Saturday, September 27, 2008

Not a problem!

Mondai nai!

Today was the Pumpkin Daycare's annual field day. The Pumpkin Princess took part in a running race, a dance to the song "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea", and a relay race in which the baton was a helmet and cape (she was supposed to be Ultraman. Never mind that Ultraman doesn't have a cape. Or a helmet.) The Pumpkin Daddy drew lines for the events (circles for the dances, straight lines for the races, and circles, lines, squares and arcs for marching band. Yes, there was a marching band performance by 5 year-olds. The Pumpkin Daycare is full of Advanced kids). The Pumpkin Granny chased the Pumpkin Princess around when she wasn't running races and dancing to Ponyo. The Pumpkin Mommy sat around feeling crappy (I have a bad toothache and I can't take anything stronger than acetoaminophen for it because I am pregnant, more on this later, and I feel generally crappy which I don't know how much is due to pregnancy, more on this later).

So, as usual, the Pumpkin Daycare Field Day was the usual study in child development. The Pumpkin Princess danced happily when she was supposed to and ran when she was supposed to, but there were some kids in her class and even the class a year ahead of her who just kind of stood there during their respective events. The Pumpkin Granny commented that my younger brother, Y, was just like that, and I said "oh, so those kids are just going to grow up into Y, that's not a problem!"

And my mom agreed with me. "Y's a good daddy to his sons, and he has held the same good job for years. He's doing just fine."

As a parent, I wonder about the Pumpkin Princess's future. I hope she will grow up to be a healthy and happy person. Her inherent personality I can only do so much about, but I ponder how my parenting will affect her ability to deal with the suckage life will throw at her (life throws suckage at you. This is a law of nature, somewhere between the law of gravity and Boyle's law). I don't parent the way I fancy myself to parent. I get impatient and irrational sometimes. Then I regret it, and wonder how badly she's been scarred.

I have this lovely, smart, fun co-worker who said that when she was little, her mother told her she wasn't her kid and that she had no daughter. The words were said in a moment of anger and sadness over some issue or other, and they were untrue. This co-worker said that while she loves and adores her mother, she remembers having been told that to this day.

So the Tomato Mommy and I were discussing this, and the Tomato Mommy said that she would try to remember how much that hurt co-worker, and never say anything along those lines to the Tomato Prince no matter what. I said that while I thought that wasn't a bad idea at all, even if a kid goes through something like that, you still grow up to be someone like lovely, smart, fun co-worker. And if you grow up to be as lovely and smart and fun as she is, you pretty much have it made in life. The Tomato Mommy agreed with me that for the Tomato Prince to grow up into someone like co-worker would be wonderful.

There are moments I remember from my childhood when things my parents did and said hurt me. I remember them, and I wish they were otherwise, but there are so many more fun things and nice things that happened growing up. I've grown up to be a functional member of society with a family and a good job.

What do you think? Can even minor parenting glitches scar you for life and turn you into the Unabomber?


angelena99 said...

I am going to try and learn this Japanese Phrase of the Day...!

The older my kids get, the more I think temperament has a huge part to play in how kids grow up. I think my parenting should allow for the temperament of each child, so that they are most likely to learn the lessons I'm trying to teach.

I don't think minor parenting glitches can really scar a kid. I mean, a kid with an optimistic outlook will allow large parental faux pas to slide, and a kid with a more pessimistic outlook will collect even small slights to prove his or her case.

And I suppose that's where the parenting to temperament comes in. My older kid is much more likely to be all-or-nothing about situations and we have to challenge his perception pretty often. At some point he'll have to challenge his own perception, but I think he'll always tend to be a bit all-or-nothing.

deeje said...

EEEeeeee! More on "this" NOW, please!!!