Today I have a guest post written by (my sister) O. Laing, she got a kick out of writing this because she critiques me on the way I raise my children all the time. She has made statements about my tween and teens but when it comes to mini me… I got it BAD! He’s spoiled rotten. Enjoy…
The Scenario: You drop your child off at preschool and every morning since the first day in August you walk him inside, take off his coat, hang it in his cubby, take him to wash his hands, seat him and say a long drawn out good bye because you just know that he is about to cry because you are leaving. Now it’s December and the teacher requests a word with you. She says “Mom, may I make a suggestion, would you mind not walking him to his cubby in the morning and, not taking off his coat so that he can do it himself and, not taking him to wash his hands so that he can do it himself, because we would like him to become more independent and please don’t take this the wrong way but if you could just drop him off at the door and leave it would be helpful.”
Haaa that’s priceless…
Who better to review a very personal post on the mother-son relationship than a family member. My sister Jen is a wonderful mother to all of her four children. However it seems that in the mix of over 16 years of motherhood she has been outnumbered, swindled, bamboozled, double teamed and just plain out taken for a ride by these children.
I label my sister an ENABLER, she takes motherly duties (in my opinion which I am entitled to) to a whole new level…and if what I am about to say pinches your nerves you possibly may be an enabler too!
My sister’s youngest is 3 going on 23. He is the smartest little ass you will ever meet. He embodies a little genius and knows how to use it. He is fully capable of completing multiple tasks on his own but because he knows that Mom is there he will suddenly get a case of developmental delay and forget everything he has ever mastered.
My sister allows her son to dictate bedtime and then in the morning when he can’t get up, she prepares him for school with all the fixers; brushed teeth, combed hair etc. all while this child is sleeping. Then physically carries him to the car and into the classroom. She calls what she does rousing him from his slumber. Yeah, I call that complete control, Son 1: Mom 0.
A song comes to mind when I think of my sisters relationship with her son, Lisa Lobe, Linger, “I’m such a fool for you, you’ve got me wrapped around your finger, do you have to let it linger, do you have to, do you have to… ” well maybe not the entire song but at least the chorus.
I am so proud that the teacher made light of the situation and upset that she waited four months to do so. I have been saying it for years but I guess it’s different coming from a professional. WHATEVER! I don’t know what psychology my nephew practiced on his mother or further more how she convinced herself that good mothering meant giving in to your child’s every desire. Whether it is physically, emotionally, or retail…a 3 year old or any other child should not dictate your footsteps in life. You also should not feel guilty about teaching your little one independence. If your child is coddled all their life then how will they be able to cope as an adult without you? For the reverse how will you be able to cope without this being that you have nurtured to the point of no return when they want to fly the coup?
Now my sister claims that this is her last child and she spoils him because she has an opportunity to do things for him that she never had the ability to do with her older children. I can appreciate that however not allowing him to walk and holding him while you maneuver through a grocery store is not the same as taking him to see Elmo on Ice and joining a mommy and me yoga class. While she feels justified, I see the frustration when she wants to get some work done on the computer an a little leprechaun comes and sits in her lap demanding her undivided attention. You can love your child unconditionally without appeasing his every demand, setting boundaries and routines allows your child to respect your role as Mommy (creator of all good and make everything better goddess) even more and appreciate you more when you do spoil them.
I am proud to say that I assisted my sister in taking the teachers suggestion and on a cold Monday morning we walked (emphasis on walked) up the stairs into the building and to the classroom door, with a promise of a surprise later on in the evening my nephew took off his coat, put it in his cubby, washed his hands and waved a strong “bye mom, see you later auntie”! and the world did not end….
Jen: “In my defense, Mini Me doesn’t dictate his bedtime. I need to break the cycle where he needs to have me holding him when he sleeps. We co-sleep and he doesn’t fall asleep at bedtime without being next to me. He’ll wait up for me to come to bed or if I put him down and he doesn’t feel me next to him anymore, he wakes up. I plan to wean him out of my bed in the new year. This year our milestone was weaning him from breastfeeding. My cut off was originally 24 mos. but that didn’t happen and it was more like 39 mos. That’s a whole other post. Baby Steps…”