Mar 22, 2006

Inquire Within

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.


Vulgar Wizard said...

Sit down with her, just you and her, and tell her EXACTLY what you said in paragraph 5.

Caffeinated Mommy said...

You know why she's so stressed out? Teachers are making WAY too big a deal out of Leap these days. It IS a big deal, but don't work the kids up so much about it. When I had to take the Leap, they told us it was important, but they didn't go on and on about it like they do now. As a result? I knew I really needed to do well, but I didn't stress out b/c the teachers didn't seem to stress out. I'm sure your daughter is very intelligent, and she's one of the few kids out there who don't need to worry so much about it because they'll do JUST FINE.


Irrelephant -- I for one knows that your 11 year old is just fine. She is a wonderful young lady that does & will continue to do you proud. From day 10 or somewhere soon after I knew that "Nanas little girl" was going to grow up to be president of some company or of the U.S. Dad you are doing a good job with her, here smoke a cigar!


renegade said...

just to start rumors, me? can you say bloody minded.