Saturday, October 06, 2007
He's pushing trucks around the house, hiding in duffel bags, zooming over the arms of the sofa, making squealing noises as they try to stop before diving nose first down behind the television. And tonight as I make dinner, he's playing at my feet in the kitchen. A big dump truck and a small white truck. The big truck is named "Big Truck" and the little white one is "Fire Truck", he tells me this as I stir the tomato sauce. Ah, I say. So, Big and Fire are their names?

He looks at me, but only briefly before disappearing back into his little world of trucks, swirling at my feet.

I hear their conversations and feel almost guilty for eavesdropping.

Hi. Big says to Fire.

Hi. You come with me? Fire asks.

I too big. Big says.

You can do it. Fire says.

And they ride down the length of the kitchen, hopping through the legs of a kitchen chair and then meeting up again beside the wainscoting.

Woo-hoo, Fire says to Big, cheering him on - You did it!

Later, he's jumping in his room - up and down on his bed, his face bobbing in and out of sight of our neighbors as he moves in front of the window.

My goodness, he says to something happening outside - a loud truck rumbling past, an altercation between neighborhood kids, something I can not see or hear. But he says it again, My goodness. Not upset with anything, simply an expression of bemusement. Much like how I say the phrase at the end of a long day.

I stand in the doorway and listen to him, it's the first expression of mine that I've heard him repeat.

It's been weighing on me a lot lately, stressing me out. This idea that somehow I'm doing something wrong, damaging his childhood in some way or another. Snapping at him for not eating all of his dinner, for whining, for taking off his pull-up and peeing on the floor rather than telling me he needs to use the potty. Lots of things have been breaking me quickly lately - lack of sleep, being the primary culprit.

But still, each night I go to sleep wondering if all of my love and attention has somehow outweighed my momentary lapses of mommy-loveliness. The times when I'm raw and irritated and hissing through my teeth that we listen when Mommy tells us to pick up our toys. I pray that somehow these moments of failure, of weakness, of letting myself put myself before others, won't have an impact on how he treats others, how he sees the world, how he deals with frustration and anger.

I just don't want to mess him up, I guess, is all I'm saying.

And so to see him today, mimicking encouraging behavior with his toys - and repeating something like "my goodness" with a quiet bemusement at his window - I sighed with a bit of relief.

It's a long road between here and adulthood, and it's going to be a process for all of us, going through it together for the first time. I'm just glad to be assured that, if nothing else, for right now, in this moment, the good stuff is sticking.

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Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

Mella! Oh my goodness! You are the first mother ever to have these misgivings! That is why all the wonderful people you see and know came out as good as they did. Their mothers never had doubts. :)

Ok. Sarcasm aside. You are doing just fine. BTW. Will he be at your book signing? I hope so. Would love to see him! :)

Blogger phx said...

Amazing thing about blogs, how you can find out that someone you've never met is feeling exactly how you are feeling. Lily started saying "all right!" this weekend, one of my phrases. the idea that i'm doing something wrong, something irreversibly wrong has been weighing on my mind a lot too. maybe i don't play with her enough, don't get her out among other children enough, don't feed her well enough, am not instilling those subtle lessons on treating others as you want to be treated as well as i should be...

i hear you mella. and i'm right there beside you. and thanks for putting your worries into words. because now mine feel much more concrete, not so much floating around and dragging me down.

Blogger Darkmind said...

Long time no tickity tackity! BWA HA HA HA HA!! At least peeing on the floor is better than the old dumps in the least in my opinion...
I don't have any experience being a new mother, but most every movie I've seen with them they are all paranoid about the same issues. Rest assured that your child induced OCD is completely normal (according to hollywood).

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