Sometimes, everyone looks like a bad Mom
As you can gather from yesterday’s post, I spent a lot of time in the Emergency Department waiting for someone to stitch up my boy’s head. We were finally settled in a room waiting for the doctor, when a nurse came in to apply the topical anesthetic. “Do you know any songs?” she asked, trying to distract him. I tried yelling “Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, Row Row Row Your Boat”, but it was too late. “Tiny Lion Man!” was his reply. And I knew I was doomed.
Let me back up. Our family loved the Mumford & Sons‘ song Little Lion Man when we heard it on the radio. In other words, the radio version. We liked it so much, that we downloaded the entire album from iTunes. Which included Little Lion Man, the “Explicit” version. Not really explicit — just one particular word right in the middle of the chorus. Our Big Boy loves this song too, and especially enjoyed hearing it over and over. Then one day we noticed something disturbing: he was singing along. With the correct lyrics.
Well, kids get bored of things fast, we thought. We’ll find him a new favourite song, then this will pass, we reasoned. Yeah, sure.
Anyways, after the nurse left us alone, we still had another two hours to wait. Two hours of me trying to stop my boy from shouting, in his little sing-songey voice:
“…its your heart on the line,
I really f——d it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear”
(He places extra emphasis on the third word in the second line.)
Yep, what I sight. My kid’s head is split open, bleeding all over, singing a song with a swear word. Nice job, Mom!
In the past, I have had people approach me to pay compliments on the the kids behaviour. I’ve even a lady come up to us in a restaurant to sign our parenting praises. “What a lovely family you have!” they’ll often say.
I want to shoot back, “Think so? Just hang around for while. You’ll change your mind.”
One thing I’ve learnt, is that everyone will look like every type of parent at least once. We may think that we can judge a mother by how she hissed at her kids during Mass, or how nicely she speaks to them in a restaurant, or how distracted she is during the school Open House. But we really can’t, because that’s just a small slice of time in a complex, long term relationship.
I try to remember that during those times when I want to judge another Mom. I remind myself, that there is no way that I can have the full story, and like me, she’s just trying the best with what she’s got. Likewise, when my parenting image is less than stellar, and I begin to feel the prickly feeling of judgement creeping up my neck, I remind myself that these people don’t know me.