As parents, there are so many opportunities to really mess up our children and send them to years of therapy, rehashing how their mother scarred them for life.
Like the time we kissed them good-bye in front of their friends when they decided they were too old and we hadn’t received the memo.
Or the time we tried to use some slang in front of their friends and we were too old to pull it off.
Or maybe the time we chaperoned the school dance and actually danced ourselves.
There are countless opportunities to embarrass or otherwise permanently damage their fragile psyches. I’m looking forward to the opportunity. I just didn’t realize it would start in preschool.
A few months ago I sent Sammy and Ella to school with their lunches: a sandwich, string cheese, fruit, and their drink, milk for Sammy and water for Ella.
When I picked them up Ella met me with her nose scrunched up, hands on her hip, and yelled at me, “You gave me milk!”
Because she’s two, she’s hard to understand sometimes, and it’s worse when she’s mad, so I had to have her repeat herself. That, of course, made her more mad.
When I finally figured out what she was saying, I realized my mistake. I put Sammy’s milk cup in Ella’s lunch bag and vice versa. Ella does not drink milk. Period. Even chocolate milk although she’ll tell you she wants it, she doesn’t actually drink it. She just doesn’t like milk. Not rice milk, not soy milk, not hemp milk, not goat’s milk, not whole milk, not 2%, not fat free. Nothing. If she gets some in her mouth she spits it out like an elephant sprays water from its trunk. It’s a mess.
It must have been a hectic morning. (I say that because they all are.) I inadvertently switched the cups. Ooops. Oh well. Her teacher’s got her a cup of water. I apologized. Told her I had made a mistake and I’d try really hard not to do it again. End of story. Right?
Wrong. Ella brings up “the milk incident” almost daily and sometimes multiple times in a day.
“Remember when you gave me milk in my lunch and Sammy water in hers?”
“I don’t like milk.”
“I know. I made a mistake.”
“But you put milk in my lunch. I don’t like milk.”
I can see her years from now, laying on a couch in her therapist’s office, recounting all the ways I ruined her life, starting in preschool where I gave her milk.
Have you permanently damaged your child like me? Does anyone else have a non-milk drinker or can I add that to my list of ways my children have scarred me for life?
**photo via flickr by tmray02