By Heather O.
I am doing my best to raise a responsible, healthy, independent, overall productive member of society. In doing this, there seem to be some clear rules one has to follow in order to ensure the small child’s overall mental and physical safety: Hold hands when you cross the street. Eat your vegetables. Don’t smoke. (I haven’t actually instated that rule yet, I’m just getting ready for it.)
There also seem to be clear limitations that need to be set: Don’t go past the bend in the road where Mommy can’t see you when you are playing outside. Bedtime is before 9pm. We don’t drink soda for breakfast, but you can have some after lunch.
I try to protect him from scary movies, evil kidnappers, and mean neighborhood kids who swear a lot. These things appear to be quite basic, and easy to manage.
But then there are rules that I get into my head that I enforce, and then wonder if I am really protecting him, or if even there is anything to protect him from.
Today, for example, we went shopping for new bedding for Jacob’s new big boy bed. I looked around for the kid’s bedding section, because c’mon, he’s 3, he should have some cute sheets. But then when we got to that aisle, we were bombarded by commercialism. Jacob suddenly decided he couldn’t possibly go on living if he didn’t have a Spiderman sheet set, complete with Spiderman throw pillow. I battled it out, and refused to buy the sheets for him, instead settling on some cute Safari animal print ones. He was furious.
We left the store with him in tears and me triumphant. I had held my ground against a 3 year old, something good mothers can do. But then I started thinking about what I had battled about–superhero bedding. For some reason, the animal sheets I bought that were only 3 dollars less than the Spiderman ones seemed more virtuous, although I couldn’t tell you why. I probably would have been better off just buying the cheap white ones that were only $10 and could be bleached in the event of the inevitable bodily goo that will get on this child’s sheets. What on earth was I protecting him from? Bad, evil commercialism? He has Batman and Spiderman toys, why do superhero sheets seem like something intolerable? I couldn’t figure it out, so now I’m blogging about it.
I think this is something else about motherhood that I struggle with, where I wonder if the particular battles I fight are worth fighting, and if the negative long term consequences I imagine are really just that-imagined consequences. But then I think about all the things I’m not foreseeing, how I’m screwing my son up without even knowing it, and I get all stressed and confused. I just wish that I could have a little chart that says: Batman and drugs=bad. Safari animals and Buffy the Vampire Slayer= good. Ok, all right, probably Buffy belongs in the other category, but you can’t blame me for trying, right?
WordPress database error: [Can't open file: 'wp_comments.MYI' (errno: 144)]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '97' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date