Monday, September 27, 2010

"Stop screaming!" I yelled

Do you ever have a moment as an adult where you think, "What in the world is wrong with me?"  I have those moments a lot as a parent.  I often find myself wondering what my children must think of their slightly deranged mother.  I mean, really.  Who has fits over eating one bite of broccoli (not just the bushy tree part, but the WHOLE thing)?  What kind of person goes nuts because there are puzzle pieces in seven different rooms in the house?  I do.  That's who.

Occasionally I have these moments of very un-mom-like clarity when I think, "this is why kids think grown-ups are nuts."  And such is the stuff of picture book legend!  So often in picture books the adult is either absent, part of the problem to overcome, or a baffling enigma to the child.  And rightly so.  It is important for the grown-ups to be characterized this way, I think.  We force our adult world on to them too often in too many ways as it is.  And besides, it is how children genuinely see most adults (with some obvious exceptions).  And who can blame them when I do things like restrict candy intake, wash faces with spit-moistened napkins, and look at them like they've lost their heads when they turn chairs upside-down to sit on them?  I routinely hear myself say things that I would have thought ridiculous as a child.  Tapping into that part of myself is essential as an author...and as a parent.  Maybe I should stop giving fuel to my children's perceptions...



  1. Next time I have a moment like that, I'll think of this post and smile, thanks Megan :)
    Hey,it's given me an idea. Next time Hannah grabs hold of my leg and won't let go, I'll try and imagine what creature could be clinging onto Guraffe's leg or something. You could be onto something here!

  2. I don't have kids, but I have taught little kids. I can definitely say that I've had moments like that myself.

    I've had the opposite as well though. I'm around people acting young and childish and I just have a moment like "what's wrong with me? I'm an adult."

    It goes both ways.

  3. My second example was more about my friends acting like people in their twenties, but me thinking we should have grown up past all that. I wasn't really that clear.

  4. Hah! This was my day today. It was awful. I hated every crazy thing I said, especially when I had to yell "stop whining" at the top of my lungs to get them to listen. It was one of those days when I got disapproving looks from other people (although we get those a lot here, Germans are big on public disapproval).

    Come to think of it, my son's teacher gets quieter when she wants their attention. It works, too. Might have to try that, if only to save my sanity. :)

  5. I've tried that, Alison! It doesn't seem to work in my house. They just ignore me without covering their ears! : )

  6. I would HATE puzzle pieces spread through the house. That's why most of my daughter's toys are put away in a cupboard, and when she wants a new one to come out another has to be packed away and go back in.

    I have no doubt that I'm completely baffling to my child at times."You want me to do WHAT mum? Match my clothes to the WEATHER??"

    Go on, call me a control freak. I'm grown up enough to handle it.