My kid was rude and I’m sorry.
We have four kids who are as different from each other as pad thai and meatballs. Each one of them has strengths, and each one of them has characteristics that are harder to handle. For instance one of them has a cry that is louder than a Harley Davidson revving it’s engine in my ear canal. Another one’s feet smell like they’ve been decomposing at the bottom of the garbage can for six months.
We guess we still love them anyway.
The last one, she’s a passionate one, and often she is downright rude.
It is really important to us to teach our kids manners. We teach eye contact, hand shakes, sharing, and how to introduce themselves. For our first three children that (mostly) went smoothly. We got regular compliments on how well-behaved they all were, and a tiny bit of “nailing it” pride crept into our parental hearts. My advice at that time would have gone something insightful like: “What you do is, you just tell them: ‘kid, smile at your uncle and shake his hand…and then they do!'”
And then we had our last child, our firecracker, our passionate one…and all bets were off.
We are just hoping to make it home from the playground ALIVE. If I don’t have her in a bear hold while she flails on the way to the car…it is a goooooood day.
So, while manners are on my list of to-dos, we are not there yet, and I apologize. I apologize that she didn’t say thank you, or sorry, or I forgive you. I’m sorry that she didn’t give back the toy until I took it from her, and that she howled like feral wolverine while I bee-lined it home.
Chances are she will tell me a few hours later that she’s sorry about the way she acted, but you will never know that…
The thing is…she is wild and untamed, but she is also my heart walking around on the outside of my body.
She is my everything in a precious little package of passion.
Even though my face is hot and embarrassed when I make an ungraceful exit from the playground…I still wouldn’t trade any job in the entire world, for the job of being her mom.
I wouldn’t trade her in anymore than I’d trade in my son with the feet that smell like rotten cheese.
I see her when she’s rude, but I also see her in the moments when she hugs her sister and tells her she loves her. I see the way she grabs my face and gives me a kiss and says, “Mamma, you’re my favorite.”
It is so important to me that she learns kindness, but I hope she forever keeps her fire.
This teaching manners thing is going to take a while this time, and I’m okay with that.
In the meantime…thank you for understanding.
If you too have a wild child that is a little rude, I SEE YOU.
I’ve got your back, we are going to get through this together.
Picture by Marianne Wiest .