At the risk of sounding braggy, Rachael was kind of a Gerber baby. Several people mentioned that to me, and I even heard it whispered as I walked with her through the lobby of an Olive Garden once. Some people asked if I was going to get her into child modeling. I was like, Nooooooooooooo. It’s not that I didn’t believe her to be cute, (although I try not to believe the sun shines out of my children’s asses. That way lies the path of Honey Boo Boo.) It wasn’t that I couldn’t take off work to take her for auditions, (even though, I couldn’t have.) It wasn’t just that I wanted nothing to do with that superficial world. It’s because I know something very fundamental about myself: I hate a lack of control. I knew full well that not having any control over what would happen on auditions or any jobs she might have gotten would have driven me mad. I would have become a stage mom.
I can has contract?
I think, to some extent, it’s an impulse that most parents fight. They so desperately want to see their children succeed. It’s unbelievably frustrating or, at least it is for me, to see your child not do something when you know full well that they are capable of doing it.
It drove me insane when Rachael took dance class. She really loved it and did well at first. But after three semesters of basically doing the same thing, (even though they were supposed to be different classes) she got bored and started acting up. Rachael acting up looks like her not possibly being able to do what she’s been asked to do. Rather than sitting and doing a butterfly stretch, she does a butterfly stretch and “loses her balance” and falls over….from a sitting position. Sitting on the sidelines and not really being able to correct her was rough. (As was sitting on a hardwood floor with fibro butt and back for an hour while trying to keep Zoë entertained.) I did it every once in awhile when she started getting really disruptive, especially since her teacher wasn’t at all a disciplinarian. But beyond the behavior, it was exasperating that Rachael wasn’t excelling or trying too hard, and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. I praised her good performance. I fussed about her needing to pay attention and try harder, because I knew she could do it. We had to have a sticker chart with reward books to get her through recital practice. And then I finally accepted it; no matter how much I wanted her to love dance and do well, she didn’t love it in the way that she needed to in order to do well.
She looked really stinkin’ cute in a tutu, though.
Now Rachael is trying gymnastics. She’s teeny tiny, wiry, and she likes being on her head.
She really enjoyed class. I really enjoyed watching her…right up until they started doing real things beyond stretching. Every time she she got silly, I cringed. Every time she majorly messed up, (because she should totally do it perfectly on the first try, right?) I wanted to go in there and help make it right. I’m not going to lie, I motioned to her a few times to calm the fuck down while she got impatient waiting in line for the trampoline and balance beam. It’s probably helpful for me that we’re not in the room with them while they practice. Anti-anxiety meds don’t hurt either.
I don’t have any real big epiphany here. I just know that I have to keep the crazy momster in check while Rachael learns and becomes who she’s supposed to be. Also, she looks really cute in a leotard.