaphor. I have always treated them like little adults, never dummying down my normal language or using my Disney voice, but admittedly, I do occasionally go over board. Inevitably other moms share anecdotes that leave me laughing and feeling relieved. At least I will have a roommate I know when they come to take us away.
Once when my daughter was young she shared with her aunt that she was frightened of the scary creatures that lived in the woods behind our house. My sister-in-law looked her straight in the eye and promptly told her that animals probably did live there and that she needs to get over it pronto. My daughter was terrified for months and I was furious. My sister-in-law maintained that bears, foxes and wild turkeys did in fact reside there and that there was no point in lying to a five year old. Her frank approach only served to fuel me further and spark a discussion with my husband regarding her jaded child-rearing style. Years later, a cub emerged from those woods and regularly visited back yards in my neighborhood, including my own driveway. We did not see the cub – our neighbor called to say that he was on our driveway, and my daughter was incredibly disappointed that we missed him. In retrospect, maybe my sister-in-law was not wrong? Can we really point fingers at one another and criticize each other’s ways? None of us has a crystal ball and we have no way to predict the true impact of our words on our kids. Maybe she helped my child? We do what we do, we lead by example, learn from each other and at least once a day we screw it up and hope for the best.

3 thoughts on “Insanity du Jour

  1. Well, unfortunately I usually speak to my kids like they are my little pets, so when I use my serious voice they are completely traumatized. It’s interesting what sticks with them, and it isn’t always the moment we feel guilty about.

  2. I discovered recently how batsh*t crazy scared Thing#1 (13 years old) is of spiders. She is generally pretty stable and not much gets to her, but recently she freaked out after I squished a spider with a paper towel but refused to wash my hands. Even though I never touched the spider. Even though I was headed back outside to finish yardwork. She refused to talk to me or even enter the family room until I dealt with what was obviously “smeared evil” all over my hands. It was downright weird.

    I’m not sure what part of your above lesson I missed in her younger years, but my guess is she was permanently scarred watching the giant spider scene in Harry Potter (her fav movie) one too many times.

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