By Estelle Erasmus
I hate to say it but I have done or said all of these to my daughter when she was younger.
1) Hidden the outfits I don’t want her to wear on the top rung of her closet. Pulease, there is no reason for her to wear her Princess dress/wand set to school. And barefoot. In February. Or the see-through blouse that long ago lost its sister tank top. And although she immediately rushes home IN THE WINTER, to put on her bathing suit IN THE WINTER, somehow its never quite around when she’s getting dressed in the morning.
2) Taken a bowl of grapes with me into the bathroom so I could eat them in peace (actually I did this today). Substitute chocolate bars, cookies, chips, for grapes for when I’m not on a diet. It all works if you ignore the continuous pounding on the bathroom door, till I’ve finished eating (running water helps to mask the sound of me chewing), and the crumbs are swept or flushed away. Delicious. Wish I could eat all my meals in such a zen state.
3) Announced that Chuck E. Cheese is closed for renovation over the weekend. In fact, it was closed the entire month of December. Sad horns.
4) Every time I go out to my book, cooking club or a night out with friends, I tell her “mommy has a grown-up play date.” It seems to make sense to her, although probably the correct term should be “mommy is going to a child-free time, and drink some wine play date.” Eh, semantics.
5) Tell her that she can chew gum when she gets older. After hearing this repeated a few times, gum became her holy grail. Well, I can now cross that off my list. Yesterday, I enjoyed a moment of quiet a bit too long. Felt guilty, went searching for her, and found her nose-deep in my handbag, with my favorite frosted lipstick smeared around her mouth. I saw the wrappers and didn’t need a crystal ball to tell me the truth. Gum. She had found her “precious”. She spit three thoroughly chewed up pieces of gum into my hand and brightly announced, “mommy, I chewed up the gum.” Game over.
6) While she’s in school randomly go through her room and sweep out toys that she doesn’t use or can’t use (or I hate or make tons of useless noise); I’m talking to you box that slinky came in, and Dora “guitar” and I use the term loosely. Good riddance.
7) Got her shoes with little heels on them (I was thinking more fashion-forward Suri Cruise, instead we get the clip-clop effect of Mr. Ed) as she clunks down the hall. At least it’s like a homing device.
8) Told her the pool closed early during the heat wave last year because I couldn’t bear another minute of hearing “I have to go potty.”
9) I never cut up her food into little bites. Never. Not once. What I did do is spend lots of time teaching her how to chew her food. I also spent hours teaching her to roll over, too, but that’s another story. I wasn’t an adjunct professor at NYU for nothing you know.
10) Told her that the pacifier (aka binky) she was still sleeping with when she turned three years old was the last binky ever– that they didn’t make them anymore and that when it broke or wore out, we would be unable to replace it. Well, she bought it. It broke (ok, I helped it along by poking holes in it). And Ta Da No. More. Binky.
Hey, don’t judge me. You know you’ve done stuff like that. What have you done or said to your children that was sort of wrong, but felt so right?