Love in Hindsight II

In the first post of this series, I reflected on my teaching career.

Teaching has been a big part of my life, spanning nearly two decades. What I didn’t know back then was how much I was learning about myself as a person and a future parent as I learnt to teach.

Over the years I have met as many different kinds of parents as I have students. Parent teacher interviews always afforded an insight into the children’s personalities, home life and behaviour. It also led to a deeper understanding, at times, leaving me with the saying, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’ swirling inside my brain.

These parents came from all walks of life. There were those that had little but provided an abundance of love and support. The type of parents who expected the best from, and for, their child were in abundance. The couldn’t-care-less approach was adopted by the minority.

I saw parents arrive holding their little one’s hand and helping them prepare for the day. They fostered their independence but assisted them if need be. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents arrive early and stand chatting until the bell went-always there to greet their child with a warm hug and a kiss at the end of their day. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents only to willing to help out at school. They were never too busy to lend a hand, listen to reading or applaud their child when they received an award at assembly or sports day. I vowed to be that type of parent.

I saw parents rush their kids to the car, in a hurry to get to that appointment or sports practice. ‘Get in the car, now,’ they’d say through gritted teeth. I vowed not to be that type of parent.

I saw grandparents bring their children’s children to school every day of the week. Some of their circumstances necessitated this, of that I was sure. I vowed not to be that type of parent as long as I could help it.

I saw parents ‘drag their kids up’ rather than raise them, some showing their children that they were a burden rather than a privilege. I vowed not to be that type of parent.

I knew what kind of parent I wanted to be.

Like most non-parents I stood in judgment of all other parents, keeping my thoughts to myself. Somehow I was of the conclusion that my teaching degree gave me an understanding of children that non-teaching parents didn’t have.

So here I sit, with two gorgeous boys who are now 6 and 3.

All I can say now is….

as they continue to grow, the more I need to know.

And I still have visions of the type of parent I want to become.

To be continued.

Image from: here.

Peepshow Love

boy peeking boy bathroom door toddler peeking peekThere’s an open door policy here. It exists for a number of reasons. Some of which may become clear by the time this gal comes clean.

Shower time for me is a crap shoot. It is a futile exercise at times. I am damned one way or the other.

That darn bathroom door needs to stay open for the moment otherwise I may exit to find any number of catastrophes have occurred while I’ve enjoyed the steamy fog that surrounds me as I exit the shower and try and find the mirror. In the process of having to leave the door open I submit myself to the cold air whooshing past my ankles and up around my mid-section as I try to towel off in 1 1/2 seconds flat.

So that door stays open while I try to get some time to attend to parts of my anatomy that haven’t seen some care in quite some time.

Last Saturday I found myself in the midst of a peepshow.

Thankfully I wasn’t the main attraction. My wrinkly and jiggly bits are not worth a look-see.

I was treated to a peepshow by my little peeps.

As I exfoliated, my little dudes cruised past the door with workmen’s hardhats on. A drill and saw completed the look along with a hi-vis vest on one. Giggles rang out as they raced out of the room and down the hallway.

The pitter patter of mini elephants announced their return. A dinosaur and a cat had taken centre stage. With a roar and a meow they were off again.

The third pass was heralded by sword-wielding, mask-wearing superheroes who treated me to a duel to the death. After a miraculous recovery by the slain victim they charged off to fight the baddies.

Earlier days came to mind when I used to prop each son in their rocker just outside the bathroom door. Back then I provided the show and they were the ever captive audience. I’d play peek-a-boo and delight in their belly laughs while trying to clean up my act in the process.

While the peek-a-boo days are coming to a close it got me thinking about how to help them unlearn this behaviour. You see, I am concerned. We spend the first few years playing this wonderful game with our babies and they are always overjoyed to see what is underneath the hands. As they get older they pull the hands away. Then there’s hiding under sheets and blankets and surprising the unsuspecting passer-by who may do a very good job of acting shocked.

We play hide and seek and like to uncover things. Kids try to sneak a peak at their Christmas presents, lifting that corner of sticky tape and replacing it perfectly back on the pattern of the wrapping paper so nobody will be none-the-wiser. We like to uncover and look. Under things, through holes, carefully pulling back the curtain of life to peek at the goings on of the neighbours hoping not to get caught in the process.

Advertisers prey on our desire to have just a little peek. There’s sneak previews of upcoming TV shows and sneak-peaks at products that are yet to become available. Be the first to sneak a peek at something;makes us feel special. That we’ve had the chance to see something that others have not. Our interest is piqued. We want to peek just a little more.

There must be something about looking without getting caught. Spying, yes that’s probably what it’s called. I’d like my cool cats not to be killed by curiosity. I’d like them to have a healthy respect for other people’s business and keep their noses where they belong (inside a book would be great)! So unless they’re invited, I’d prefer them to keep a safe distance.

peek

I definitely don’t want them to be the ogling type who can’t look someone in the eye. Their eyes should not wander below their belts. But they are boys who will grow into men.

Am I expecting to much of my men-in-the-making? Take a peek back here in a decade or two and all will be revealed, except for me. I’ll be in the bathroom with the door locked.

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