I’ve always liked to be right, just ask my parents. My mom used to encourage me as a child to become a lawyer because I would argue about anything. I’m not sure on the validity of that statement, but I can admit, I really like to be right. If I were to be honest, I’d admit I probably have a few control issues as well. For example, not only do I like to be right, but whoever isn’t right, well, they should realize that I’m right and join me in doing things my way or let me be and walk away, quick and far. Don’t be frightened, I’ve mellowed a lot in my adult years, even my mother would admit it’s true. At least I think she would.
This past weekend, our big three took their 4H projects to the general show. All three did very well, but Jaclyn lost a point in cooking because she photocopied the recipe for her cookies instead of typing it out or handwriting it. This is my fault, pure and simple. She was struggling getting tabs to work the way she wanted them to while typing it and I saw an opportunity to teach her about utilizing her resources (the copy machine in our downstairs office) and suggested she just make a copy of it. She wasn’t so sure, but she conceded, perhaps because she knows my control issues? I don’t know if that’s why or not, but she did as I suggested and went on her merry way. Of her three projects combined, this was the only point she lost for the year – no kidding, one point. Needless to say, she was less than pleased with her mother and I felt terrible. Honestly, I still don’t understand it but it is what it is and I suppose the argument could be made for following directions and perhaps it could help her learn to write recipes. Other than that, I’m sticking with utilizing resources.
Jaclyn is a preteen perfectionist, so one point less than perfect was frustrating, but she can easily be brought back around with a good dose of laughter. We were discussing my mothering moment fail when a friend looked at her and said, “Here’s the thing, Jaclyn, sometimes moms are right and others just can’t see that.” Big group laughter ensued and problem solved. It’s not that we were ready to argue with the anyone, she was just done with mom at the moment, but my friend’s years of mothering experience and dry sense of humor saved the day. It was a perfectly placed exaggeration, and I was so thankful for the laughter to bring my little lady back from the brink of frustration.
My friend’s comment stayed with me throughout the weekend. It has played through my mind time and time and time again. Different situations have come to mind with each replay. Situations like the days Ben wants to dress like one of the Wiggles and insists he needs jeans, even though it’s pushing 100 degrees outside; or often the same days when he doesn’t want anything on the front of his shirt, but wants a certain color so he can dress like a certain Wiggle depending on if he wants to be a guitarist or a drummer that day, so he insists on wearing a t-shirt backwards; or the times that he is scripting Blue’s Clues and so he wears his green striped shirt every day for a week and we see the same folks night after night at the ballpark. With seven of us, I do laundry every night, but I’m pretty sure there are those who wonder what’s up with the kid who’s dressed for fall and dressed the same every single day. And then there are the vocal days, the days he will argue just as passionately as his mother would in her younger days, and yet, he won’t fight when we physically redirect. It’s just a loud day.
These are the days that despite the appearance of the situation, mom is right and there are likely those who just can’t see that. Forcing Ben into shorts or making him wear a different shirt, or even the one he wants the “right” way would be cause for a multi-hour meltdown. Is it really worth it? He’s a kid. Are these things going to make or break who he is? No. How he learns? No. But it just may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in terms of how he functions for the day. So I let him be a kid and give him that control and let others think what they may, all the while knowing mom is right, even if they can’t see it. I told you I’m mellowing…