All moms have them, and I certainly hope we all talk about them. I’m not talking about when your kid won’t leave Target (Or Aldi in my case 😉) without the next giant-made-in-China-toxic-do-NOT-put that-in-your-mouth-truck. Not that those aren’t hard. Especially when you’re tired. And haven’t had enough coffee. And it’s been a long week. Ok, they’re hard…but really what I’m getting at here are those moments where you have no clue what to do. And you’re calling on that mothering instinct that just isn’t firing. And in a split second you’re seeing all the sins of your parents + your 19 year old kid on a therapist’s couch rehashing that one moment where it all went wrong.
Anyone reading this with children older than Sullivan, no doubt you’re laughing at me. You think it’s hard now, sister, wait for the teens. But either way, perception is reality. It’s real here. The other night, Sullivan hauled off and slapped me in the face. We were having, what I thought, was one of our sweet bedtime moments. He did it a second time. It was hard and it hurt. I have no idea what came over him. I really don’t think he was being malicious, I think he was just being crazy and 2. Whatever it was and whatever mood I was in, it made me cry. I hadn’t the slightest idea how to respond. Do I spank him (we haven’t done that yet), do I scold? Minimize? Get Owen to reprimand on my behalf? Put him in time out? In that brief moment I felt like I was the most inept parent ever and it dawned on me that there will be lots of these moments. I’m sure many I may not remember. In this one, my sweet Sullivan solved it for me. After slapping me silly he said, “Mommy crying?”, and put his little head on my shoulder and hugged me. It was over, and apparently I had done something right, because my little boy knew how to love me.