This is a short story, but one that I just HAD to share:
I met a mother at the park today that was there with her 15 month-old, not so steady on her feet, little girl. The baby could get around, but her clearly new toddle was no match for "Avie the Aggressor's" barreling, tummy-forward galumph.
Let me just say that I try my hardest to stay on top of Avalyn in social situations. She is a little butterfly who loves to talk to adults and kids alike, but she has a weird hair-pulling impulse that likes to come out at seemingly random times.... usually on younger kiddos. As soon as Avie spotted this baby girl, I knew I wasn't going to get to her side in time.
The sudden interaction started with Avie throwing her arms around the shocked girl. I was a moment behind as I tried to explain that Avalyn loves hugs (and to Avalyn then that NOT all babies enjoy them as much as she does). The mother was graceful about it, as she struggled to hold her daughter upright in Avie's full body weight embrace.
Neither of us could predict the flash that was Avalyn's little hand flying up for a tight grip on the baby girl's hair. We quickly got her to let go, and luckily the baby thought nothing of it (probably still in shock from the surprise invasion of personal space).
Of course, I started stammering through my usual apologies, "I wasn't quick enough... we're working on that... I'm sorry..." when the Mother cut me off-
"Hey, you're doing a great job"
The relief I felt was like drinking a cup of warm chocolate on a cold day. You know what I'm talking about, too. That warmth that you can feel sliding through you and radiating to every inch of your body. I could have cried- if Avalyn wasn't halfway across the park again.
I said a sincere thanks and the Mother said, "It just helps to hear that every once in awhile... honestly, this wasn't a big deal and you should know that you ARE doing a good job"
She was absolutely right. We are the hardest on ourselves, right? We constantly compare our kids to others, and ourselves to other Mothers... why? Our job is to raise decent human beings and that is HARD work. Especially when your cute little baby turns into a monstler.... (that's monster+toddler). We need to go easy on ourselves! We're washing, folding, cooking, cleaning, organizing and scheduling machines and we deserve some recognition. And a break.
So, I say to ALL the mommies out there: You're doing a great job
Even if your child has a crazy spidey-death grip on another kid's head....