When you have an abnormal kid, normal kids always seem weird, with their normalness. Not that any kid is normal, per se. Most kids are weird. All of mine are, anyway. To quote a saying I read once, they don’t get it from nobody strange. Apple. Tree. Those of you who are worrying about me saying normalness instead of normality and then using a double negative in the same paragraph, chill. I do what I want.
But when you’ve had a sick kid, you’re always kinda looking squinty-eyed at the normal kid, being normal, just to make sure that they are just pretending to be a crazy and not, in fact, having a seizure. So anytime I get a phone call about a “normal” kid, I’m half waiting for the Bad News. Because, clearly, I am a woman of great faith. Today I got a call about my only daughter, and the Bad News was that she was very, very sad and wanted me. That’s the kinda Bad News I like. Zero problem.
The thing with parenting is, I have no idea. I. Have. No. Idea. So every day, whenever it is Parenting Time, which is always, I try very hard to do the easiest thing that is also not terrible parenting. Terrible parenting is so variable, though, really, because I should get a medal for never punching a kid, but instead I am giving myself a Terrible Parent rating for a thousand other things that a methhead would consider overachieving. Do you see what I’m saying? The chart is bonkers.
So when my 6 year said she was too sad to stay at school, I was torn between telling her to quit being a nancy with all the starving children in the world and wars and climate crises and such, and the other part of me was totally back at 6 years old, spending the night at a friends house and waking up at midnight shattered and brokenhearted and crying until my dad picked me up with crazy hair and a scrunchy annoyed face. That side won, obviously. You should have seen me that time (with every kid) that I tried cry-it-out for like 2 minutes. Super Nanny would have slapped my face, or taken all of my stars off my chart or something. Taken away my white rocks, put my favorite toy in jail. Something.
Maybe I will read this blog someday when all of my children are career criminals or dentists or something and I will say, this is where I went wrong, I should have made them tougher. For now, though, I am mostly trying to communicate that I don’t want them to be sad because I am here and I’m their mom, for goodness sake. So I gathered the other 2 and drove to the school where she was very cheerful to see me and to go home with her brothers, as long as she still got to eat her Lunchable. She came home for about a half hour, ate her snack and watched Barney and then decided that she wanted to go back to school. So I took her.
Because I have no idea. Maybe that will be the title of my parenting bestseller.