Thursday, May 5, 2011

Practicing Parenthood.

My daughter? Oh she's the perfect child. Just like yours, I'm sure. And me? Yep, I'm the perfect parent. Just like you, right?

BAH-ha! Try saying that with a straight face! Now I'll tell you the truth...

My little lady really is a dream. She's always been easy. Good sleeper, good eater, adjusts easily, fast learner, well behaved, happy, smiling... I've had very few challenges and honestly no complaints.

But every now and then she throws me for a big fat loop. I can think of four times in her short life that really stand out, when she has had a melt down that is so extreme that I have no idea what to do and no time to think of an appropriate response. All four times my response has been 100% wrong. One or both of us end up crying. One or both of us end up angry. One of both of us end up totally embarrassed.

It's usually about three hours later that I finally come up with that appropriate response. Which is a little too late. Then I beat myself up for making such an obvious mistake. I convince myself that she will become a drug addict and that my lacking parenting skills are to blame.

Then after about 3 more hours (wide awake, in the middle of the night, hearing that creepy music from Intervention and envisioning the episode our family will be on in 10 years) I finally remember that no parent is perfect. I remind myself that making mistakes is how we learn, and that practice makes perfect. So I keep practicing. I remind myself of what a little gem I have, and I allow myself to take some credit for that.