If any mom tries to tell you she’s perfect, she’s lying. Because we’re not. We make mistakes with our kids – often. You can go to the bookstore and find dozens and dozens of books on parenting. But the reality is, parenting doesn’t come with a handbook. Each kid is unique, with unique needs, unique ideas, and unique temperaments.
I find that we make the most mistakes when we don’t follow our gut instincts. (On a side note, I can say the same thing about marketing, but I won’t bore you with my opinions about work…). Sometimes they are more gut wrenching…like the days you suspect that your child may be getting sick, but you bring them to school/daycare because they aren’t showing any symptoms, and wind up picking them up four hours later with a 103 degree fever. Yeah, been there, done that. Unfortunately, my kids’ early sick signs very closely resemble their overtired signs.
And other days, the mistakes are less critical, but when they cause your kids pain, it still feels tragic. Last week my son’s lunchbox broke. The zipper had dug up the inside of the bag a bit, and it was impossible to maneuver. I had no patience for it, so I trucked to Target and found him a great new Spiderman lunch bag. Superheros are big in his world, and this bag was certain to make mom a superhero in his eyes. Fantastic. I lingered for a second, wondering if I should get one for Morgan. She never paid much attention to his lunchbox in the past. Reasoning that his was a necessity (his daycare room doesn’t have a fridge, which I still find odd), and her daycare room had one for her sippies and cold food, I figured that it would be frivolous to buy her one.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. We started using the bag yesterday, and I found her coveting it – wanting to carry it to the car, wanting me to leave it with her in her room, and most likely, just wanting to be big like her brother. I felt awful. She was heartbroken both mornings, just wanting a bag of her own.
Off to Target I went today, locating her the exact same lunchbox with a pretty Dora theme. Dora reigns supreme in Morgan’s book, right next to Elmo. I picked her up from school this afternoon, and gave her the bag. I watched as she realized what it was, a big grin spreading from ear to ear.
It’s the little things that make a big difference in a toddler’s life. And it’s the little mistakes that tug at a mama’s heart strings. Follow your intuition. When it comes to your kids, it’s always spot on.