Trumping the me that I see (raising a mini-me)
“I know that I am messing with him and I know that I am annoying. I would find me annoying too. But I do it anyway.”
My son is a spitting image of me and, as he grows older and is revealing his Will, I am realising that my will is greater (for now). Some of the behaviours that I have adopted towards him, I recognise as things that would have really annoyed me in the past. And even though I can see that I annoy him, I do it anyway. I knowingly trump the ‘me’ that I see all in the name of motherhood. I can get away with it for now. So I am milking it.
Seeing me: love of personal space
Sometimes my son is happily playing in his room on his own. I have to confess that I ‘attack’ him with hugs and kisses. He pushes me away and I tickle him and give him more hugs and kisses. Some of his cuteness is just irresistible and I have to shower him in affection despite his protests.
When I was young my grandmother used to do this weird snuffly kiss on my neck right beside my ear. I loved my grandma and we were very close, but I really hated the snuffle-kiss. Now I shamelessly snuffle-kiss my son at every opportunity. He protests but I win.*
Seeing me: doing my own thing
Once in high school, my art teacher painted on my painting. I hated her for that. I probably took years to get over it if I am honest.
Having been a teacher prior to starting Outie, I was always sensitive to ‘demonstrating’ on a student’s work and I always asked before I made any mark on the page.
With my son it is an entirely different picture (excuse the pun). I draw all over his work even though he clearly wants to fill the page himself. I excuse it as ‘helping’ but, deep down, I know what I am doing. Trumped!
Seeing me: particular about food
I love fresh tomato and avocado on toast. I love it with salt and pepper. I especially love it with fresh basil leaves or drizzles of pesto and my son is the same.
Once a friend made me a surprise breakfast and brought me breakfast in bed with grilled tomato on toast. Grilled tomato on toast? Ruined.
I hate grilled tomato. What a waste of toast.
I confess that I make things my son doesn’t like under the pretense that I am doing something nice for him. He responds with a distinctive ‘yuck’ noise and pushes it away but I make him try it again the next day (even though if I was in his shoes and had decided I didn’t like something, I probably wouldn’t eat it either).
Seeing me: in my own time and in my own way
My son has a Will with a capital W for ‘whoa’. If he wants to play trains now, then trains it shall be (in his mind). But if I want him to work with some flash cards or a sensory play activity, I confess that I hide his trains so that it is easier for me to win. It is worse now because he sees me hiding them and knows where I have hidden them. Still, for now, I win. Mini-me is foiled again!
I know that I am messing with him and I know that I am annoying. I would find me annoying too. But I do it anyway. I can’t seem to help myself because I just love hanging out with him.
All else being the same, experience and treachery will beat youth and enthusiasm any time (or at least most of the time). My will is greater, at least for now.
*He invades my personal space all the time so he does get his own back.
Outie: we do messy parenting good
(This photo was taken shortly before his first haircut in December 2012. He did not want one… I won).