Tuesday, May 8, 2012
My Childhood Through New Eyes, Pt. 2
My last post was about how being a parent has given me a greater understanding of my own childhood memories, and how they may have actually gone as opposed to the way I recall them. I’ve also realized, however, that my ability to remember various circumstances from growing up and how I was feeling at the time can help with my current parenting today.
(oh, and dontcha just love the Heidi-esq snapshot of me at 10 months? Damn, my parents knew how to take picturesque photos. That’s some serious baby-in-a-bonnet-field-of-wildflowers-Rocky-Mountains-in-the-background kind of shit).
Two recent ways recollections have helped guide my parenting:
Recent Scenario #1: The upcoming birth of a sibling for Mason
While pregnant with Avery, I fielded a lot of questions about how we were preparing Mace for the birth of his sister. And the thing is … I knew that nothing we did could help him grasp the finality of a sibling.
Memory Connected to it: The birth of my own sister
I have very distinct memories of the days leading up to my sister’s birth. I recall being excited (because my parents were), “talking” to the baby through my mother’s belly button (because they told me it was like a telephone), and just being in an overall giddy mood because everyone around me was. I wanted the baby to come out! I couldn’t wait for the baby to show up!
And then they brought my sister home, and I hated that bitch more than anything.
It’s one thing to talk to a baby through some crazy-assed voodoo belly button phone, it’s another thing to have her crashing my very cushy position as Queen of My Parent’s Universe. There’s even a picture (lord help me, I wish I could find it) of us at my 3rd birthday party, when mom wanted a photo of her two girls sitting together. Kyla had only come home a week or so prior, and I remember thinking that I would be damned if she was going to steal the spotlight on my god-damned birthday. And so my devious 3 year-old self waited until my unsuspecting mother snapped the pic, and at the very last moment covered Kyla’s face with my hand. And through the wonders of 1980’s technology, mom was none-the-wiser until she got the film developed 4 weeks later. Boom, beotch! Can’t punish me now!
Remembering how confused and displaced I felt after Kyla’s birth made me decide not to stress about preparing Mace for the arrival of his sister, and instead we just went with it. Luckily our laziness paid off, as Mason was and continues to be completely, utterly awestruck by Ave. *Awe*
Recent Scenario #2: Post-potty training weirdness
Most of you know that we recently potty trained Mason, and I’m happy to say that things have continued to go well. The only difficulty we’re having is the lead-ups to his, um, #2’s, in that he’ll sit on the toilet every 10 minutes until he actually goes. Major pain in the ass when we’re out, and its led to a few accidents when he’s around people who don’t know of this odd behaviour, because they often wind up refusing him the toilet after a while. But am I worried about it? Nope.
Memory Connected to it: My own post-potty training weirdness
Another very distinct memory I have is of me playing by myself in the basement a few months after I’d been formally potty-trained. I got “that feelin’”, tottered my way up the steep basement steps to the main floor bathroom, carefully disrobed and attempted to go. And nothing happened.
So I carefully re-robed, tottered my way down the steep steps, and went back to my playing. And then the “feelin’” came again. Sighing, I made my way back up the stairs, into the bathroom, and dropped trou. And once again, nothing happened. I’m not kidding you, I went up and down those stairs five times in an attempt to use the bathroom the way I’d been taught. But the next time that feelin’ came, my little 2.5 year old self finally said “Fuck it”.
And I dropped a whole hell of a lot more than trou, right in the corner of the basement.
Could you blame me?
That’s why I’m not worrying my pretty little head about Mason doing the bathroom run 6 times in an hour. I figured it out, he’ll figure it out, enough said. And if I can avoid finding a log in my basement corner, all the better.