I just received what may well be one of the best compliments of my life. That’s not hyperbole (I hate hyperbole). It’s legit. I’m still a little floored.
I was getting the kids ready for bath time. For us, this happens every couple of days (more often and I would go crazy, less often and the kids would look and smell… bad). I had brought Jack in for his shower. He’s still on used to it yet so he can be challenging. I think he’s part British… he obviously prefers a nice bath. I gave him the shower head to hold for just a second and he let me know just how unhappy he was by giving it to me full throttle and giggling wildly.
Next up was Ev. She’s usually very compliant and this time was no different. I combed the “sharks” out of her hair (a term Mariah gave her) and she soaped herself up. We chatted about the shapes on the walls and why it wasn’t funny to spray mommy even though Jack already had. The conversation was every day stuff.
When we got out of the shower there was a lady at the row of sinks. She was a little bit older but not old. She hesitated before she spoke but seemed to finally make a decision and said, “Are you a kindergarten teacher? You must be a kindergarten teacher.”
So…. would any of my girlfriends like to speak up at this point?! I am, probably, the farthest thing you’ve ever met from a kindergarten teacher. I like to swear when I’m making a worthy point and tell dirty jokes and make my mom blush. I can definitely be the bad influence when the time is right (although I also know how to toe the line when it’s important). Kids (all kids – mine and all the others) challenge me and I don’t naturally come by an abundance of patience. I think we all know that I felt like I needed this year to really practice parenting to improve myself. I want to be a great mom – a mom like my mom. She has patience and she cooks (always with the kids if we’re around) and everyone goes to her house for Christmas because she’s the matron of the family. For someone to think I might be around kids professionally all day every day… that’s a first.
Me, “Ha! No. I’m not a teacher.” The lady, “Well, I’d like to tell you that was the best parenting I’ve ever heard. I’ve been in pre-school and kindergarten for more than 25 years and wow! Just wow! My daughters are really good parents but the way you interact with her is brilliant.” Me, “Wow. Thank you. I’m not sure what to say – you can’t know how much that means to me. Thank you.” She went on to ask once more if I was a teacher of any sort and to tell me I missed my calling (for the record, I didn’t miss my calling… I know what my calling is).
I’m not sharing this to be braggy. I was humbled and surprised and delighted by her compliment. I’m also a little relieved. I think it’s working – this year. I think I’m learning. I think I’m slowly collecting more patience even if I have to grab it just one claw mark at a time. You’ll also note that I still do a lot of things wrong – why is it that kids aren’t suppose to climb up the down part of the slide again?!
This is pre-shower. Everyone’s jammies, diapers, flip flops, towels and shampoos/soaps are laid out.
Code green – ready to proceed with Operation Poseidon.