Monday, March 15, 2010

Rising from the ashes... or the cheddar bunny dust...

So. Yeah. Um…
You know what I hate? When someone writes on their blog regularly for a long time and then they’re all ………. *crickets*…………
And you’re all “WTF? Are you DEAD?”
And then they come back with this lame-o “Sorry… life so busy” post. What-ev.
So I won’t do that.
Yes, I am busy. But duh-fucking-huh, right? I have a two-year-old, and a house, and a husband, and a part-time job. But plenty of work-at-home parents make the time to do things like blog and exercise and even shower (or so I hear).
Problem is I haven’t been much able to do any of that. Problem is I’ve spent the last two months or so having to kick my own ass just to get the hell out of bed and be a semi-decent parent. And when I wasn’t trying to talk my racing brain into getting its proverbial shit together, I was beating myself up for all I haven’t done well or done at all.
Yep. Depression. Blah, blah, blah, lather, rinse, repeat.
Without going into details, let me just say that I was cosmically destined to be under the care of a psychiatric professional someday. I was born to two people with all sorts of whack-a-do birds hanging out in their family trees. Add to that my own issues and well… yeah… my parents should have been saving for SSRI’s, not college.
But I am in capable professional care and I’m blessed with amazingly supportive people all around me. This week, I’ve felt more like myself, my old self, than I have in a few months. And I think that’s enough said on that topic. So many bloggers (Mommy & otherwise) have addressed this topic more eloquently and descriptively than I ever could.
So let’s talk about this mothering business, shall we?
Specifically, let’s talk about how insanely awesome my kid is turning out. And no, this is not one of those posts where I tell you about how she never cries and always minds and is reading Camus in preparation for her interview with Little Geniuses Preschool Academy for Future Anxiety-Addled Adults.
My kid? Well, she’s a one-woman wrecking crew- a veritable tornado of activity with incredible comedic timing who sings and dances her way through the day leaving a trail of toys, crayons, and Cheddar Bunny crumbs in her wake. She is always a mess, frequently naked, and sometimes more than just a little defiant.
And she is perfect.
Don’t get me wrong- my kid is not badly behaved. I will sure as fire correct her for any of that crap. But I think a lot of parents are quick to correct and worry about the wrong stuff. Clothes wash, kids can be bathed, and a little clutter never killed anyone. I have tried to be the mother who lets my kid explore and who isn’t constantly barking for her to be quiet or clean. My child is incredibly spirited, very independent, and relatively fearless. My policy has been this: if she won’t break anything important, harm herself, harm someone else, or be rude… well, game on. I do not want the child who sits quietly in a perfectly-pressed outfit and will not try to grab that shiny thing that looks tempting. Because those kids grow up to be the adults who sit quietly and never take the big risks that make life really interesting. They never question, never jump, never fall, and live (sometimes angrily, sometimes thoughtlessly) in a beige world.
Not my baby.
It sure as hell ain’t anarchy in the pre-K at my house, though. My child has boundaries. I expect her to be polite. I put her in time-out when she disobeys me. She has bedtimes and routines and expectations. We teach patience, we teach kindness, we teach respect.
But if you show up to my house and my little Wild Woman of Borneo is naked save for the fingerpaints she applied to her body and she’s doing laps of the downstairs singing the song she made up about Daddy and a frog and the golf ball place… well, that’s par for the course at our house. Because someday all these wild women antics will (hopefully) translate to an adult woman who knows which of the 10,000 rules and constraints the world tries to put on her are important and which ones are bullshit. And she will have nurtured the freedom and the spirit to call the bullshit.
From Margaret Thatcher Ulrich:
“Well-behaved women rarely make history.”
Right on, Chick.