The Wisdom of This Mother?

I am a relatively new mother – only for the past 2½ years – and I can confidently say that most of the time, I don’t know what I’m doing. Being 40 years older than my daughter, (who I will call A.), you’d think I could be confident in knowing that she doesn’t know that I don’t know what I’m doing. You’d think I could fool her into thinking that I became the wise woman and mother God has called me to be the second she came into the world.    

Let me give you an example of how I think I’ve fooled her. Getting A. dressed in the morning, for instance. Many mornings, she wakes up a little on the cranky side. The first thing my husband and I try to get her to do is go, as we say, “pee-pee in the potty.” So we carry her to the bathroom, stand her up, and proceed to try to quickly take off her pull-ups before she “pees” any more in her diaper than she already had during the night. (I’m sure this scenario is not unfamiliar to most mothers.) She usually cries and whines telling us she doesn’t want to go to the potty. While trying to convince her that big girls sit on the pot, we sit her down on her pot (I don’t understand her resistance to it – it’s a beautiful white Baby Bjorn potty with a pretty bear on the front that invites toddlers to “come, sit on me”). As she sits on the pot, I give A. her toothbrush and ask her to brush her teeth. The resistance continues. By this time, we have about 20 minutes to finish and get out the door. (You say I need help in the time management department?) To try to move things along, I say to her, “If you don’t brush your teeth like a big girl, I have to leave you here.” So she brushes just a little faster, emphatically stating, “I’m a BIG girl!” but doesn’t really get all her teeth very well. (Can someone tell me if 2½ year olds brush their teeth well?) Finally, I say, “If you don’t brush your teeth really good, we can’t go see Miss Susie, because I’m sure she doesn’t want to smell your breath this morning.” Now I would probably take that personally, but many times, “the Miss Susie threat” seems to do the trick (of course, I do have to put the finishing touches on her brush job). K-Wiz wisdom rules! (What other “tricks” have others tried to get their toddlers to do something reasonable when they don’t want to do it? I’m asking for some help here!)

I think she knows, though, that God didn’t pour all His wisdom down on me after she was released from my womb. When it is her bedtime, I say to her, “It’s night-night time.” She resists and whines, so I throw the “Big Girl” trip on her, at which point she says, “I’m a BIG girl!” I say, “Okay,” and we walk to her room, where she says, “I want to read books.” Because it’s already past her bedtime, I respond, “Okay, get one book only.” She gets one book, then two books. Because I feel a little guilty that I hadn’t read to her the whole day, I say, “Those are the only two books we’re going to read, because you need your sleep.” So we read the books. She gets another book. We read that book. She gets another. We read it. This is where I said to myself, “She figured out that mommy is not as smart about this motherhood thing as she pretends to be.” I’m a sucker for books. And I love that my daughter loves books. I pray that she will love to read, so I try not to dissuade her when she wants to pick up a book. But I think A. inherently knows this, and she uses it against me!

Being 42 years old, you’d think motherhood would come naturally. Not! But to be a mother has been the best thing ever. As a mom, I am seeking to walk in the footsteps of Wisdom. Sometimes I miss a step or two (or five or ten – at a time!). A. may know I have missed some steps along the way, but the great thing is this – the way she looks in my eyes many times, I don’t think she cares.