04 August 2006

No One Ever Promised

...or, smacked upside the head by my own assumptions, yet again. I don't think I've ever said it quite this way... but part of what set me up for my cesarean was my unshakeable belief that because my mother had a beautiful, ridiculously easy birth with me, my births would be easy too. Stupid of me, really, because I'm not built like my mother at all, I'm built like my grandmother, who by all accounts, had a horrendous birth with my mother (her only child). So I should have seen it coming. But you know, my mom, in her desire to be positive and encouraging and just downright fabulous about the whole thing, had it so talked up, it never occurred to me that it would be any other way, and so I never researched the what-ifs, because they were never going to happen to me. That's old news now. Fast forward to last Friday. Last Friday was Rowan's gymnastics lesson. He loves them. Loves the teacher. She loves him (tried to hijack him into coming to several of her other drama and singing classes immediately, "because he projects personality so well.") Hit me up again, in fact, to make sure I hadn't forgotten, and that I get him signed up for her September sessions. In the face of all that, 100% positive, glowing, encouraging... Rowan decided he didn't want to go. "No." says my son. It's a statement. Flat. Unemotional. Absolute. And impervious to parental pleas for compliance. I am utterly dumbfounded. You see... I was a very compliant child, most of the time. My mother raves (to this day) about how easy I was to get along with. And I never, ever saw this coming. That I would give birth to Captain Defiant. So there we are. It's time for class. And Rowan is not interested. Not in changing into playclothes from his comfy jammies, not in leaving the house, not in getting into the car, not in getting out of the car, not in getting to class. (Unschooling types are already laughing at me, because of course, I pushed him into doing all those things, and that's where I lost the moral highground.) We finally get to class, and the teacher is so happy to see him. He starts to smile, then looks at me, and physically curls up into a little fetal ball. I grab him, drag him out into the gym (away from where the class is), and sit him down for a talk. He's a hysterical little ball, totally freaking out. And I so much cannot understand, I lose it, and I yell. And in the middle of me saying things like "you wanted to go to school, so here it is, deal with it" and other paragons of sensitive parenting (cringe), Captain Defiant looks at me, and says "No, Mama. Just no. I don't want to, just no." Just no. I immediately feel like the biggest failure of a parent in the whole world. We both sit there, breathing at each other for a few more seconds, and I say "OK, let's go tell your teacher we're leaving, and we'll go to the library, or get lunch, or go for a walk or something." Can you see it coming? We get back to the area where class is, and Captain Defiant whips his shoes off, and leaps into the fray. He is, by God, in that class. Buddhism has nothing on parenting, where the lesson, over and over until I get it, apparently, is "unclench." It's Friday again, we'll see what happens. Either way, I'll handle it better. No one ever promised me a carbon copy of, well, me. And I think it's probably better that way.

6 Comments:

At 8/04/2006 08:42:00 AM, Blogger SFWriter13 said...

I was smiling at this and trying not to laugh. We went through the very same thing at the very same age. It's nice to know that some things seem to be universal, regardless of the best parenting intentions. :-)

 
At 8/04/2006 09:42:00 AM, Anonymous Margaret in Oz said...

Yes. Just yes. Everything you said. I could have written this - well, OK, not the same way you did, but you expressed beautifully the kind of thing that goes on here ;-) - usually when we're most desperate to get him to comply with something we believe will be very, very good for him... and he doesn't.

I was also the compliant child, so I get that too!

Unclench... thankyou for that reminder!

 
At 8/04/2006 01:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like me before I go to the gym to work out.

 
At 8/04/2006 01:42:00 PM, Blogger rubelin said...

oh hon, believe me, having a carbon copy is no easier. It's like arguing with yourself ;-)

Robin~

 
At 8/05/2006 07:55:00 PM, Blogger LadySeduction said...

Ah yes young grasshoppa......
You have unraveled the power of personal choice so strongly empasized here by Mr Rowan. The secret of parenting in so many ways.....mutual respect.

You rock, mama! Thanks for sharing and glad to know you yell and lose it too and try to control b/c I do it way to often myself.

 
At 8/10/2006 03:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Boy! What have I gotton myself into- at 8 1/2 months pregnant, I have been teasing my friends who are giving me these stories with, 'oh, no, my baby will be pur-fect' Uh oh! Will I be eating these words, and again- what have I gotton myself into??!!

 

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