Tuesday, March 9
They're watching you.
Your children that is.
They're watching everything you do and the little neurons in their vast brains are making connections about right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, good responses vs. bad responses, the list goes on and on.
I'm amazed, almost daily, at the things my 2 1/2 year old daughter is noticing that I didn't think she was paying any attention to.
"Mommy, what are you putting on your face?"
"Just lotion, honey."
"Mommy, what are you putting on your eyes?"
"Hmm...makeup...mommies look tired sometimes so they need to put a little makeup on."
"Mommy, do you have tights on?"
"Mommy, are you wearing boots?"
"Mommy, are you going running, you have your sneakers on."
"Mommy, what smells good. Are you cooking?"
"Mommy, what smells bad. Are you cooking?"
"Mommy, did you just throw something on the floor? What was it? Are you mad?"
And then, the things she mimics...like to Ella when she gets fussy:
"Now, Ella, shh, shh, shh. You need to calm down and take a deep breath."
"Ella, Ella, Ella, you CAN NOT open the t.v. cabinet."
"Ella, are you causing trouble again?"
And to Scott and I when we even slightly raise our voices in tense conversation to each other:
"MOMMY. DADDY. It's O.K.! It's O.K!"
You get the point. I'm sure you have lots of examples from your own households of funny, and sometimes alarming, moments of realizing just how much your children are learning from you, even when you don't think you're teaching them.
That, my friends, is why I returned to Wegmans (a local grocery store) last week to apologize to Marsha, the child care worker to whom I lied too, over a month ago, about Ava's age to so that I could put her in childcare on a cold, snowy, tired day at the end of January when I was feeling way to overwhelmed to grocery shop with two children.
Basically this is what happened. I thought that W-Kids (the childcare center at Wegmans) took kids over 2 who were potty trained. When we got there we realize they have to be 3 and potty trained. Marsha looks at me and says:
"She's 3, right?"
"Umm, well, almost." (I'm not really lying if I say almost, right?)
"She'll...uh, be 3 in a few weeks." (Well, maybe more than a couple...but, you know...)
I fill out the form and hand it back to her:
Birthday: 2/4/07 (it's really 6/4/07)
Yes, over six weeks ago, and I was still thinking about it. Darn, that little voice in my head.
Sooo...last week Tuesday, the day my babysitter usually comes over to watch the girls in the morning, I drove to Wegmans not once, but twice. I went at 9 a.m. to find out that W-Kids was not actually open until 11...and so I went back after 11, on my way home, because I was determined to do this, to tell this lady the truth.
I had toyed with the idea of stopping another time, when Marsha, the lady I lied to was not working. I thought maybe I could just go at night and tell the sixteen year old girl to rip up the form with Ava's name and fake birthday on it and be done with it...she wouldn't care and I wouldn't have to embarrass myself by confessing to Marsha...but noooo, that's not what the little voice said. It said, "Lisa, you have to apologize to Marsha because she is the one you lied to."
So...I walk in, heart pounding, and thinking, "Lisa, this is ridiculous. Does it really matter?"
But I find myself saying, yes, it does matter because you are a parent who is teaching your child values and morals and it is not enough to just teach them good values, you yourself must live by those very values.
So I walked in, heart pounding, and go up to the door,
"Hi there, are you Marsha?" (I knew that it was)
"Yes?" she says looking at my quizzically.
"Hi. My daughter was in here a little over a month ago and I wanted to let you know that she wasn't actually 3, but I said that she was because I was overwhelmed by the idea of shopping with her and my 1 year old."
"Oh. Well...thanks for letting me know. I probably wouldn't have known the difference."
"Well, I'm a mom now and I wanted to be honest because I want my kids to be honest."
"O.k." she says looking at me like I have 3 heads, "Thank you."
"Sure." I say a little red in the face and walk away.
Was I embbarrased? Yes.
Did I feel like an idiot? Yes.
Was Marsha looking at me like I was pretty strange? Yes.
What it the right thing to do anyways? Yes, yes, yes.
So, why, you ask, did I do this even if Ava was not actually watching me this time? It's about integrity. It's about doing the right thing when she is watching and when she is not because I want her to do the right things when I am watching and when I am not.
Because I'm writing this as part of the 30 Minute Mommy Blog challenge hosted by Jamie over at Steady Mom I have to wrap things up...I hope you've been encouraged, or at least have gotten a chuckle!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!