Sunday, March 18, 2007

On Thoughts of Being a Bad Mom and of Lacking Faith

Yesterday was quite the day for me in my "mom world"; the kids had their swimming lessons so I thought it would be great to take the videocamera to capture their progress. I never would have imagined the extent of progress I would be capturing but am I ever glad that I thought to bring the camera. I am, however, a bit embarassed by it as well as we managed to capture my lack of faith also.

During Jellybeans swim lesson only 3 kids showed up and her instructor had the help of 2 teenagers who are learning to be swim instructors. They did their normal every day swim lesson stuff: floats, glides and everything was great. Great that is until someone down there decided that it would be great if they all went over to the deep pool (by deep I mean 12 feet) and jump off the diving board (the small one) with no lifejackets!!! Their only safety line was the fact that their instructor was in the pool to help them out.

I went into panic overload mode; the camera was shaking and I was spewing doubt and dismay out of my mouth for the entire mezzanine crowd to hear. The 2 boys went first and the "bravest" boy during swim lessons sat on the edge of the board and toppled in-no dive. The second boy went to the edge of the board and ,while standing, just sort of fell in too. I heard her instructor say, "Okay, H, it is your turn"; aackk! I prayed that she wouldn't do it, for her to change her mind, to chicken out even and I did it out loud...on videotape!!!

Jellybean slowly walked down the board and there was a glimmer of hope for me that she was going to turn around and climb down the stairs but no, she walked to the edge of the board, jumped up and down a couple of times and into the water. I don't think I was breathing as I waited for her to arrive safely on the pool edge again but she did make it. I thought to myself that that was great; she got it out of her system and now she wouldn't do it again. She walked back up the ladder, down the board, quicker this time and did. it. again! I must say that I am proud of her and that she is obviously a much braver soul than I but I was certain we were going to need an ambulance called for one or both of us. I was certain she wouldn't be coming up and that I was indeed capturing her last moments here on Earth or that I would have a heart attack before she had the chance to try.

In the change rooms she asked if she could please go on the diving board on Sunday when we went there for family swim. Uh, I don't think so.

Last night I was giving Jellybean and Bug the final dose of bug shampoo because I am entirely too paranoid about those things getting in my mess of hair and was just putting the shampoo in Bugs hair. It dripped down his forehead and onto his eyelid but before I could grab any kind of cloth to wipe it away, he wiped it into his eye and rubbed it in really well. Great! Tears began falling immediately; his or mine? I can't quite recall. I grabbed a cup, filled it with lukewarm water, did my best to pry his eyelids open and flushed his eye. I don't think my technique was great given the other variables I had to work with...wiggling, crying, screaming, mad at me 3 year old.

My very first seconds of instinct were that I needed to take him to the doctor...any doctor but I rationalized with myself very quickly and thought that I would just call the Health Help Line. She had me call Poison Control. Shudder! When I called them she told me to have my husband jump in the shower with him for 15 minutes to flush the eye out, let him play after the shower for about 15 minutes and call her back to let her know how he was doing.

My husband was gone to a hockey game so I grabbed my swim suit and Bug and I had a shower. That did not make him happy at all; he cried and cried and cried. Like a miserable mom I told him "that's okay baby; you keep crying". I did, however say it nicely to him but I had realized that if I can't get him in the shower flow properly these tears were going to help him more than I. I then set out to make him cry; I spanked him for no reason, took away all his toys, told him he could never watch Lightning McQueen again and said he could never have candy...I AM SO TOTALLY KIDDING!!! I NEVER DID OR SAID ANY OF THAT!!! What I really did was make a game out of getting his face into the water as much as I could while he was crying and hoped that we had gotten it out of his eye for the burning to stop.

I don't know which worked or if it was a combination of the tears and the shower but his eye was much better after that and I was able to sit in quiet reflection as to how I had had a completly bad mom day, how absolutely terrible I was and just as I was really entering into my pity party Rush tells me how the kids and herself really appreciated all the work I did to make them a green supper for St. Patrick's Day. SNAP!!! Pity party ended!

I guess we all unintentionally do these things to our kids. I did when I cut the tip of Rush's finger off instead of her fingernail when she was just days old. I did yesterday with the soap in Bug's eye and I know there are countless more stories but they have gotten over these stories; they don't even remember them. I am the only one needing therapy as a result and I guess I didn't really lack faith in Jellybean as she hurled herself off the diving board. I may have over reacted but I think I was showing good sense being leary about that happening since she can't swim, hates floating on her stomach and is only about 4 feet tall!!! I just hope she realizes just that as she looks back on this videotape in later years and doess't think it was her I was doubting.


tanby said...

wow, what a rush of emotions. i don't blame you for feeling scared about the diving board...i dont think i would be able to watch that one myself. and you really had me going with the threat of removing all toys but at that point what is worse, having him mad at you or getting the soap out of his eye? i am glad that it all worked out in the end and everyone is entitles to having a "bad mom pity me" day. we wouldnt be human if we didn't
love to all

Joanne said...

You're an awesome mom!! I would have been terrified by the diving board also.