Sunday, August 27, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Today I went back to that blog to see if anyone else commented after I responded to that "poor mothering" comment. A few people stood up for me which prompted this comment from my accuser:
"I am not accusing anyone of bad parenting. I am saying that toddlers on the loose in traffic is bad parenting. I am saying some sort of retaining device or strategy is necessary, excusable, justified. I do not look at leased children and frown; I do not observe yelling children held hostage in carts as cruel. I deem them safe. Sometimes teachers ignore the needs of a child. They may mean no harm but still, I think it bad teaching...Just as some of you would call my comments unnecessary and deem them bad. There I said it for you. Sometimes intentions are not enough. Good must prevail. I do not want to run over a child because he escaped the grasp of a well-meaning parent doing the best she could do. Do better, I say. If it takes a village to raise a child, this villager does not want to run over your child. And you certainly don't want me to."
Apparently, that ticked me off enough to put a backbone in me. I said:
"I have to say this for all of you out there who don't know me... I'm not a complete idiot. I am well aware of the fact that I made a mistake. I am well aware of the fact that good intentions aren't all that's necessary to keep my baby safe. That's why I mentioned that I felt like a bad mother. That's why I mentioned I was thinking of getting a leash for Ben. I don't need anyone to help me reach the conclusion that I put my child in danger. I don't need anyone to tell me to "do better" and I absolutely don't need anyone to tell me I don't want them to drive over my child. Give me a break already.
If it takes a village to raise a child how about if other villagers offer support and advice instead of condemnation and judgment? That's what I was trying to do when I shared my story... I think maybe a leash is a good idea. If (other children are) anything like Ben then it might save (other parents) from an experience like mine. That's all."
Anyways. Now I'm mad which might be better than being depressed. I'm not sure. If someone accused me of being a bad teacher it would be very different. I've had parents complain to me about how their child was being taught. Fine. They have a right. It's their child after all. After a long night of feeling rotten I have come to the conclusion that the only person who has a right to tell me I'm exhibiting poor mothering is me, my husband, and God. After all, it's our child.
P.S. I'd tell you where the blog is so you could read it yourself, but I've seen my family in action before and I don't want all of them running over there to gang up on anyone. 'Cause they would. Just thought you should know why I am trying to keep this stuff anonymous, since I would usually post a link.
Friday, August 25, 2006
I love Ben and Sam. I never want anything to hurt them. I want them to have the very best of everything, including me.
I remember the first week Ben was born, rocking him while he cried, and thinking, "I've made a huge mistake." I realized that my heart was no longer safe. A piece of it was out of my control, and soon it would be walking around without me. The thought of anything happening to Ben was devastating. The realization that someday I wouldn't be able to comfort him with my embrace was just as bad. The sure knowledge that someday he would look at me and find me lacking... I can't even describe.
I have seen shows on Oprah about mothers who have lost their children due to some dumb mistake and thought, "That would never happen to me." I was going to be a careful mother. I was going to be vigilant. But it's not enough. It doesn't matter that every fibre of my being is screaming at me to protect my boys with everything I am. My brain has gone off duty more than once. I'm a failure at the most important job I've ever been given.
For example, a month or so ago I took Ben with me to the grocery store. I only needed a few things so I didn't bother putting him in a cart, he loves running around the store and I followed him through a few aisles before getting to business. I was putting some bananas in a bag and Ben was right beside me. At least I thought he was. When I looked down he was gone. After a quick scan of the produce section produced no Ben I started running through the store and found him as he was running through the automatic door to the outside world. I swear that kid must have scoped the door out on his earlier run through the store because by the time I caught up to him he was running helter-skelter around the parking lot. The sight of my precious toddler running around a parking lot in his little red ball cap still makes me want to vomit. Or cry. Or vomit and then cry. Or cry and then vomit and then cry some more. He could have been hit by a car so easily. I can picture it like it actually happened. It makes my chest hurt.
I'm screwing up this mother thing. I should have taken the few extra seconds and put him in the cart. Or watched him more closely. Or left him safe at home instead of dragging him along to keep me company. I could have done any of those things but I didn't. I'm letting my children down. Sometimes I want to hold up Ben and Sam to God and say to Him, "I can't do this. Please take them back, I'm blowing it." There are other things too. Ben has fallen off of my very high bed more than once because I was careless. Once he got his hands on some lit candles and I didn't even know about it till he walked out of my bedroom with wax all over him. I haven't brushed his teeth enough and I'm pretty sure he's getting cavities. He managed to run away from us in a mall for a few minutes till we found him standing at the top of the escalator all little and alone. The other day I looked up while we were eating lunch and he had the knife I had been using to cut up his apples in his hand. And Sam... I let him sleep on his stomach even though I know it increases the chances of SIDS because I want more sleep for myself.
Remember what I said about the Oprah shows and thinking those things could never happen to me? That was before I had kids. Now I watch those shows and ache with the knowledge that it could so easily be me. Those shows honestly freak me out so badly that I really have trouble watching them anymore. I make myself though. I need to be lectured. I want so badly to be a good mother. I want it more than anything. But I'm not. I am not guarding the treasures I have been given the way they deserve.
You want to know the worst part? The worst part is what brought all of this on. Someone responded to a comment I had written about the parking lot story by saying, "I'd say that a two year old at-large in a parking lot is a sign of poor mothering." I agree. But somehow it is so much worse hearing someone else say it. It felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. But should the opinion of a stranger have the ability to make it worse? Shouldn't I feel as bad as I can feel all on my own without the help of someone else? Apparently not, cause I feel worse. And I feel even worse for feeling worse.
On top of that, Glen is mad at me and giving me the cold shoulder because I told him to leave me alone while I was writing a response to that "poor mothering" comment. So I also feel like a bad wife. I feel like a bad Christian most of the time too, so the only thing I need now is for someone to tell me I'm a bad friend. (Oh wait, I have some emails that say exactly that.) How about if Ang and Dad each publish a post about what a bad sister and daughter I am and then we can make my misery complete?
Blah. I feel low. I need chips. Or something.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I was looking at some old pictures of Ben at Sam's age cause people have been saying they think Sam is fatter than Ben was and I've been saying they look the same. And guess what? They look the same.
Also, I'm craving nachos. If you see this, Glen will you bring home some green peppers and some sour cream? Thanks guy.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Remember when you were a little kid and you got to sit on your dad's lap and "drive" his truck? I do. Driving always seemed like it would be so much fun. I always had it in my head that it involved a lot of both-hands-on-the-wheel, back-and-forth type motions. Sadly, reality is not at all like that. It mostly involves holding the wheel steady with the occasional tiny motion to keep the car going straight, punctuated by some intersections and corners. Blah. So boring.
When I was a little kid my idea of driving was actually a lot closer to what it is like to drive bumper cars. Why can't driving be like that? We could all get new cars that have those big rubber bumpers on them and then when someone or something gets in your way... Wham! Easy. The government could put rubber railings on all of the roads so we wouldn't even have to worry about lanes or signaling or any of that crap. Just... WHAM! Coming through people.
Of course, to be realistic, highway driving would not be at all suitable for this sort of thing so maybe no ramming on highways. Probably we'd have to make some kind of rules about semi trucks and the like too, 'cause I wouldn't want to be rammed by one of them even with rubber bumpers. Maybe a system where trucks are only allowed on certain roads at certain times would work, or maybe everything would just have to be shipped by trains.
I really need to make my lifelong dream of being Canada's Supreme Dictator a reality. Other projects that I would push through would be:
- Domes over all of the highways to keep out the animals, (Thus eliminating road kill) and weather. (Thus eliminating driving home in a blizzard.) (I like saying "Thus" it makes me feel smart.)
- The elimination of the Senate and Parliament. As Supreme Dictator I would make all of the decisions and if you don't like it, leave. (Thus eliminating the cost of ridiculous salaries and expense accounts, freeing up money for rubber bumper roads and domed highways.)
- The termination of all treaty rights within the next 10 years. (Thus eliminating the cost of supporting a whole culture and improving said culture by forcing them to be self-sufficient.)
- Establishing Taco Bell as the new national restaurant. (I don't think we have one do we? Unless it's McDonald's, in which case the need for a new national restaurant is even more urgent.)
- No loud stereos allowed. Period. Especially at the lake. Or when I'm napping.
- The implementation of a "I Know Who You Are" policy involving DNA testing at birth for every Canadian. No more wondering who done it. I know who you are. (Yes, it will be expensive, but I saved all of that money cutting off treaty rights and expense accounts. I figure I'd still come out ahead.)
- The implementation of a "War on Littering" policy focusing in particular on broken beer bottles. (Since everyone in Canada would have their DNA on file from birth, I would prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law. Which basically means whatever I want it to mean. I am Supreme Dictator after all.)
- The re-testing of all drivers every five years. (Yes, it will be expensive, but seriously. No natives to support and no fancy expense accounts, we'll be swimming in moolah. Plus, do you seriously think I'd continue funding the CBC? Not likely.)
- Since I've still got money to spare, everyone gets free bowling. Cause living here is fun.
I'm sure other things would come to me, but I see these things as the most pressing. You've got to have priorities when you're running a country.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I love the lake. The beach in particular. Especially in the early evening when the wind dies down and everything is calm and quiet. Sigh. We have a lake that is only a half hour away. It's my favorite thing about living in Yorkton and it's not even really in Yorkton. I love it there. I'm so sad that Glen has to go back to work and our days at the beach are almost over. Sigh.
Monday, August 21, 2006
I'm not one of those women who instantly bonds with her babies. Essentially, I feel like I am bringing a stranger home with me. Oh don't get me wrong. I love them from the start, just not that much. (I know. Not nice, but it's the truth.)
Last time with Ben it wasn't as noticeable, but my love for him grew gradually. This time when I brought Sam home it seemed much worse because I was deeply in love with Ben... And Sam... Not so much. I know! It seems terrible to me too! I'd like to be able to say that from the moment I looked at him my love for him was complete. Overwhelming. Limitless. That's what I expected to feel.
Only I didn't. And oh... The GUILT. Especially this time. Last time I wondered a little why I felt so disconnected from Ben at the beginning, but I just put it down to the fact that he was an emergency c-section. I have read that that can make difference. This time I had to deal with resenting Sam for taking me away from Ben. It really bothered me to have to look after Sam when I'd rather play with Ben. It felt so wrong, but it seemed like I loved Ben more, and that Sam would never catch up. Seriously, the GUILT!
Happily, Sam has gradually been making his own place in my heart. Bit by bit my love is growing, but it seems to me that a mother should love her babies the same right from the start. I phoned my mom and asked her if she loves me more now than she did the moment I was born. Nope. She loves me the same. She's always loved me the same.
I guess I am just wired differently. Or maybe it's the c-sections. Or maybe it was Sam's colic and thrush and screaming. Or maybe it was cause I had a little bit of the baby blues going on. Or maybe it was some of all of it. Whatever the cause it has taken me a while to feel that overwhelming love that feels like maybe my heart will explode with love. I'm finally there though. Finally. I can feel that bond between us that is like no other - that spiritual connection that makes my love for him so strong it's actually painful. And I'm so relieved.
Friday, August 18, 2006
This morning I dropped by the VBS at my church and I was treated to some singing and a skit. In the skit (sketch?) at one point one of the characters complained, "But the bible is so boring..." and the other character replied, "Well, yeah, sorta..."
Is that allowed? Are Christians allowed to say the bible is boring? I remember as a fairly new Christian hearing people talk about how other new Christians just "hunger for the word". I remember feeling like maybe there was something wrong with me because that never happened for me. It's not that I was never excited about something I'd read, but if someone had asked me if the bible was boring if I was being honest I would have said, "Well, yeah, sorta." (I probably actually would have said something like, "Absolutely not! It's different every time I read it!" Brother.)
I still wonder sometimes whether something is wrong with me. I still hear people around me talking about how exciting the word of God is and they list it as their favorite book on their blogger profiles. I'd like to list the bible, but if I'm honest I find "spending time in the word" to be a chore rather than a pleasure most of the time, so I thought it would be a touch hypocrytical. Usually I'd rather listen to some praise and worship CD's, or read almost anything else. I almost never just sit and read my bible for fun. I generally stick to The Message unless I have something specific I want to study. Is that normal? I'm sure there are people out there who would tell me that "If I read more, I'd want to read more." I've been there and done it. No difference in my enjoyment factor. Others would say something like "You can't do it on your own. You have to pray that God would give you the hunger." Done it. No difference. I've heard all the rhetoric. I've probably even spewed some of it out. I'm just tired of it. Sometimes I really wish church people would cut all the crap and just tell the truth for a change. (Or I suppose it's possible I am just a freak and they are telling the truth.)
So, maybe I'm a heretic, but I found hearing that the bible is sorta boring admitted (GASP!) in a church (GASP! GASP!) kind of liberating. Now don't get your panties tied in a knot... I'm not saying it isn't life-changing and crucial to my walk with God. I'm just saying that for me it can be a little on the dull side. (GASP!) Especially since I've read most of it more than once and some of it way more than once. (So don't bother trying to reform me by quoting verses... I've read them.)
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Every day I check all of my favorite blogs and there seem to be a few of them that haven't been updated in a while. Since the mommies that publish these blogs have been slacking, (Yeah, yeah. I've heard all the excuses...) I've decided to take matters into my own hands.
Here is 8 month-old teeny tiny Karah. (With 4 month-old Sam.)
(You're welcome Krissy.)
Here is Karah's sweetie-pie sister Erika. (Ben REALLY likes her.)
(You're welcome again Krissy.)
Here is my precious nephew Noah. (You're welcome Melissa.)
(Yoiks. Sometimes even I can't believe what a brutal busy-body I am.)
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Kirsten is turning 15 today. I can hardly believe it. I think she is actually taller than me now. I still remember kissing her goodbye the first time her family went to Mexico City for a missions term. I was home from camp for a day to go to an appointment in the city. I was told I couldn't stop in and see her by a very insensitive camp director, but I did anyways. (I still don't feel bad... Especially since that same camp director secretly took all of the male counseling staff into the city for wings leaving all of their campers alone in their cabins for most of the night. Don't talk to me about being irresponsible... Wait. Where was I?) She was riding her tricycle on her driveway and drinking Tang from a sippy cup. I asked her for a kiss goodbye and she gave me one. Right on the lips with her cold little slobbery tang tasting mouth. I cried all the way back to camp.
When she was a little baby I fell in love with her and I've never fallen out. That girl. She is so smart and so funny and so sweet and so loving. I love the person she is growing up to be just as much as the sweet little baby she was, but sometimes I still wish I could have just one more cold slobbery Tang kiss...
Stop by her blog and wish her a happy birthday kay?