If I had a dollar for every time I had to repeat myself to my children, I could afford to be a stay at home mom. Of course I would probably still go to work because honestly, who likes to be ignored that much?
It actually doesn’t seem to matter if I am requesting a simple action “put your boots on please” or having a regular conversation. If it isn’t about cookies or Star Wars, nobody gives a shit about what I have to say around here.
Except yesterday Buddy said “fuck” for the first time. I guess it was bound to happen eventually. Sigh.
Anyway, any of you regular readers will have gathered by now that my four year old is a feisty little thing. She had a few “developmental delays” (not really) along the way, to which the specialist laughed and diagnosed her with a case of stubborness with maybe a pinch of assholery.
And you know, that’s just her way. My Twee Destroyer doesn’t do anything that isn’t on her terms. Potty training was a huge fight last summer. Nothing worked. She just refused and there was nothing I could do or say or bribe that child to take a piss on the toilet. And then, about a month after I completely gave up, she just walked into the bathroom and went pee like she’d been doing it that way since birth.
The other challenging thing is that she’s a little bit chicken shit. Where her brother will just run full speed ahead and deal with the consequences later, she is way more cautious and fearful. She takes her time to weigh all the possible outcomes I guess.
Anyway, she’s been doing gymnastics for about a year now. It’s my favourite part of the week because watching her roll around in her little bodysuit with other little kids is fucking adorable.
So all this time she refuses to walk the beam without someone holding her. The other kids just do it without giving it a second thought and she just stands there, frozen in fear until someone holds her hand.
It’s like 2 feet off the ground with mats to land on if you fall. And I promise that there are no crocodiles waiting to eat you or hot lava or whatever.
“I’ll give yo a dollar if you walk the beam alone”
“We’ll go for donuts if you walk the beam alone”
Nope. And Nope.
So last week we had this conversation about being brave. And I explained that being brave doesn’t mean that you aren’t afraid of anything. I explained that in order to be brave, you have to be afraid first, and then try it anyway. That there is no courage without fear, so it’s ok to be scared sometimes. And then it became a conversation about Anakin Skywalker and how the fear in his heart turned him into Darth Vader. Because four year olds.
And then I forgot all about the conversation because nobody listens to me anyway.
So yesterday, during free time I am down in the gym with her and Buddy, and she asks me to help her up on one of the beams that’s higher than the rest.
And she walks the entire thing, refusing to allow me to touch her.
What the what?
I clapped and praised and tried really hard to be that positive reinforcing mom that everybody talks about. And then I asked her, “So how did you do that all of a sudden?”
“I just remembered what you said.”
What? Someone heard words that came out of my mouth and remembered them? WHICH ONES??
“About being brave. I had to be afraid so I could be brave. I didn’t want the fear to stay in my heart like Anakin.”
And THAT, Bitches, is how I realized that the things I say are important and do have an impact. At least sometimes.
This time, I did good.