Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The morning after the night before

The opportunity for introspection that writing provides is very therapeutic

Last night after tucking Tara in, I sat outside the door on the steps wanting to let my guard down and cry. I was not able to. I had previously written a post about Tara's school assessment and how wonderful my child was. How could my child turn the exact opposite of all that in the matter of a day? I went through the day in my mind and searched for a trigger for the day's events and found none. I reviewed how I had reacted, what I had done and still felt I did what I felt was best during the time. I felt emotionally devastated at being hit repeatedly by my child. There was no physical injury, not even close. All I had was a very bruised heart.

In the silence, in the dark, all alone, I allowed myself the luxury of feeling what I was feeling. The collective events of the day had me respond in a way that was in Tara's interests. I didn't want to react in a way that would harm her emotionally. I gave her all the hugs she wanted. I gave the security of the words, "I love you," when I tucked her in, and I did not guilt trip her about anything yesterday or this morning. I felt bewildered, confused, deeply hurt and defeated. I could not eat any dinner and decided to go to bed. Last night was all about me.

This morning I woke up with a soreness in my heart but completed all of Tara's morning routine, albeit in more silence than I would have liked. Mum's are human too. After I dropped Tara and got back home I debated whether to write about this or not. I keep saying no child is perfect, but did I really mean it? Or did I inwardly, secretly, gloat that Tara was indeed perfect. I had to write. Once I regurgitated all my feelings, I moved on to Tara.

It took two days and a whole lot of writing to get my head straight and start thinking. And I'm the battle hardy grown up. How does an inexperienced, overwhelmed little girl of four and a half  feel? Terrified perhaps? I did a bit of research to find out a bit more. There was suggestion of the side effects of antibiotics, or something at school. Other Mums swear by the strange phenomenon of rage, specifically in four and a half year old children . This fortunately is a short term experience according to them, and fades by the time they are five. I was intrigued.

Thinking back to yesterday when I saw Tara's face, I saw fear. Of me when I shouted? Or of herself. The only way she knew how to make things better was to immerse herself in school work, and carry her own plate and dishes back to the kitchen, and ask her Mum for hugs. I also saw her inability to say sorry. Did she think what she did was so big that a sorry wouldn't be enough? Or was it the emergence of a mini ego that wouldn't let her apologize. Either way, Tara will learn. My reactions will mould her learning and influence her. I have to be so careful.

It's strange. I define myself as a Woman, a Wife and a Mum. The Woman and Wife in me would have kicked serious derrieres or at least raised hell if I was hit, but being a Mum is probably my only avatar which could take a beating, and think about the perpetrator's well being.

I love you Tara.

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