She’s the Apple, I’m the Tree
With each phase Rachel enters into, I enter a new phase of self-doubt as a mother. Right now Rachel is in a bit of a rebellious phase. Her response to everything is “no” and it’s not just a matter-of-fact “no” – it’s a much more emphatic “NO!” that translates to “I-hate-what-you-just-said-or-did!” She has an opinion on every detail of the day, and it’s almost always contrary to mine. (The exception to this is ice cream. We always agree on ice cream. Which means, of course, that we’ve been eating way, way too much ice cream lately.) Irritated, I ask myself how can she even have so many opinions, how can she be so argumentative?
I get it, I get it…She’s the apple, I’m the tree. Still, I roll my eyes and struggle to bite my tongue. I’m a generous, loving and fun mom. Why am I met with so much resistance?!
I wonder if we’ve done something wrong. She’s really good at daycare. Maybe she’s mad at us for not giving her enough structure at home. Maybe she sees her grown up teachers manage her day so well and she resents us for not doing the same. Not that I can change any of this, and not that I’d really ask her for her honest opinion. I’m partly afraid of the truth, but mostly afraid of the power of suggestion. Maybe these crazy ideas in my brain never occurred to her – I don’t want to be the one to plant the seed.
Kids don’t really think their parents are incompetent, do they? They trust us, and maybe that’s the scariest part of all. This phase, whatever it is, is just a phase, and she trusts me to help her through it. I just don’t know if I trust myself. What if I fail and she’s a bratty, demanding, contentious person for the rest of her life? What if we have several mini-arguments a day, every day for the rest of her life?
I realize this is likely (not the part about her being a contentious brat…the other part). And I suppose this is part of the fun of raising this person, my child. I get to share my life with this amazing, passionate small person, and she doesn’t judge me or doubt me (just yet). Maybe I’ll learn to give myself that same courtesy.