I Am Parenting Myself

I had an uh-oh moment today. I realized how much my daughter is going to be just like me when I was a kid/teen.

For the most part, I was happy, outgoing, and well adjusted. For the most part, Madeleine is all those things, too.

But I was also very emotional (hey, I was a red-head until I was 4), and sometimes I would go from one end of the spectrum to the other in one day. I would get very upset at what I now consider little things – my hair not looking good, having to work on a piano piece for one more week, etc. I remember standing in the kitchen when I was 10 years old and crying to my parents about how “stressed out” I felt. (I really think I just didn’t want to practice trombone. Well-kept secret: I played trombone in 5th grade)

Today I was helping my daughter practice words for her spelling bee. She was getting a little frustrated because her not-quite-right /r/ sound is starting to get in the way of spelling (she spelled twig t-r-i-g). She now knows it is an issue and that she will start speech very soon, but I think the teacher side of me exacerbated it by demonstrating how the mouth moves for the /w/ sound and the /r/ sound and how it looks different. (I’m an ELL teacher. I do stuff like that all the time with students.) So we’d already had a mom-acting-like-a-teacher moment, which never ends well, and then we had the word rake. She spelled it right, then she changed her spelling and started saying r-a-o, and I was like, “Where are you getting an o in the word rake?” (Yeah, I could have worded that differently.)

And that was all she could take. The tears began to flow. “I just don’t know how to spell the word rake!” she blubbered.

So I put the list away, profusely apologized, and showered her with hugs and praises. She went to get her pajamas on, and then I found her sitting on her bed looking hurt and a bit sulky. I shooed forced her pesky little brother out of the room and asked her if she was okay. I was expecting more about the spelling bee words.

“Mom, my legs hurt.” Then she went into a 15-minute explanation (well, it seemed that long) about her legs hurting and sometimes they don’t hurt but some days they do and her feet don’t hurt but just her legs and today was the first day they hurt this year but it’s just new 2012 and they hurt a few days after Christmas in 2011 and . . . .

Um. You’re crying because your legs ache? You ran in PE today. Of course they ache. I go up half a flight of stairs and mine ache! Seriously??

And that’s when it hit me: I am parenting a mini-me. Help!!!

P.S. – Okay, so don’t think I’m the mom who totally ignores her kids’ aching and ailing complaints. I don’t. But I’m not sure what I can do about aching legs, which most likely are just growing pains. Especially when there are no other symptoms.


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One comment

  1. Nice Post..I remember growing pains..and my little daughter gets them too…how interesting she also gets a little emotional when her legs ache..wonder if there’s a link…delighted to have come across your pages….ELiza Keating

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