Help Wanted: Parent. No experience necessary, hours are 24/7, no holidays. Pay is nil. Must be willing to sacrifice entire life to job.
I wonder sometimes if I'm going to survive this job. I also wonder if I really have a choice. My daughter is in the middle of LEAP testing at her school this week. This morning she wakes up puking like she's been on a 72 hour drunk. She tells us she's been puking all night, but never bothered to wake us up.
Actually she said she puked 11 times throughout the night, and tried to wake us up 5 times, but I think I know better than that. I don't sleep heavily, and I think a sick child would have made me sit bolt upright in bed. It has before.
So here I am, a very muddled, confused parent of an 11 year old girl who is a frightening mix of me and...someone. Not her mother, who is long gone, and nobody in my family that I can tell. When she was growing up I always tried to treat her like a little person instead of a child, and I think that paid off. I have always tried to instill in her that honesty is the only way to go, and I don't think that has particularly stuck. I have tried to help her be independent and self-reliant, and I think I've created a monster. This is twice now that she's woken up sick in a year and instead of waking us up to help her or to offer any sort of assistance she simply goes and gets a trash can and deals with it.
Admirable in a child of 11 years. Also kind of frightening. I keep asking myself 'What if she was REALLY sick, and thought she could just take care of herself when in fact she really NEEDED some help?' And what happens when she's almost an adult and finds herself in a stick situitation and needs help and decides that she's going to rely on herself when she's hopelessly outdone and doesn't realise it?
It's that sort of thing that freaks me out about parenting. I rarely know if I'm doing well. I seem to always know when I'm doing poorly. And the end result won't be known for years and years yet.
When she was born, I had two children--her and an ulcer by the same name.