I want to start by telling you that I love you more than anything. Because I love you and I trust that you love me too, I feel that I can come clean about something.
I do not possess some of the basic knowledge that may be required to be an adequate parent. I know this is hard to believe but it’s true. I thought I was a responsible expectant parent. I did my homework. I read (the often problematic) Dr. Sears’ The Baby Book, Raising Adopted Children, The Happiest Baby On The Block and its sequel, you guessed it, The Happiest Toddler on The Block. I read The No-Cry Sleep Solution, The Anxious Child and my favourite, The Explosive Child. And when I realized that I actually had some parenting instincts and that there is a parenting book out there to support every single parent’s instincts and beliefs, I gave away the parenting books.
What I didn’t know, is that what I should have been reading were books about the following:
1. Characteristics of farm birds and water birds. I can’t tell them apart. I really don’t know the difference between a turkey, or a hen or a chicken. I think there may be a whole male/female thing with farm birds and their names, but I don’t know that either. And water birds? I’m stumped. “Look at the ducks, the geese, the sea gulls!” Are there more? I don’t know. If you’ve asked me about farm birds or water birds and I’ve given you some solid sounding answer, I was guessing. I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m sorry.
2. Identifying common water creatures. Please stop asking me about whales, dolphins, manatees, seals and whatever else lives in the water. I cannot tell them apart. But, I want you to know stuff and I want you to think I am awesome and the holder of at least some knowledge, so I will lie and throw out any water creature name I can think of in response to your questions. Please don’t make me lie to you because then I feel guilty. Please read books featuring these confusing water creatures with another caring adult and put me out of my misery.
3. Dinosaurs. Okay, this one gets to me. Dinosaurs are not even here anymore, and I’m supposed to take up valuable space in my brain remembering their unreasonably long names and what they like to eat? I pretty much had to stop teaching kindergarten because my students were jealous of every other kindergarten class that got to do a unit on dinosaurs. Whatever! I’m sorry. Forgive me. This is not happening, my sweets.
4. Names and uses of trucks. Seriously? I thought I was in the clear with this one until wee Mr. Lee came along and developed a deep love for any “Mighty Machine”. I can’t do it. I have no idea if it’s a backhoe or a digger or an excavator. I don’t know and I don’t care. But I care about you so I’m sorry about my deficits in knowledge. Forgive me.
5. Building things – train tracks, Lego anything, forts. You have to understand, I was the baby of the family. I had a very attentive big sister who happily built forts and anything else I wanted. She loves you too. Auntie Ke lives just a few blocks away. Anyway, I didn’t obtain these skills as a child and when you ask me to build these things for you, I feel insecure and less than because I know there are parents everywhere (even that Mama of yours) who can build anything. I can’t. But because I love you, and I actually think building is cool, I’ve started doing some research. Just today I found a website where this over-achieving, show-offy person explained how to build several train track configurations using the Ikea wooden train track starter kit. According to him there are 32 possible configurations. He used math kids! See, apparently good parents use math skills learned in elementary school! Lesson? Pay attention in school, you’ll be a better parent.
There are other things I can’t do but I will leave it at this as I don’t want to blow your minds and shatter your beliefs about your mommy. I do love you with all my heart but I can’t take time to learn about all the things that you care about. I will however, teach you to do a Google search so you can find out all this stuff yourself. And after you’ve taught yourself about farm animals and water creatures and building, you can teach me because teaching really is the best way to retain information.
Your underperforming Mommy