Well I would like to say that I never have doubts, however that would be a giant lie. Everyone should have been at my home a week and a half ago to see my melt-down. People talk about a toddler's meltdown, but mine was just as awesome. I freaked out after M had his first preschool tumbling class at our local YMCA. It might be hilarious if there was a video of the mess I became shortly after leaving. I was almost speechless (and anyone who knows me understands just how rare that is); we were supposed to go and eat dinner at a good friend's house and I couldn't manage. I had to go home immediately; I whizzed in the door and laid down on the bed rocking myself. My dear husband was questioning me as to why I was upset and what we were going to do for dinner as we were canceling our plans. I just told him to leave like a 13 year-old yells at a younger sibling who is annoying them to no end.
But of course that didn't work with my husband who is way past that point in his life. He just kept on insisting that I needed to talk to him. There was nothing to say as I had no idea why I was short circuiting. I was being honest and was all the more distraught that I had no way to verbalize how I was feeling. He finally took our son and sought out dinner for us so I had some quiet time to try and calm myself down.
I sat down on the couch after the coast had cleared and started working on why in the world I was freaking out. Here's what I came up with....
I suddenly realized that I had two and a half years to prepare my son for kindergarten and in essence the rest of his life. The questions came at me fast and furious, all with the same theme - was I doing alright as a parent??? You can't love your child enough, but were our child-rearing decisions going to produce a bright, social, well-behaved child? I began questioning every decision, big and little. Should I continue to work from home? Was I ignoring my child's needs? Did I register him in additional classes at the Y to expose him to additional experiences? Did I find play groups that had children his age? What reality were our decisions creating for our son?
So, as you can see I had a meltdown because I was questioning my parenting abilities. I bet no one else has ever done that before...unlikely. I knew in my heart of hearts that all of this would take time. I could not judge his readiness for school after his first tumbling class. Fast forward to Saturday morning when he took his first swimming lesson. We decided to do swimming classes with a parent because we thought that would make things easier all around for him to get used to the environment. I thought I was going to have a stroke almost the entire class. Because I am not dying to get into a bathing suit in a public place where I frequent and people might recognize I encouraged T to take him in the pool.
The entire lesson I could only focus what he wasn't doing to participate. Believe it or not I actually taught swimming lessons and spent years of my life in the water as a competitive swimmer and eventually a lifeguard. I could not handle the experience any better than tumbling...I kept trying to micromanage from the bench. I was that mom. Shameful really. I should have been ashamed, but instead I was once again in the position that I was freaking out about his never learning how to swim. I bet he completes every lesson just like I did and does better.
I don't give my child near enough credit to grow and learn at his own pace. Lesson to self: Don't micromanage from the side when you won't get in the water yourself. Also, don't harass the person who willingly gets in the water and has a preschooler glued to his neck like his life depends on it. So, I know you will all understand why I am not going to lessons this week. God must have known I needed to stay away because I took other co-worker's shifts this week during both lessons not realizing I wouldn't be able to attend. It's as if someone is being really direct about how I need to take some time and deal. My child is going to grow up and every step of the way there are going to be things that are difficult for him, however if I expect him to do a somersault in the first class like a pro, why would I sign him up??
I guess I still have as much or more to learn than my son at this point in his life. Better start working on that....