Wednesday, March 24, 2010

bad mommy

I love my children more than anything or anyone else in the world - I hope that goes without saying for 99.9% of moms.

So this morning, running late to get the kiddos out the door and to preschool in time for LUNCH (because I was up so late the night before dinking around on the computer) I insisted that my darling 3-year-old Elaine brush her teeth all by herself.

She can do it!
She's done it before
... lots of times.

I am finishing getting myself decent enough to take them to preschool when I hear "AAAAAAAHHHH!" and the crashing sound of ceramic coffee mug vs. tile floor.

I don't know what maneuver caused it... my coffee was on the bathroom counter but not by Elaine's toothbrush... (I digress)

I ran in to see what was the matter and saw coffee everywhere and my daughter stood there screaming in shock.

Here were my thoughts and the order in which they occurred in my mind:
1. damn, my coffee is spilled
2. shit, did my favorite mug break??? [it didn't - by the way... but I did notice a hairline crack in the tile tonight]
3. good thing I made enough coffee for another cup
4. "Oh honey, are you burned?"

My poor daughter was drenched in coffee from hair to shoes, and half of her pretty sundress was stuck "wet t-shirt style" to her body - light brown instead of white with flowers.

I peeled the clothes off of her, I hugged her, I removed her soaked Princess Tiana panties. I looked at her skin, which was barely pinker where the coffee soaked her than everywhere else. I wiped off her shoes and wiped her little naked body clean with a warm wash cloth.

Elaine stood there and whimpered. The hug was enough... she was obviously more shocked than burned. She was very happy when I went and pulled out a new sundress I had been planning to give her next month for her birthday. She seemed to not even remember the spilled coffee by the time she was dressed again in dry (pretty and new) clothing.

In my own defense (to my self-attack) I knew in the back of my mind that the coffee was maybe 10 minutes old. It wasn't scalding hot, and that I had added some cold half and half...

But still!

I thought about the fact that my daughter's hurt was the last thing to occur to me in the rapid-fire thoughts that went off in my mind, and I felt really bad and really guilty.

If I were a good mommy, I wouldn't have even looked at the spill before making sure Lainey was safe and uninjured.

And of course, I also thought...
"If Mike were here...
he would have thought first of her before all else.
he was a great dad... had his priorities straight."

Mike's voice was in my head, setting me straight, reminding me that Elaine (not the stupid mug or spilled coffee) matters most.

If you are a widowed mom, do you find yourself comparing your parenting now to your late husband's parenting... or what you imagine it would be now?

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