Mom Mistakes… usually means I have a mess to clean up
I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the common mom (commom as I will call them) mistakes.
Ha! Famous last words, right?
Maybe the first mom mistake I’m guilty of is overconfidence. After a long weekend of travel with a 5YO and an even longer weekend of paying for my commom mistakes, I realized it’s time to ‘fess up.
Liar Liar Pants on Fire
There’s the common mom mistake of lying to your child. Since My Girl is adopted, The Husband and I established an all-honesty policy very early on. You can’t keep something like that a secret, even from a toddler and Honesty is the Best Policy. So when it comes to hard questions about babies growing in mommies’ bellies, we are all truthfulness.
In fact, I despise talking about Santa Claus with My Girl around Christmas time because I feel like I’m being dishonest. No judgements – I still do it. I don’t want My Girl to be that preschooler who has the entire classroom in tears because she’s explaining to the kids about the commercialism and materialism behind the lie that is Santa Claus. Because she would do it.
(I don’t pretend the Easter Bunny is real at all though. I’ll admit I have a slightly irrational fear of the Easter Bunny. He’s a giant, mutant rodent that sneaks into my house in the middle of the night. A bunny that lays eggs. A bunny that’s human-size. I don’t care if he’s leaving behind candy, I don’t want him anywhere near me.)
But after being honest about some real and tough issues, I let the white lies slip at times. My biggest one is Mommy Magic. The idea started when I shocked and amazed My Girl by turning on a touch-activated light.
Since then, I have used it to my advantage. “My Girl,” I say, “My Mommy Magic will go away if you don’t share some of that cookie with me… I’m feeling weak!”
Of course, Mommy Magic is mainly used to cure any major (in My Girl’s mind, anyways) injuries. I thought I had recently cemented her belief in my magic when we were riding in the backseat of the car. The Husband had locked her window so she couldn’t play with it. She asked me to put it down for her. I loudly claimed that I could use my Mommy Magic to roll the window down. Catching his cue, The Husband unlocked it for me so I could continue to trick her. Then he locked it again when she tried to roll the window back up. This went on for awhile. It’s a team effort to lie to My Girl.
I was pretty proud of our craftiness, but then this weekend, as I was trying to use my Mommy Magic to cure a stubbed toe, My Girl said:
“You know, Momma, I’m just teasing when I say your Mommy Magic makes it all better.”
What?! When did she get to be so smart?
The unraveling of my white lie could have been much worse. It was actually without consequence for me. But it’s not always been so…
The Forbidden Fruit
I’ve been a firm believer in the common mom mistake of forbidding something. Once you put that black mark over it, it’s nothing if not enticing for the child. Exhibit A: Adam and Eve. ‘Nuf said, right?
Exhibit B: Underage Drinking. I saw it so often in college – the kids whose parents never, like never ever, let their children have a sip of alcohol. Those are the kids who would be on the table dancing ala Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You.
Not me. My parents were very open about drinking. We could have a sip now and then. As we reached older into teenager-hood, we could have a glass of wine or bottle of beer under their supervision. So when I attended my first college party and had a sip of the frat boy beer (though it was more closely related to dirty water from the Ganges than beer), my thought was: “No, not happening. I’ll just go home and get much better tasting stuff from my parents.”
So with that in mind, I made commom mistake #1. I forbid My Girl to have gum.
Forbid is kind of a strong word. There was no edict written in stone with a punishment akin to torture if gum was consumed. I just told her she was too little for gum at age five.
The other thing (as mentioned previously here) she is too young to call me Mom. I only answer to Momma and Mommy. So we have a running joke that when The Husband and I drop My Girl off for college, I will hand her a piece of gum as we leave and she may say: “Thank you, Mom.” (A first time for both.)
At least I thought it was a joke. Maybe My Girl thought it was a forbiddance of gum. So just like the alcohol-deprived college freshmen dancing to Pour Some Sugar on Me on the table at the frat party, My Girl went a little crazy when she had the freedom to try gum for the first time. (At least, The Husband and I hope it was gum… We are telling ourselves it was gum.)
We just know what the daycare teacher told us. My Girl picked up something extremely sticky and black from the ground, then stuck it in her mouth. When she took it out — I’m assuming because it tasted nasty! — she then stuck the “gum” in the most obvious place.
But she didn’t just get a wad of gum in her hair. She must have rubbed it on both of her hands like hair gel and run it through every strand on her head. Forgive me for envisioning the memorable There’s Something About Mary scene right now.
I will say this for The Husband – he was able to clean all of it without taking scissors to her hair. I would have started chopping from the beginning. I’m very happy I was still at work while this mess was being tended to.
Also, I don’t think I need to explain why My Girl is too little for gum.
Underestimation and Unbelief
But it was soon to be my turn to clean up a My Girl mess due to common mom mistake. I actually made two such mistakes this weekend. First, getting ready for the three and a half hour car ride to see The Sister – with a child who gets car sick on a regular basis – The Husband asked me if I needed to take the puke bucket.
“No,” I said. “Not necessary, because Grandma has one when we get to her house.”
She only lives 20 minutes away. No worries. Commom Mistake #1. Then 18 minutes later, My Girl told me she was sick.
Here’s come Commom Mistake #2. I didn’t believe her.
Instead of suffering from motion illness, I thought she was more likely suffering from the boy (or in this case, girl) who cried wolf syndrome.
She told me she was going to vomit, I told her she would be fine. She was right. I was not.
I was paying for an iced tea in the McDonald’s drive thru. As the cashier gave me my change, we both heard the telltale gagging sound. The cashier’s eyes widened and she quickly said, “Have a good day…” before slamming shut the drive-thru window.
I guess I was on my own… with a mess to clean up.
Thank goodness for my freshmen residence assistant work experience, since this involved some hand to mess contact.
You know that place in the car seat where the seat belt comes up? Where there’s a small hole that collects broken crayons and missing Shopkins? That area that’s impossible to reach unless you squeeze your hand down there? Yep. The Shopkins in that little hole are not going back into My Girl’s toy chest – let’s just say that.
I’ll let you use your imagination as to how I got the puke out of there. It was unpleasant.
So my punishment is a car that smells strongly of the vinegar water I used to clean the seat. I just keep telling myself that it smells like Easter eggs. Fun, color-dyed Easter eggs. That’s a much better image.
Let’s just hope I’ve learned a lesson from my commom mistakes or I’ll have to get a stronger car freshner.