My sweet little boy! All excited for his first day of school, cuddling on the couch with his daddy, watching cartoons. Meanwhile, mommy’s frantically running around the house, trying to ensure everyone is going to make it out the door to survive the day in their various locations.
Indoor shoes? Check!
Labelled? Shit, I forgot to order a new pack. Oh well, where’s the black sharpie?
Healthy lunch? Check! Well healthy-ish!
12 layers of clothes in case anyone is too hot or too cold? Check!
Get in a shower myself? Debatable!
Sidenote: Mom’s carry a ridiculous mental load on the daily. My friends and I used to have a theory that mens brains were like blank sheets of printer paper that could hold a bolded sentence or two on them and that is it. Womens brains were like lined notebook paper that you could just start writing a list on and fill up that whole sheet of paper. This theory has never been more validated after becoming a mom!
If you are digging podcasts like I am right now, you need to check out Cat & Nats; https://catandnat.ca/podcast! Although it is labelled as a business/entrepenurial podcast, they talk a lot about this mental load that mom’s carry (along with tea-bagging and floating pubic hair, because they are amazing). But frig, this mom mental load thing is so real!
So as I was running around the house, I started yelling out demands, simple demands, yet apparently too demanding for my oldests liking. All of a sudden, the words hit me and stopped me dead in my tracks, “Shut up, mommy“!
We have not even reached the stage of life where he is cool enough to call me Mom and this is what he throws out on his first day of senior kindergarten . How do you even know these words?
He then immediately looked up to his daddy to await his reaction, with a little look of “I’m not really sure how this is going to play out but I’m feeling a little bit scared and a little bit dangerous”. My husband turned to me and gave me the “did that just happen” look! In that moment, we were caught red handed and unprepared to deal with this situation. How do you proceed when this happens?
At this point, I would like to insert that my husband has never told me to shut up. Well that I have heard, atleast!
Is this not everyone’s first thought though, when stuff like this happens? Where did this little blonde hair, blue eyed, 4 year old pick up this saying and KNOW when and how to plant it, in perfect context? I am trying to figure out what to say but I am just stunned. Instead of focusing on where he learned it, I needed to choose how to react to it! This was proving to be the most difficult task.
Well, then he learns it is a weapon he can use in the future, when he really wants to shake things up! This could give way too much excitement to this saying and he could stock it in his repertoire of 4 year old mischievousness.
Brush it off?
Well, then he has zero repercussions for speaking like that! And I feel like I have failed parenting.
If I have said it once, I have said it 1000 times; parenting would be so much easier if I did not care how my kids were going to turn out. Majority of my parenting anxiety and decision making stems from the fear of their future self and how he will present himself. It is like I use their future self as some sort of standard of measurement to gage my success in life. This is so silly because if this were the case, then people with crappy, non-existent parents would never succeed and doting, loving, shit-together parents would never raise serial killers. Right?! Atleast that is what I tell myself to go to sleep at night.
And 30 years from now, I’ll be reciting, I did the best I could, to get myself to sleep.
So, I guess we are going to chalk this incident up to the fact that mommy is a nagging, basket case in the morning, but if I tell her to shut up, she is disappointed in me. Maybe I should just brush my teeth and get dressed like she says. To which he did. And lets just hope that one day, he takes these feelings of disappointing others very seriously and prefers not to do that to ones he loves.
As we embark on a new school year, I feel all the same feels as last year. Almost more, now that I somewhat know what to expect. It is amazing to watch little ones grow from tiny, snot- nosed, tantruming toddlers to bigger, snot-nosed, tantruming children that can write letters and recite numbers. There were some days last year, when he would come home from school with the most random, genius facts and I would think wow, you really are doing the school thing right. Then there were other times he would come home from JK singing “KeKe, do you love me”. Somehow, this gave me a sense of security knowing he must be listening to his teacher, as well as excelling in social studies.
Dear teachers, we now share the battle of this little soul. Maybe he could also learn a cooler, more creative burn and have the courage to always stand up for himself. “Shut up” is out brah, find some new material. I guess we will have to work on that one day, when he is older.
So here’s to a new school year. We will tackle this year with open arms and embrace the chaos. And for the love of god, I hope all your kids just get dressed and brush their teeth for you in the morning!