The MOTHER OF THE YEAR one.
You can tell everyone you know that you know her, the MOTHER OF THE YEAR, and include a link so they can read all about me and my amazing ability to get things right all the time. I'm never one to ignore a hunch and insist that I'm right about something about one of my kids. I never accuse them of something that I think they did, (but they've never ever done before so the risk of them actually doing it is low,). Nope, not me. I'm mommy dearest. The one they can count on. The one who always believes them. The one who fights for them. I am mom. Hear me roar.
The latest evidence of my greatness:
Yesterday while Ty was at school I went out to run errands. Sean and the girls were at home, (the girls napping,) and my cell phone rang as I walked into Target. It was Ty's teacher Linzy and she told me that Ty was melting down and telling her he needed me. This isn't a normal thing for him so she knew she needed to call me and ask me what I thought we should do. I asked her to put him on speaker and I talked to him for a few minutes. He said he needed me and that he wanted to come home. I asked him what happened and he said he hurt his knee. I told him to let me talk to Linzy and I asked her if he fell or something and she said no-he was totally normal then walking down the hall to go to the playground he suddenly started freaking out and asked her not to touch his knee and that he hurt it. She said she felt good about her assessment that he seemed fine but had made up his mind that he was done for the day. I agreed with her that it was best to get him so that maybe I could figure out what happened and I'd email her when I figured it out.
When he got home, (Sean went to get him and said he complained once on the way home from school-they walked,) I asked him all about his day. I asked him what hurt and he said his knee and pointed to the wrong knee. Sean and Linzy both told me it was his right knee originally but when I asked him he pointed to the left one. I asked him about the playground, if he was afraid or there was a mean kid there, etc. and he said no that he just wanted to be at home. Then he told me he thought some fries from McDonalds would make his knee better. Hmmmmm. I have never heard him lie before but this was shaping up to be fishy. I could tell he needed to go potty and asked him if he wanted to come home so that he could go here instead of at school and he said yes. Aha! I asked him if his knee hurt at school or he just needed to potty and he said his knee hurt. Back to square one.
This would have been the precise moment to do the right thing and take my son at his word.
That would have been it. The moment. The time to shine.
Instead, this is what I did. I asked him if he needed to potty and wanted to come home instead of going at school. He said yes. I asked him if his knee really hurt and he said yes. I told him I didn't believe him.
I told him I thought he was telling a story. I told him I thought he lied to Linzy and mommy and told him I thought he did that just so that he didn't have to potty at school. I mean, kids have lied about stuff like that since the beginning of time, right? Sure they have. Who wants to go through with something they're afraid of so if they can get out of it by lying then why not try it? Seemed to make sense to me that this was what was happening. So I called Linzy and put Ty on the phone and had him tell her that he was sorry he told her a story and that his knee was fine and he really just needed to potty. She was very sweet but firm with him, (she is a perfect teacher for him,) and said she appreciated his apology and she would see him tomorrow.
So we moved on and started formulating the plan for the afternoon and decided to walk to the playground at school. We've been taking the kids pretty often because as long as school is not in session they can play on it and it's just far enough away that they think it's a field trip. Field trips=fun times. We were about halfway there when Ty said his knee hurt. We stopped, (we were all going together including Max,) and he seemed to really be in pain. Sean picked him up and walked him home and the girls and I walked on to the playground and I felt good about my decision to believe that he had been lying even at this point. That little toot, I thought. He's probably got to go potty and is embarrassed. When did he learn to lie? I thought. Today at school? Maybe another kid was mean to him on the playground and he panicked and faked another knee injury? Yes, yes that's it.
Then my phone rang. Dang phone.
It was Sean. He said Ty started walking in the yard and fell to the ground crying about his knee. The right knee. The right one and the RIGHT one, the original one he complained about at school. Right that second it hit me that I totally missed it. I was totally wrong and had totally failed my poor kid. I told him that he lied when he doesn't even know how to lie yet. He's a lot of things but he's not a liar...(yet...) I felt awful. I rambled on about how bad I felt to Sean and he goes, "Well, it's not like I believed the whole knee thing either until right now, it's okay I just made an appt for tomorrow to take him in." At least my husband doesn't think I'm as horrible as I am, I thought. At least he'll still love me when Ty stops. What kind of mother doesn't believe her kid when they say they're hurt? That'd be me. I got home with the girls and went right to Ty and told him I was so sorry that I hadn't believed him. I told him he always tells the truth and it was wrong of me to think he lied. His reponse: "It's alright mommy."
Tears. Mine not his.
This morning Sean took him to the dr and she examined him, made him jump, run, bent his leg all different directions and felt of his knee from different angles. She said he has a torn ligament, (a small one,) that will heal quickly. He can do everything but he is supposed to be extra careful. She said it's impossible to keep a 4 year old from running and jumping but that he will naturally give to that leg and it will likely be much better next week. If it's not we are supposed to take him back in.
The verdict was in: He was hurt and his mother didn't believe him.
Last night I prayed about how terrible I felt and realized that this is the first of 10,000+ times I'll have to apologize to one of my kids for being wrong. It's my job to show them that it's right to ask for forgiveness when we hurt somebody and that forgiveness is always granted. It's kind of the heaviest lesson I've had to teach them so far. Whoa. Things are about to get easier physically but harder emotionally. As the kids get older and they can do more things to take care of their physical needs that's when the emotional and spiritual needs increase. This is all making sense. It's from us that they will learn about forgiveness and grace. What a huge gift parenting is. What a huge job that will hopefully keep me grounded in God's word instead of my own abilities. Obviously my abilities fell short this time. And they will every single time.
So basically I'll just keep the Mother of the Year crown until one of you does something like this then I'll happily hand it over :)