Being a mom is hard. Being a GOOD mom is WAY harder.
When your 2nd grader forgets her homework & begs you to take her back to school at 3:45 pm so she can get her homework -- saying she'll even clean out the kitty litter if you'll take her back -- you do it. When your child sees that her teacher is in a private meeting with another parent and she's too scared to interrupt them, you coach her along but encourage her to own up to the situation. After reaching way down to find the courage to open that door and politely interrupt the grown-up meeting, when the teacher says that there are consequences to her actions and that she'll have to do the work tomorrow (during recess or lunch), you bite your lip 'cuz you feel like you're in time out too but you let the teacher discipline the student instead of rushing in to save the day (which is what you really want to do). This is
not the second grade I remember with Jolly Rancher candies for good
work, trips to the ice cream parlor when the class did really well and
games in class.
Oh, it doesn't stop there because Little K is tough on herself. (It doesn't help that her parents are a bit strict.) She slapped her arm in the car to punish herself. I quickly asked her about it and she said she was very mad at herself. This, of course, launches us into another conversation about never hurting her body. That action alone made me more upset than forgetting any piece of homework.
And then, the doubt sets in. Before I can sort through if I replied to the teacher in the right way, did I correct Little K in the right way, was I too hard on her... Little K had cleaned the kitty litter for the first time, finished the homework that did come home with her, and asked if she could ride her scooter outside since she lost the privilege of TV. She's a good kid, who happens to be just 7 years old.
After dinner and a bath, Little K breezes through another workbook I found and she does it with a smile. I stood or sat beside her and she smiled and giggled. She's a happy kid. She bounced into bed, singing and laughing as if the world was her oyster. Well, it is.
"You need to calm down and get a good night's sleep so you'll be well rested for your big day tomorrow," I said. "I don't want you to forget anything and I want you to be able to do all your work tomorrow just like you did today."
"Okay, Mommy," she replied. "But can you set my alarm for extra early so I can do some more of that workbook?"
We say our prayers. I tuck her into bed and Daddy pecks her forehead. I kiss my girl good night and close the bedroom door behind me. Good Lord, I hope she remembers her stuff from now on, I think. I can't take much more of this. My mom warned me about motherhood but it was the child-bearing part that worried me. I didn't realize that when your kid hurts, your heart hurts too. Luckily, tomorrow is another day for both of us.
Until the next nap time...