Once upon a time I was a child. I know, unthinkable isn’t it, but it’s true. A very, very (should I add another one? okay), very long time ago I was young and innocent and apparently exceedingly naive. Now for all of you thinking this is going to be me bearing my soul and confessing all the terrible things I did as a teenager, I’m sorry, but as shameful as it is to admit there would be nothing to confess, I was an angel. Don’t laugh, I mean it quite literally, I was a nerd. I was too busy studying to get into any real trouble (come on they don’t hand out PhD’s in chemistry to just anyone – you have to be able to prove at least 10 years of genuine geekdom to qualify!)
So what the hell is this post about then? I hear you ask. Well it is about the things that I have learnt since becoming a parent myself. Below I am going to list some of the things I need to apologise to my parents for and how my delightful daughter has opened my eyes as to my (many) flaws.
My daughter is what we adults like to affectionately call a ‘fussy-eater’. And I know she is not alone, most kids fit into this category. She often ends up having a glass of milk or piece of bread for dinner just for the sake of putting something in her stomach. One of my particular favourites is when she comes up with the ‘I don’t like it’ call, before she has even put a spoonful of it in her mouth (or even better sometimes just when she hears what it is called). Arghhhhh…
Don’t get me wrong I love my daughter to death but seriously – ‘eat your dinner’. Most nights at the dinner table you will find my daughter and I having an arguement over something – the fact that she now no longer likes peas even though she always liked them before – the fact that she specifically asked for carrots but now decides that she doesn’t want them.
Now – here is the confession – I am WAY more fussy than she is. Still to this day I am an exceedingly fussy eater and that is nothing compared to what I was like a child. I barely eat any fruits or vegetables (don’t lecture me I know that I should and I really do try but I hate most of them… oh god is that a pea…ahhh… don’t bring it near me…)
My dad just sits back and laughs whenever he sees me arguing with my daughter over food (oh… what’s that called again… oh yeah – Karma!).
So Mum, Dad – I’m Sorry!
I know that seems like a fairly ridiculous thing to say sorry for, but have you ever had a child that doesn’t listen to what you are saying and instead makes you repeat yourself twenty times by saying ‘what’ over and over and over. Well I have one, guess what, it’s my daughter. It didn’t really hit me just how much she says it until yesterday when I was at my mum’s house. Suddenly Mum turns around and says ‘Stop Saying What!’ Instantly I flashed back 28 years and heard my mum saying the exact same words to me when I was 4 (and she was still saying it to me when I was 15!) Daughter – open your ears and listen I am sick of repeating myself.
‘Mum’ ‘Mum’ ‘Mum’ ‘Mum’ ‘MUM!’ ‘MUM!”
Annoying much? The query gradually gets louder and still I am not listening. My husband turns to me and says ‘Would you answer her?’ Oh… I honestly hadn’t even noticed she was speaking to me – my brain switched off after the first 500 ‘Mums’ that morning.
I still remember (vividly) the three thousand times Mum told us that she had changed her name, ‘Mum’ just wasn’t working for her anymore.
So Mum, Dad I am sorry!
3. I am sorry for setting a bad example for my sisters
I am the eldest of three girls. The big sister. My daughter, while she only has one brother, still fills the big sister role. The eldest, the one that is supposed to know better and set the good example. Hang on did I just say that? Does my daughter get in trouble all the time because she should know better? Yes. Does she get in trouble when my son tries to do sommersaults off the couch because he watched her doing it? Yes.
Oh My God! I am such a hypocrite. I can vividly remember getting so angry at my parents as they yelled at me for things that clearly weren’t my fault.
So Mum, Dad I’m sorry!
4. I am sorry for being obnoxious
Mum, Dad – I’m Sorry!
As a side note, before you ask, yes, my daughter is a real chip off the old block. She is a miniture version of me, she thinks she knows everything and she never shuts up! Just today she informed me that she knows more than I do!
Has becoming a parent opened your eyes to your own behaviour? Is there anything you should apologise to your parents for? Does it scare you sometimes how much your children are – just like you? Would love for you to leave me a comment.
(The Exasperated Novelist)