When our son started kinder, I kind of held my breath for the first week, expecting at any stage to be called for an early pick-up. I mean, I loved him dearly but surely he would throw one of his insane tantrums and be completely inconsolable.
This was a child whom had once screamed for two-days straight while touring the majestic Scottish Highlands. So much so, that I'm fairly sure we're banned from the entire country.
A child who would wake from a nap screaming like Freddy Kruger had tried to get him.
And God forbid he lose a sock...
But for all my worry, it turned out that at kinder, he was an absolute angel. The teachers gushed about him, especially his impressive ability to share and sit quietly.
What the hell...?
Over the years, I've learned that this is a pattern - he can be a handful most of the time at home or out with me but when I'm not around?
Turns out, he isn't a bad kid, just bad for me.
Now, I'm perfectly aware that I'm not alone here. In fact, I'm pretty certain that every mother reading this right now can relate. Do I take comfort in that fact?
But I do take comfort in something I read from blogger, Kate Surfs. According to her, we "are a garbage disposal of unpleasant feelings and emotions...”.
Ok, so that doesn't sound great, but then she puts a really nice spin on by saying that mums create “a space safe enough for (our) child to have permission to be natural.” I assume that by “natural,” she means complete nutbags but still, that’s nice, right?
A little research later and I discovered that child psychologist, Dr. Heather Wittenberg, agrees.
“Children save their best—and worst—for us, as parents. They’re their ‘true selves’ with us. It takes energy to ‘be good’ and follow the rules—especially for young children—so when they get home, they let it all hang out. The good news is that their deepest love, affection, admiration, and goofiness are reserved for us, too.”
So the next time your sweet angel throws down in the middle of the store, or whines their way through whole days and weeks, keep your chin up.
It's because they love you...