I’m afraid that I don’t often veer from the formula of vaguely talking about some difficulty we are experiencing with Atticus (read: stubbornness, always with the stubbornness) and then bringing it back around to how amazing he is. Part of that is a conscious choice to tell my story and not my child’s. I read a lot of mom blogs, and one of the criticisms of them that I find valid is that they make money telling embarrassing stories about their children. Heather Armstrong has done a lot of good things, including forging a way for moms to support their families, encouraging honesty about being a woman and a parent, and refusing to be embarrassed about mental health issues. I admire her for all of that. At the same time, there are some stories about her children and their bodily functions that I wish weren’t aired so publicly. I work with middle school students and they definitely know each other’s business.
So my choice is to talk kind of generally about things we are going through with Atticus, hoping to frame his journey in a positive way or to show how he is constantly outsmarting us (which he totally is). This week, the first back from vacation and his first in the three-year-old room, has definitely been an adjustment period for us all. The weather delays complicated things even more. I don’t want to downplay the frustrations we have had, but it has helped to know that they are probably temporary, that he does actually want to go to school (except for the part of him that is like his mama and wants to stay at home in his pjs every day).
I can tell that they are temporary because of the way that he has thrown himself into other aspects of his life in the past week. Being three has taken him to a new level of empowerment. I am not afraid of the moo cows now because I am three. I can take my shirt off by myself now because I am three. I am not scared of the dark because I am three. Watching him take ownership is the “good parts version” of his stubbornness. It is hilarious and awesome and kind of moving in that way that gives me a lump in my throat. Oh, moms, so emotional. Maternal pride, it’s what is saving my life this week.
I commend this article about public shaming to parents and teachers and spouses and coworkers. Let’s not be people who shame one another.