Happy New Year and welcome to a brand new year full of Mommy Moments! If you’re not sure what a Mommy Moment at the Monster is, head over and read all about how Mommy Moments at the Monster came to be.
Today, I’m so excited to welcome one of my oldest blogging friends, Betsy from Funky Mama Bird. Betsy is married to The Viking, is mom to Gunne Bear, and uber creative. She’s also an amazing writer…you’ll love her if you don’t already know her!
Go grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy the story!
Thanks, Natalie, for allowing me to take part in sharing my Mommy Moment.
I’ve always really prided myself for being so in-tune with my son. He’s a lot like me, personality wise, so I usually know what he’s thinking just by looking at him or listening to him. A high pitched cry, for example, means he’s afraid, while a sudden crunching of his eyebrows means he’s very frustrated and about to go to 11.
I’m often so in-tune with him that my husband refers to us as “enmeshed”. While my husband runs at every cry and will often spend tens of minutes trying to decipher what it is Gunne Bear is trying to say or communicate, I often just know what it is intuitively. I run only for the hurt/scared cries and leave the frustrated ones until he asks for my help. I can usually figure out what he wants just by following his gaze before he’s managed to say it.
So when my son came up to me a few weeks ago and told me his arm hurt, I did a quick check of his tone/facial expressions. Blank face, slightly cautious tone; neither showed anything too far out of the ordinary, so I merely asked him if he banged it. He paused for a moment before answering, “Yeah”, so I just assumed that was it and moved on.
He came up to me again a little while later, saying his arm still hurt. Again, I looked at his face, listened to his voice and determined that nothing was seriously wrong. Instead, I reached over and rubbed his arm. “Is that better,” I asked him. Again he paused before answering, “Yeah.” That pause should have been my clue; when Gunne Bear doesn’t know the answer to something, he always answers, “Yes.” That pause should have been my clue that something was still very wrong.
Later that night we were rocking together in the rocking chair after reading some stories. He reached out with his left arm to point at something and his sleeve slid up his arm. There, just above his wrist was a large, angry looking burn. A burn serious enough to make me gasp when I saw it, grabbing his little hand to get a better look.
Sometime earlier that day, my son had burned his arm. I still don’t know how; my husband and I tore the house apart and went backwards through the day to figure it out, and we still don’t know how it happened. He came to me twice, telling me his arm hurt, but because he wasn’t showing any of his “normal” signs of pain or distress, I just dismissed it.
It was a serious wake-up call for me in terms of my parenting, a Mommy Moment, if you will. I very quickly learned not to take our bond or my “intuition” at face value: if my son comes to be now and tells me something – anything – I take it a lot more seriously than I did before. If I ever need a reminder, every time I see his bare arm, and the pink scar that remains, though it fades more every day, I remember that day and check myself again.
Betsy, I’ve done this myself. It’s so hard to let go of that guilt, too! Just when you think you’ve got this whole parenting thing figured out, you realize that you really don’t and that what always works really doesn’t always work.
There’s no manual out there for what we do, so sharing stories like this helps us all learn from each other.
I recently told you about mine and the girls new found love: Tea Collection clothing. Guess what? They are having a HUGE sale right now! Tea Collection is offering up to 60% off on pants, dresses, and shirts. Make sure to shop Tea Collection and save up to 60% only while supplies last….but guess what? Now through the 8th, they are offering an EXTRA 25% off already marked-down sale items with the promo code 25OFFSALE. This is a deal you definitely don’t want to miss. Happy Shopping!