I never bothered to enter the contest for Mother of the Year. The competition is too stiff. But I have set some low-level hurdles for my children. The first one is this: try not to be the worst-behaved kid in class. My daughter has stumbled already, and we’ve only completed two days of school. In her first hour — yes, hour — of preschool, she was sent to time out. When her teacher asked her to clean up her toys, she pitched a fit and refused to help. All of this just forty-four minutes into the new school year. Later in the day, when I asked my daughter what happened at school, she said, “I don’t wanna talk about it, Mama.” When Daddy admonished her that evening, she again exercised her right to remain silent.
Whatever happened to sugar and spice and everything nice? Since my daughter turned three, I’ve started sprouting grey hairs like nobody’s business. She’s already criticizing my wardrobe — “Mama, you can’t wear that purple scarf every day” — and my dietary habits — “Mama, you can’t eat peanut butter every day”. I can only imagine what she’ll say to me when she’s thirteen.
Of course there is a silver lining. I don’t worry about anyone pushing my daughter around. She’s no doormat. And she certainly has no problem expressing herself. I can cross those worries off the list. There’s a silver lining for you too, dear reader. If you are the parent of a pre-schooler, chances are my kid is worse behaved than yours. My kid’s the one making your kid look like a saint. Worried your kid will be the naughty one? Don’t sweat it. My daughter has already claimed the title. So relax and enjoy the week. And don’t forget to enroll yourself in the contest for Parent of the Year. I think I’ll sit this one out.