Ah, to be the ideal parent. Before I became a parent, I had all this idealism about how to be the perfect parent. I would allow my son to be who he wanted to be. I’d let him make his own choices and respect those choices.
I’d never use disposable diapers. I would never say the word, “No.” I would always speak in positive terms. E.g., “Keep your feet on the floor.” as opposed to “Don’t stand on the couch.”
Today, I had the realization that you do need to say the negative. I forget the exact scenario, but I observed myself using the “positive language” and my son looking really confused as to why I was suggesting he do something as opposed to simply explaining what was off limits.
I also realized a couple of days ago that the temptation to do what Mom knows best was going to outweigh my idealism of allowing my son to choose and be his own person.
He had a bad cough for a week, barfed up a bunch of food and despite two visits to the acupuncturist and following a ridiculous cocktail of Chinese herbal concoctions, the coughing and barfing persisted.
So, once I made the decision to step in, I grabbed his little squirmy feet and gave him the reflexology routine for getting rid of a cold faster. He never let me rub his feet before and always protested madly, but despite his repeated query, “All done?”, I stuck with it until I had completed a mini massage on both feet. Plus, I threw in some reflexology points for his stomach and digestion.
That was two days ago. He stopped vomiting up his food two days ago. He slept through last night without coughing until the morning. His daytime cough is gone.
It’s a challenge being a parent. I really feel bad about forcing a foot massage on him, so I cut back today. On the same hand (or foot), I noticed an improvement in his symptoms and that his tolerance for the massage has gone up.
I just heard him cough a few times as I write this late night post, and now I feel bad that I had cut down on the reflexology today. Each little cough I hear is like a stab in my heart.
Then, another part of me knows that I can’t help him if I feel like this. I need to re-center myself, view him as the strong and healthy child that he is and maybe rub his feet a little more tomorrow. Maybe he’ll actually come to enjoy it.
He did say, “Ja” (his version of “Yes”) when I asked if he wanted me to rub his feet today. Of course, once I started, he asked, “All done?” Here’s to a less confusing tomorrow. Ah, let’s restate that in the affirmative. Here’s to clarity.