My stomach hurts. Like I have the stomach flu and could toss my cookies. And it feels like I have a boulder lodged in my throat. And my nose stings. Like sinus pain from the nagging allergies of May.
Only I’m not sick and it’s not my allergies causing the nasal pain. I have a bad case of guilt. Huge mommy guilt.
How do you yell at that little face? Who said she is giving herself a “special foot sand scrub at the Spa of the Yard.” Who would shout and demand she “TELL the truth NOW”?
I would. 🙁 And now I feel sick.
Because not only did I shout when she told me she didn’t do what I boldly and confidently declared she did, but she didn’t even get upset. I was like one of those bad prosecutors on an episode of Matlock (which, by the way, I loved as a kid. Did any children love Matlock? I should blame that show for today’s behavior).
She sat, as if on trial, watching and listening then simply said in the sweetest voice, “Okay mama, maybe I did it before? I’m sorry.” And one minute later I discovered she was 100% not guilty of the household crime.
Gulp. I’m the guilty party.
I’m crying. This might be the worse I’ve ever felt as a mom. I know people say parents make mistakes, we learn from them, we move on, we don’t beat ourselves up, we’re doing the best we can. But I feel like a pile of doo. Sure I feel bad that she wasn’t the guilty party. But I feel worse that I handled myself in that ugly, unloving way. Guilty or not, that’s not how I want to handle any situations in my life especially when it comes to my little girl. I was stressed about something unrelated and took it out on an innocent 3-year old bystander. Who came from my womb.
I imagine her heart aching from the accusations and the loud witch-mama in her face. I imagine her writing an essay about this when she’s in 11th grade titled “Why I’m Afraid to Tell the Truth and Other Musings on Being Raised by a Furrowed-Brow-Guilty-Until-Proven-Innocent Mommy Dearest.”
I swallowed hard, pushed back the tears threatening to fall, and hugged her while apologizing. She smiled as she ate her dinner and said, “I know, mama. It’s okay. I’m not mad. I knew you would love me still.” And she patted my back and brushed the hair away from my face as if she was the adult and I the 3-year-old.
Waaaaaaaah. Why couldn’t she kick me, tell me to get away from her, and flee from my evil face instead? I’d feel better.
I’m sure I’m learning many lessons from this. Right now, lessons are being taught to this rookie mom. But I’m too busy dealing with my guilt (which surely has a major role in the lessons) to process those tonight. I’ll take the quiz tomorrow, thank you.