Monday, February 4, 2013

A tooth tale

 (I had to share this was just too perfect of an example of my daily struggles in parenting. )

So Bryson has had a loose tooth on the bottom for a while now - since Sept I think we first noticed it being a little wriggly. Then his mature teeth popped out fact they are like halfway out. He really wanted his tooth to be out. He asked him brothers to smack him in the face with a pillow (because he did the same to his friend Asher and ended up knocking one of Asher's loose teeth out) and so this weekend his dad and dad's friend obliged and helped him yank his tooth out. (then they also yanked out the neighbor tooth that had also recently come loose...but that is neither here nor there)

So i told Bryson - hey! lets make a tooth pillow together to make it easier for the tooth fairy! and he was down - so he picked the fabric, he cut the fabric - he designed the pocket and placement - i stitched it up - he stuffed it...voila! he put his teeth in it and that was that...

So - here is the thing. As a parent you have all kinds of expectations...even if you aren't aware that you do. I think I expected that when my child lost their first tooth I would become this magical tooth fairy and it would be this magic moment and him running into our room exclaiming, "Look!! I got a gold coin from the tooth fairy! My childhood is magical!!!" something like that...instead this morning at 4:00a.m. i have a 7 year old Bryson crying in my room hysterically that the tooth fairy took his teeth and that he wanted his teeth more than a couple gold coins because they mean more to him than money since they are his first teeth. is the other thing. I shouldn't be surprised. I think Bryson has challenged every notion or expectation I have had about mothering or what type of mother I was going to be, etc. I had visions of rocking my sweet baby to sleep in my rocking chair and singing lullabies...uh...nope...this kid, turns out, doesn't like to be touched. nevermind rocked, cradled, cuddled, co-sleep, NOPE...none of it. cuddling bryson is like cuddling a shark...never stops moving, can't be comfortable - prefers none of it. so - fine - i steal my cuddles and sneak in their room every night when he can't stop me.

I don't know...that is just one tiny example of about a million different ways in which my ideas, expectations, fantasies were not my reality. And, as a part of maturity and growing older, I am trying to roll with the punches, so to speak- because sometimes let down expectations do feel a rather lot like a punch...I am trying to be honest about them - trying to re-work my brain and sort out the "why" underneath that expectation. I think the hardest thing I have had to do is look at that honestly and evaluate my own motivations. Its hard. This past week there was a big blow out between him and I on a school project. I will spare you the details...but it ended up in me realizing that Bryson does best when Bryson is given a chance to do his best...on his own.

So...I tell Bryson - hey - lets write the tooth fairy a note. Telling her you would like your teeth back and see what happens. He became in a better mood instantly. Maybe making their childhood magical isn't about tooth fairies and santa claus...maybe its being the right parent for your particular child. Maybe its as simple as that.

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