Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Bad Mommy!

Man, do I ever feel like a mean 'ol mom today! So, here's the story; right around the beginning of summer vacation Emmy and I found character outfit (SpongeBob Squarepants) at WalMart. It consisted of a shirt with a colorful SpongeBob print on the front and a skort, (skirt w/ shorts built in) both in bright yellow. She loved it, begged me to buy it, and after much consideration and assurances from her that she did indeed want it and would wear it, I consented, saying that it would be considered one of her new back to school outfits, and would be put away until school starts. Remember, money is tight, and I have to be very frugal when it comes to spending on non-necessities. So, fast forward to last week and the start of the new school year, and out I pull the SpongeBob outfit. All of a sudden, she's all wishy washy about it; what if it's too small, I'm not sure I like it anymore, I don't know if I want to wear it, etc. But what it all boils down to, IMO, is that she doesn't want to be embarrassed or made fun of for standing out in this slightly outlandish outfit. Now, I never particularly cared for the outfit, I thought the color was atrocious, but I relented because I want her to know that it's okay to have her own style, plus she reeeeeealy begged me for it and I have a hard time saying no a lot of the time. So, I tell her it 's not cool to talk me into buying something and then decided after the fact that you don't really like it anymore. I also reminded her of how much I questioned her and her assurances of really wanting it before I actually purchased it. Yet she remained steadfast in her reluctance to wear said outfit and has been trying everything to convince me of it's flaws. But I, being the horribly mean, evil mom that I am, insisted that she would indeed wear this outfit, regardless of her objections, because I felt the need to prove a point about making choices and living with the consequences. Plus, I spent money on it damnit, and I cannot allow her to be so cavalier about how the little money we have is spent. I realize that she's an only child and we tend to spoil her. We've given her cause for a certain amount of expectation when it comes to things like birthday parties and Christmas presents. And I can't blame her for having no real sense of the impact that unnecessary spending causes, especially at this young age. But I do believe that the lesson to be learned here was justified and needed to be taught. My problem now is that I'm feeling like such a creep for making my baby wear something that she feels so self-conscious in! Bad mommy, bad mommy! I'm feeling extremely guilty and worried that she is, indeed, getting made fun of, even though I'm sure she's not. I just would hate for her to have a bad experience from this and resent me and hold it against me for the rest of her life. I know, I know, I'm being irrational, but my fear of screwing this poor child up is so great, that I can't help but feel a little irrational at times. Oh god, I'm just cringing at the thought of some evil little snot making fun of her, causing her to burst into tears in front of the whole school, all while silently cursing her cruel, sadistic mother for ruining her life! Oh man, I need to get a life! Okay, time to let this go, and chalk it up to one of those formative life experiences that we all must go through as a rite of passage into adulthood. But why does it have to be so hard? Sigh...

4 Comments:

Blogger Luflic said...

Hey my daughters always tell me how mean I was. I tell them that will give them something to tell their therapist. Hee hee. You teaching Em life lessons is important. As parents we do the best we can at the time with the knowledge we have. Yeah sometimes we screw up. But with love.

I agree with Jilly I want an autographed copy of your book I will be at the table at your book signing! Go girl!

Grandma is a hoot I pray at 87 I am still using my sense of humor!

2:23 PM  
Blogger Dawnyal said...

It sounds like you had covered all your bases before said purchase and I would've done the exact same thing as you and made her wear the outfit. I would also have then been feeling the exact same amount of guilt. I think you did the right thing no matter how much it may hurt you.

It reminds me of all those times I used to get paddled and my mom telling me this hurt her way more than it hurt me. Never made much sense to me until I had kids. :)

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Jilly said...

I agree that these little life lessons are important and will remain with Emmy more than one isolated incident might ~ who knows though...let's fast forward 20 years and you're over visiting Em at her own home and you just can't help but notice that her place is dingy and dirty. You draw her attention to streaks of dirt on the kitchen counter and she wails "I know mum, but I just CAN'T clean, for some inexplicable reason I have this terrible aversion to sponges!!"

Seriously though, I think we all spend too much time worrying about how every little thing we say or do will affect our children in the future. You're a loving, caring mother who's following her instincts and doing just fine. :)

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, you did the right thing, but in the future, just for the money's sake, maybe you should keep the receipt?

11:05 AM  

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