This blog post is late. Should have been up this morning — I typically write the night before and schedule them to post automatically. However, my husband had his fourth surgery yesterday so I didn’t write last night. I’m glad I didn’t. This morning I made a big parenting mistake, and I’d love to hear what people think. Advice is always welcome, too. But before I get to that, let me update yesterday’s post: Mandated HPV Vaccines? Not My Kid.
My state legislator, Assemblyman Joseph Saladino called this morning and left me a message. I had asked him for more information about the bill to remove parental consent regarding the HPV vaccine. Here’s what he said: “The bill in question is A778. It is sponsored by Amy Paulin. Right now we have been told that it’s not coming before us any time soon, and they are not able to give us any update of where it is going right now. It’s in a holding zone.” (Note to anyone who lives in Scarsdale, Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Pelham, Pelham Manor, New Rochelle or White Plains: Maybe it’s time to make a few phone calls to your local representative?)
However, after doing a little more research it does appear that the bill did move recently, being transferred to the Health committee. Just because the bill isn’t being voted on today doesn’t mean we can sit back and ignore the fact that this bill is real, it’s on the table, and it’s something that can be put into effect on someone’s whim. We can’t let this slide. It’s time to make it known how you feel. If you live in New York State, make some calls, people.
Okay, so on to my husband’s butt again. Since he responded to my last post, I can explain a little more. He had a fistula. He went for a full fistulaectomy yesterday. When the doctor got in there he found it was very deep and very long. He did a partial repair. We’ll keep our fingers crossed this will fix it. Which brings me to one of the reasons I am so late writing this.
Today I had to get Big Girl off to school by myself. Usually, we divide and conquer. I take the downstairs part. Chris handles the upstairs part. I make her lunch, get breakfast out, do her hair, make sure she’s got everything, and get her on the bus. Chris picks out her clothes and makes sure she gets out of bed and gets dressed. (I shower her the night before.) But he’s in a lot of pain and loopy on meds, so it’s all me for a few days. Okay, so this morning I go in. Big Girl, who isn’t a morning person, and is experiencing a bout of six-year-old independence, is just plain nasty to me. Whining and telling me I am not allowed to pick her clothing. It escalated, but she’s finally dressed. I spot her clean undies on the floor. “Do you have underwear on,” I ask. I check and she does, but they are from yesterday. I tell her to go downstairs so we can get her out of the house. She starts yelling at me that she wants to change them first. I just want to get her fed and get her out of the house so she’s not too late for school. We get downstairs and the screaming continues.
I’m mad. She’s mad. We’re both sniping at each other. It gets so bad that Chris, in his post-operation, medicated fog comes downstairs. We continue going back and forth. She’s whining up a storm. As an adult, I should have controlled myself, but I must admit it bothers me that she is an angel for Chris. Doesn’t say a peep in the morning. But any time I get involved with her morning routine, I get crap. So there we are. She’s saying how mean I am. How I am “poopy.” And I feel like I am going to cry. I said that I knew Big Girl loved me, but it didn’t feel like she likes me very much. Then Chris goes, “She doesn’t give me a problem in the morning.” And I lost it. “Fine, then I will take care of Little Girl from now on and you can take care of Big Girl.” Poor Big Girl. Hearing that, her face crumbled. Chris flew at me, telling me to get out of the kitchen. He was so angry. And disappointed. He brought her into the den and consoled her. I stood there still seething, but now angry at myself, too. The drama continued for about ten more minutes. It ended with me hugging Big Girl for a long time, both of us apologizing, and me saying that I said what I said because I was so upset and hurt. Ten minutes later I was driving Big Girl to school. She was happy and holding her sister’s hand. But I worry about the damage that I inflicted today.
This parenting thing is very hard to do. It takes courage, patience, perseverance, love, the ability to overlook things. It takes time and insight and introspection. I made a huge error today. I used none of the required skills. I acted like a child. I added another “issue” to the litany of issues Big Girl will complain about someday. Heck, she might complain about them today when she gets home. The only thing I can do is start again, right? There are no do-overs in parenting. No out-of-bounds. I made a mistake. A big one. I’m so sorry about it. What else can I say?
What’s the biggest parenting mistake you’ve made? How did you bounce back from it? I need some advice — that’s for sure.