I think I need to start neglecting my kids more.
I’ve been far too attentive to them and dangerously close to coddling them. Well, not my second son, “Doe” but more my first son, “Si”. (I’ll be referring to them by their nicknames so remember: “Si” is my oldest son and “Doe” is my youngest. And please don’t ask me to explain).
I realized the other day, as I was stirring my coffee and counting down the minutes until I could drop off Doe at pre-school, how much more relaxed I’ve become as a mother the second time around.
When Si was 3-years-old and asked for more juice? I dropped whatever it was I was doing and immediately got him more juice so he would learn to “trust that his needs would be met” like the Psychologists say.
When Doe asks for more juice? “Okay, well you can wait a few minutes until mommy is done reading this really funny blog alright??”, which eventually turns into me completely forgetting the juice altogether.
If Si fell and skinned his knee, he was met with kisses and cooing and hugs and rocking until (25 minutes later) he had calmed down.
Poor, poor Doe’s skinned knee is met with, “I think you’ll survive. Go get an ice pack from the freezer if you want”.
When I would drop Si off at pre-school, I would have to tear myself away and talk myself out of quitting my job.
When I drop poor, neglected Doe off, all I can think is, “Thank God! now I can play Rhianna‘s new song ‘Diamonds’ on my way to work”.
I feel bad for Doe sometimes. For instance, I know I’ll probably send him off on the his first day of school on the bus with his brother and not start bawling as the bus drives away and my husband tries to hold me up on our way back down the driveway.
But it’s not because I don’t love him any less!!! It really isn’t Doe, I swear!!!
The thing is, I think it’s actually better for him that he is mildly neglected. Really.
Doe is much more of a bounce-back kind of kid. Things don’t affect him as intensely. He is able to brush things off more readily.
If he’s under foot while I’m cleaning up the kitchen and I accidentally crack him in the head with my elbow, he giggles!! “Oh, sorry honey–I didn’t even see you there”. “It’s ok mommy”.
Si, begins to wail, “YOU HIT ME!!!! YOU HURT ME!!!!” and I have to stop what I’m doing and kiss him and apologize profusely for the fact that he was lying on the floor directly behind me so that I tripped over him and kneed him in the stomach.
And so here are my thoughts:
If being too attentive = an overly sensitive child who is afraid of his own shadow,
Mild neglect should = a child who can take more wear and tear.
I’m hoping my equations are correct. I’m not really that good at math, but we’ll see. I will keep you posted.
Oh, and if you thought this was mildly funny, click on the juggling woman and VOTE for me!!! Thanks:)