Yep, I’m a real life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But for me, it’s Mrs. Teacher and Mrs. Mom. The two sides of me have had a hard time getting along lately. It’s summertime, which means I’m in stay-at-home-mom mode, which means lots of fun together time as well as lots of grumpy together time. Throw in my two personalities, and it gets even more complicated.
This morning, around 7:30 AM
Madeleine comes downstairs wearing a too-short skirt.
Mrs. Mom: Madeleine, you skirt is too short. I need you to pick something else to wear.
Madeleine: This is what I want to wear! I am NOT changing!
Mrs. Mom: You’ve grown since you first got that skirt, and now it is too short. You need to choose something else to wear.
Madeleine: There is NOTHING else I want to wear!
Mrs. Mom: (thinking to myself) How does this girl get a smiley face every single day of kindergarten and never has had a teacher say a negative word about her, but at home she acts like this?
Mrs. Teacher: (to Mrs. Mom) She needs to feel like she has some control and independence over her life, which means she needs the opportunity to make choices. Picking her clothes is one area that she can control, and now you are taking away that choice. Thus she is upset.
Mrs. Mom: (to Mrs. Teacher) But I said she can choose something else to wear!
Mrs. Teacher: (to Mrs. Mom) Sometimes you act just like your daughter.
This afternoon, in the van, around 12:15.
Madeleine: Oh no! I dropped my monkey!
Ephraim: Mom, we need for you to stop the car, okay? Madeleine has to get her toy!
Mrs. Mom: I am not stopping the car. We are almost home. You can wait until we get home.
Madeleine: I never get my way!
Mrs. Mom: Madeleine I promise we are almost home and when we pull into the garage, you can get it.
Madeleine: (starts crying)
Mrs. Mom: (to Mrs. Teacher) Now she’s crying. Great. Should I stop the car? No, I shouldn’t, but she’s crying. This is ridiculous.
Mrs. Teacher: (to Mrs. Mom) Hey, guess what? A little crying isn’t hurting her. Or you. Like you said, you’re almost home. When you get home, she’ll stop crying, get her toy, and it will all be forgotten. Just let her cry.
Mrs. Mom: (keeps checking on Madeleine in the mirror, but follows Mrs. Teacher’s advice)
Madeleine: (upon reaching home) I found my monkey! Hey Mom, can I have a hot dog for lunch?
And what have we learned here? The rational teacher side of me has it together. The mom side of me is frazzled and frustrated. And honestly, Mrs. Teacher doesn’t always win out. (Like when we got home and Mrs. Mom yelled at Ephraim for not staying in time out. But that’s another story . . .) Here’s to hoping that the two of them learn to compromise this summer!