Many days feel like a tidal wave is sucking me into the parental abyss. It’s never one thing. I tally up the failures and forget to celebrate the milestones we have achieved. When the blackness overwhelms my spirit, I find myself dwelling on the bad shit, the places where I have made mistakes. Asking questions to myself, with the main question being “Why in the hell did I do that?” Let’s all count the ways where I feel like I have or am falling short in parenthood. Let’s spit out my mistakes like a dirty tobacco wad and leave them in their spittoon. In no particular order, here is a compiled list of the things I have so far done wrong (as I see it.)
1) Bought a new light colored couch. Yea, sorry company, we have stains. We have a toddler. I promise it is chocolate and not what you think it is.
2) Thought a Mini Cooper was a family car. It feels like a station wagon when I drive it as compared to the convertible VW Beetle I used to own. It is the Clubman version which means it has an entire extra inch of length. However, I can get a car seat in it and it gets GREAT gas mileage.
3) Taught my son to “Get that Candy.” He now says “I gettttssss” when he hears the word ‘candy.’ I am trying every day now to teach him to say “trick or treat” in time for Halloween. Trick or Treat is not catching on. Probably because it is not as catchy as ‘I get that candy.’ To all the neighbors who will be passing out candy this year, I promise he really is a sweet and kind little boy. He is not as greedy as he comes across.
4) Am making him dress in a costume he hates for Halloween. Toddler dead weight is his official costume.
5) Okay, this one is really bad and I don’t know why I do it. I talk to him sometimes like he has a hearing problem. I talk really loud. It’s like this “CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?” He does not have hearing problems. He communicates great for his age, and yet I find myself talking super slow and SUPER LOUD. I am going to chalk this up to my own weirdness as a first time parent, and work on not doing this. Because I am fearful he is going to develop a hearing problem due to my shouting all the time.
6) Number six here is probably equally as bad as number 5. We called him “baby” for like the first 8 months to possibly the first year of his life. I still will catch myself calling him “bebe.” He is not a baby. He has a name. He is my baby and he is our first and only, it has been hard to not call him ‘the baby.’ We do call him by his name now, and he has several variations in his name we use. Still I consider this a screw up.
7) We gave him an extra long and extremely hard name. He will be the last kid to finish bubbling in his name on standardized tests. We apologize. It sounds regal, but his middle name is not common and nobody ever spells it right.
8) Last but not least, I worry about the words I write here. I have no intention of exploiting my child. I don’t want the words on this website to ever be used against him. I don’t want him to feel embarrassed because his Mama put things out on Pandora’s Box (the Internets) for everyone to read. It was never my intention. He never asked for this. I try to hide and protect him the best I can. A writer writes from their own experience. I can not write from a place I have no knowledge about. I write about what I love, and what I love the most is him. Still, if the day ever comes where he is uncomfortable with this site being here, I will delete every last word.
There, now I feel better. We all screw up. We all parent differently and make decisions which sometimes do not reflect our proudest moments. I can admit when I mess up. I can admit that I am not perfect. I am a Mama and I am human.