Greta: "Mama, will you put this bow in my side ponytail?"
Me: "Sure! Which way do you want it to go?"
Greta: "I want it like this." (shows me, sort of, which direction it should face.)
Me: "Okay..." (Puts in bow) "Now, you go look in the bathroom mirror and see if I did it right."
Greta: (Coming back from the bathroom) "No..... I want it looking THIS way." (shows me the same thing she did the first time.)
Me: "Well, I think I can just turn it, like this... there, now go see if that's right."
Greta: (Horror Movie-Type screams from the bathroom) "NOOOOO!!!!! YOU DIDN'T DO IT RIGHT!!!!!! YOU HATE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "
She came back in, with just a bump left in her hair after she pulled out the rubberband and hairbow and threw them someplace in the bathroom. (I haven't found them yet.) She glared at me. She pouted for a second. Then she got back to the game she'd been playing before she found the bow.
So, I thought this was funny, I called Martin to tell him about it, we had a laugh, and then this evening when I was on Facebook, I put it up as my status. But then I read though it, and I thought, "that looks bad. someone will judge me." So I got on the computer and deleted it. And then I thought I'd write a blog post about Judgers.
I don't like Judgers, I don't like being judged, and I don't like it when I started judging others. Judging is an ugly, mean, pointless thing to do, yet we all do it. I do it! In fact, that's probably why I thought someone would judge me for that status update; because I could see myself falling into the trap. "Her four-year-old says "you hate me"? What kind of horrible things do they say in that house?!" The fact is, I have NO IDEA where Greta gets half the things she says and does. It's not like I go around telling her I hate her. It's not as if I've ever even said those words to her EVER IN HER LIFE. Likewise, I have never hit her, kicked her, bitten her, pulled her hair, scratched her, sat on her stomach and started jumping up and down, or physically harmed her in ANY WAY. She does all those things to me, though. Almost every day, and multiple times. We aren't a spanking family and our "time outs" involve sending them off to a quiet spot by themselves with a book or magazine to look at until they have calmed down. But if you met Greta, you would not think we were a gentle family AT. ALL.
I felt a little sad that I deleted the story from Facebook. It makes me sad that I read so many articles that are basically about how moms should stop being so hard on themselves, stop feeling judged by other moms, and stop doing judging ourselves. There are SO MANY blog posts and articles out there that are encouraging to mothers, saying "You are doing your best, and your best is great!" because we all feel so guilty and less-than and (am I overusing this word yet?) JUDGED. It's so sad. It seems like we all want to be the best, but at the same time, we all feel like we're failing miserably.
For the most part, all moms out there are trying their darndest to raise their kids the way they think is best for their individual kids and their family. Who can judge that?
Big news around here this past week: Anja lost her first tooth! And speaking of self-loathing, when she first showed me it was loose, I thought for sure that it was my fault, it was rotting out, because I was such a horrible mother and fed her too many sweets. I was convinced. But then the day after it fell out I took a look in her mouth and her permanent tooth is like halfway grown in already. So I guess the loss was natural. Thank goodness!
This past weekend was the 41st annual Indiana Fiddler's Gathering. We trekked out there on Saturday and it was glorious. It rained the whole time, but it was a warm, cozy rain and the girls had their faces painted and got to eat elephant ears and lemon shakeups and listen to good music and dance in the rain. Sounds like a good day to me! Sunday the festival was called off early due to the heavy rain in the morning. We got there and they were taking down the stage. Such a bummer. Anja cried. Sad face.
Right now we're in a chilly spell. We are having SUCH a different summer than what we saw last summer--last summer it was a Big Event when it rained, and this summer I feel like it's all we see!
Oh! Greta got her ears pierced!! Last Tuesday night as we were cuddling up to go to bed, she said she wanted to get her ears pierced TOMORROW. I warned her that it hurt but that if she still wanted to in the morning, we'd do it after swimming. She woke up all excited to get her ears pierced that day so right after swimming lessons (they lasted two weeks, every morning from 9:30-10) we went to the mall with the cousins and Aunt Sarah, and Greta got her ears pierced with little blue daisy earrings. They are really cute and really suit her. And she was so brave! Not one tear! That girl has some Determination along with all that Crazy.
My uncle generously gave us a kiddie pool, a kids popup tent, three little yard chairs, and a kids picnic table, and then the next day my parents gave us a climby thing with a slide, so our yard has gone from a tangle of weeds and tomato plants to a kids paradise overnight. We also have sidewalks that go all the way up the side of the house and loop around in the backyard, so they've been riding their bikes a lot back there too. Also, since they're big enough not to wander off, I can let them play outside the kitchen door. We've fixed up our side yard to have mulch and herbs/garden shelves along the fence, a birdfeeder, and their own gardening things. it's a nice little place for them. we might put a little patio by the bird feeder and put the little picnic table there so they can eat their lunch outside. It's nice to finally be able to let them outside to play on their own sometimes! Having older kids is so far way more fun than I thought it would be.
And they all just keep growing....