This is the true story of one Mommy who won the Mother of the Year award. Its true! It sits proudly on her mantle as we speak! I am sure that all of you here reading would love to know her secret, would love to one day receive your own award…. so please read on! Be enlightened, and you will never again spend a day feeling those weighty feelings of Mom guilt… never again will you feel the need to apologize for your child’s behaviour. Never again will you experience the walk of shame as you lead a wailing, screaming child out of the store while all eyes are on you, the failure of a parent.
Never again will you hear that self-recriminating question reverberating in your head… a question you are 100% certain you see reflected in the eyes of all those other moms around you……. “What kind of Mom ARE you?”
Read on and discover the simple 3 Step MAGIC equation that is CERTAIN to earn you an Award worthy of a mantle placement!
Step 1: Refuse to Give In
Emma had been potty training for approximately six (6) months when she began her first round of swimming lessons. I had been in refusal mode for many many weeks at this point. Refusing to accept that she was simply NOT getting on board with the whole potty training train…. Refusing to give in…. Refusing to put on a pull up (much to my husbands chagrin when we had to bring an entire closet in our car everywhere we went) during the day… the funny thing is Emma was also in refusal mode. Full on. Complete Refusal mode just like her Momma. It was the battle of the wills. Emma vs Mommy. and so far she was winning…… because all I had to show for my stance was incredible amounts of daily laundry and mounting frustration.
But I digress….
Emma was taking one full week of swimming lessons that summer, every morning for 45 min. She was excited, I was excited. As my husband and I work during the week, we had made arrangements for my Mom to take the kids to their lessons in the morning and then drop them off at daycare/day camp for the remainder of the day.
- Day 1 went great! Emma had a ton of fun!
- Day 2 and 3 also went off without a hitch.
Then we arrive at Day 4. (shudder)
Now before I describe to you what happened, let me first paint you a word picture. My daughter is pretty much adorbs! yes yes I’m the biased Mommy, but still….. she is totally adorable…. adorable enough to capture anyones attention, especially when she gives you those eyes, and starts wiggling her eyebrows at you……. I mean – I just can’t – its too much!!!!!
But beyond that, Emma stands out particularly in a swimming crowd because she wears these very visible ear plugs, a bright purple and bright pink, that are then covered by a hot pink ear band over her ears and around her tiny little head. When the whole get up is on all you see are her squishy cheeks, blue eyes and a few wisps of blonde hair. Really she stands out…… there’s no forgetting Emma.
Ok. So here is my child, already standing out in the sea of itty bitty people in the pool, deciding on Day 4 to make her mark. To launch her full on Refusal mode attack……
The dreaded Incident
My mother was up in the stands watching the kids swim, when all of a sudden there was a flurry of activity. Kids were quickly being ushered out of the pool, lifeguards had panicked looks on their faces, it was a a blur of hurried movement. My mom says Emma’s swimming teacher looked toward my Mom and motioned that she needed to come, and come now.
When my Mom arrived on the scene they had already begun draining the pool, attendees were at hand with annoyed and more then a little disgusted looks on their faces, and my Mother discovered the awful truth. It was our little princess who had done the deed. Yep you guessed it…. Emma had pooped in the pool. That little urchin with one swift decision had irrevocably changed the course of everyones day and of course EVERYONE there couldn’t’ miss that it was Emma, little itty bitty sweet Emma with her ginormous ear/head bright pink get up. There was no forgetting it was THAT child who had pooped in the pool.
My Mom hurriedly brought Emma away and dealt with the mess……. the other non-pool-pooping children, whose parents had paid very good money to have them taught how to swim, were now having to wear cumbersome life jackets (really the bane of all children’s swimming experiences) and moving towards the big pool filled with very cold water.
Thank you Emma!
Step 2: Cower in Shame: because your child behaved like a (gasp) child.
Now arrives Day 5... its my turn to take Emma swimming. I enter the change room and can feel eyes on me…. and my daughter….. of course everyone remembers… how can you not. Its not like Emma can slip into a crowd unnoticed. The child wears a beacon on her head. You KNOW who Emma is. and now her beacon is flashing…. I’m the pooper I’m the pooper I’m the one who CLEARED an entire public facility! And thankfully, she dragged me along with her, because I’m the Mommy after all. The Mommy who let her child go swimming without a swimmer on… the Mommy who let her kid poop in the pool.
I’m THAT Mommy. (head hangs in shame)
I could feel my face turning 17 thousand shades of red……. as I avoided eye contact and pulled out (in full on defeat) a little swimmer…… yep I had completely lost the battle, Emma had won – and she knew it. But really how do I NOT put on a swimmer when she has the power to literally CLEAR A POOL! I gave my sternest Mommy talk about WHERE we use the bathroom and how she would NEVER SWIM AGAIN (pretty sure that is also a terrible mommy act… you know the whole “Never make a threat you wont be able to keep..” yada yada yada) if she pooped in that pool today…. nervously sent her over to her teacher, and then found a dark corner to hide in…… away from the disapproving eyes of all the other Moms whose perfect kids knew better then to Poop in a pool.
STEP 3: Realize you are an Imperfect Mom raising Imperfect Children – and gosh darnit that’s ok!
We left the pool that day, sans incident (and she breathes deeply yet again). Emma went on with her life, as did I. Amazingly enough, despite the horror that occurred that week at the pool, they allowed us to come back again the following month for another week of lessons – no parents pointed fingers, there wasn’t a public lynching, I didn’t receive 40 lashes for my failure. The fact that I put a little swimmer on her that week actually didn’t make her have any more or less accidents…….. we simply carried on with our (albeit discouraging) potty training. And now several months later, nearing the one year mark since we began potty training, Emma continues to have good days and bad days. (sorry folks no “How to miraculously train your child in 3 days!!!” here…. )
Bottom line is this: I, like everyone else, am just a Mom, doing my best, making good decisions and bad… trying to raise a totally adorable little urchin into a kind, capable, fierce and confident woman. A woman who will hold her head up high when she fails (poops in a pool) a woman who will stand for what she believes in (Full on refusal mode, defy her momma and make her stand against being an EASY potty trainee) a woman who will refuse to cower, and rather will accept her failings and choose instead to focus on her many abilities.
I am an IMPERFECT MOMMY~ my daughter is also IMPERFECT! She has fits, she is obstinate, her behaviour isn’t always pretty, sometimes it downright stinks… sometimes she poops in a pool…………
How to win a Mother of the Year award?
Its simple of course.
JUST BE YOU.