Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Oh my gosh, I *AM* one of those mothers
Have you ever watched a movie where the little rich kid (boy or girl, who often is the snot of the movie) is finally allowed, through the grace of whatever main character they are following, to play with some toy or get dirty or whatever? Meanwhile, in the background, their parents in their most hoity-toity voices are like, "No, Muffy! We shan't get our dress all dirty!!! Come here this instant!!!" But it's too late: "Muffy" is getting to enjoy this new freedom and will forever be changed into a normal human being????
Well...true confessions (Oh the shame, the shame!!!!). I realized: That's me. Not Muffy, but Muffy's PARENT!
Miss A had a friend over yesterday afternoon and they spent hours playing under the deck in the backyard, in the dirt remnants from Super J's tree planting extravaganza. I thought...ugh. But I knew that we can wash hands and legs (and clothes...how did they get that dirt on their backs?? Will Miss A's friend's mom EVER let her come back???? Yegads!). I felt a certain amount of personal growth that I was like, whatever. It's just dirt.
Until I was getting Miss O up from her nap and looked out the window. What a spectacle!!! Miss A and friend had turned the hose on and they were DRENCHING each other!!!
(can you hear it??? "Muffy! Get out of that water!!! MUUUUUUFFFFFFFYYYYYYYYY!!!")
I rapped on the window and I'm not sure when I moved so fast to get downstairs. I had them turn the hose off and come upstairs because (OF COURSE!!!!) our sweet little friend's mom was due ANY SECOND! Oh dear heavens above! And I needed to find some clothes for this little petite flower! Maybe something of Miss E's??? As they are coming upstairs, what does Miss A tell me in passing?
"But we were having fun."
Long story short: Amanda arrives to pick up her daughter and is completely...I don't know if fine is the word, but she definitely not flinching and is, in fact, quite lovely about the whole thing. She may even let her petite flower come back! I tell ya, Amanda's attitude definitely helped Miss A avoid a fierce scolding (she wasn't supposed to turn on the water...this was a directive given before they went outside, so I guess I don't feel quite so hideous upon that reflection, but still! "MUFFY! No, NO!").
But it was later when I was telling Super J about the whole situation that I had that "Oh my heavens" moment of realization. I'm not sure how one learns which battles are truly necessary to wage in order to win the engagement of parenting. Obedience to NOT turning on the hose OR allowing some leeway during summer time? I dunno. I'm still trying to figure it out. But I *do* know, Amanda's attitude is the one I want when I grow up. It's just water and dirt, but may actually turn out to be the fabulous experience that truly adds to their humanity.