2

“Look Mommy!…”

As we’re grocery shopping the other day, L takes off her sunglasses, puts them around her chest/waist and loudly proclaims:

“Look Mommy, I got a bra for my boobies now! I have boobies! I have BOOBIES!!!”.

Thankfully the little old lady beside me thought she was cute. I, however stifled a laugh and tried to hide how mortified I was. Where does she come up with this stuff?

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Her imagination is pretty incredible, and timely, too. Like at bedtime when she comes out of the bedroom, with a quivering lip, seeming very concerned that she isn’t outside playing with her friend the spider. During the day, spiders are scary, but at night apparently they are friends whose feelings will be hurt that she had to go to bed. Sorry spidey, no luck. That kid is done for the day!

Who needs cable tv, when you’ve got endless entertainment in the form of a toddler!

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23

If my toddler could tell me off…

I got to thinking today (I know, I know…it’s dangerous when I start to think about things) about how tough it must be to be a toddler. I mean, I’m literally doing things to ruin her day all the time. That’s where the title of my blog came from. She wants to do things, I say no, I’ve ruined her day.

It must suck to be such a tiny human, and be constantly told you “have to do this” or “can’t do that” all day long. My L is only pint-sized, but she’s a strong-headed personality, and she definitely has a mind of her own. Of course I piss her off when I go ruining what she’s got planned.

So I thought to myself – if she were able to eloquently describe to me her thoughts on my “Mommy bossiness” and tell me off, what would she say? Would she have reasons for wanting to do what she does? What would her perspective be?

So here’s my take on it – knowing my daughter as I do, and how hard it is to change her mind when she has it set. I’m going to lay out the situation, my response (and reasoning) and her response (and reasoning) as I imagine it might be.

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Situation #1 I left the room for two minutes, and L took the time to dump half a bottle of baby powder all over the living room carpet, and herself.

My thoughts – “Ohhhhh noooooo, L! We don’t dump that on the carpet! Look, you’ve made a mess. Now we have to clean you up and change you before we go out. Uggh. I don’t have time for this…”

Her thoughts – “Come on Mom, I’m learning here! It’s physics! Look at how it all goes down to the floor, but some of it floats in the air! And look – I dumped it on my feet, then moved and could see my footprints on the carpet! How effin’ cool is that?! Maybe I’ll do it again – look two sets of feet! Holy crap I’m an artist. Why aren’t you loving this?!”

Situation #2 – She asked for a cookie/cracker, so I hand her two. One is broken. Meltdown ensues.

My thoughts“Oh for goodness sake, L, they all taste the same. The whole one will look like that once you take a bite out of it anyway!”

Her thoughts – “What do you take me for Mom, a pushover? This one is broken, and I’m being ripped off! Less cookie than I would have gotten? Hell no! Besides, when a cookie/cracker is broken, it dies. DIES! Who wants to eat a dead cookie! How do I get enjoyment out of seeing that this cookie had its life cut short because the box got shaken up? LIFE IS SO CRUEL!”

Situation #3Wanting to eat the lone goldfish cracker she found under her ass in the car seat, or the raisin she found stuck to her foot after stepping on it.

My thoughts – “Ewwww, L, dirty. Don’t eat that. Yuck, yuck, yuck!” (Secretly thinking – hmmm, will that tide her over till lunch?)

Her thoughts “Sweet, I found that snack I stashed away for later. I knew I’d need this! Wait, WTF Mom, why are you taking that away? I planted this on purpose! It’s food, dammit. FOOD! You’re supposed to eat it. You’re always telling me to “eat my breakfast”, or “come on, one more bite of supper”, and now you WON’T let me eat? YOU ARE SO UNFAIR!”

Situation # 4 – I give L her favourite lunch, and she refuses to eat it.

My thoughts – “Come on L, you love this! You ate it just the other day and devoured it. I know you like it. Why are you pushing it away today?”

Her thoughts – “Seriously Mom, have you ever just not been in the mood for a certain thing? I had this same kind of sandwich two other times this week, and I just don’t want it today. Can’t you learn to make ANYTHING DIFFERENT? I mean, would you want to eat the same things on repeat all the time? No. It’s boring. AND YUCKY! Why can’t you just make me something new for once?!”

Situation # 5 – We’ve just gotten out of the car to go to my Mom’s, and she is unhappy because I make her walk (not run) and hold my hand on the street.

My thoughts – “L, we’re by the road where there are cars. You have to hold Mommy’s hand. It’s dangerous. STOP! I mean it sweetie. No running by the road!”

Her thoughts – “OMG I’M ALWAYS TIED UP! You lock me into the car seat so I can’t move. You lock me into the booster seat at the dining room table so I can’t move. You put me in a stroller so I can’t move. You hold my hand too tightly by the road so I can’t move. I JUST WANT TO BE FREE, DAMMIT! Look, there’s leaves on Gramma’s front yard. LEAVES! They’re yellow, and orange, and green, and I want them all! I want all the rocks in the driveway. I want to run to the neighbours fence to say “Hi Doggy!” to my friend with the waggly tail. Stop with the restrictions and LET ME LIVE!”.

So I guess I have to try and think of things from her perspective for a bit. I think I ruin her day a lot.

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21

The wait is over – Motherhood Confessionals!

I’d like to start off this post by thanking all of the Mama’s who put their guard down and submitted Motherhood Confessions to me for this blog post. I quite literally couldn’t have done it without you!

I know I normally try to take a funny stance on my posts, but sometimes more serious posts are necessary. Like this one, for example. I read all the time about Moms who think they are failures and think they aren’t living up to the standards a “good Mom” should be able to achieve. What we don’t realize, is that we are all good Moms who are just way too hard on ourselves.

One of the Mum’s brave enough to submit some confessions eloquently described why I felt this was important. I’m including what the awesome Mama from Momma Needs Coffee wrote to me about submitting confessions (with her permission to do so, of course).

“I am really glad How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day decided to run this. I am always stressing out about the ways I think I am failing and trying to find ways to make myself better. I was going to write about a specific time when I felt like I had failed, but I realized that it was the day to day things that stress me out more than the one time occurrences. I realized that there might be some other mom’s out there who feel equally guilty while they are confessing things, even if it’s only to themselves. I needed to forgive myself for not being perfect. And at the end of the day, I am not failing at all. Why? Because my kids are happy, healthy and most importantly: LOVED.”

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Before I post the confessions, I would like to again stress that these are completely anonymous and posted in a random mixed up order. I’ve also put one or two in there of my own that I needed to get off my chest. If we learn anything from this post, I hope it is that we are all good parents, no matter how much we feel we might be failing. We all go through ups and downs, highs and lows, and moments of immense frustration. It doesn’t make us bad Mums – it makes us normal ones!

So without further ado, onto the confessions!

  • At my daughter’s first Christmas, we had to go to multiple family members homes to make the visiting rounds. With a baby less than 3 months old, and very little sleep that night, I was plain exhausted. We didn’t leave my father in law’s home that night until after 11pm to head home. My partner fell asleep in the car, and I was driving. It was a 45 minute commute. Thirty minutes into the drive, my baby started to cry uncontrollably. I pulled over 15 minutes away from home, and went to check on her in the back seat. Her winter hat had fallen off of her head and was completely covering her face which lead me to panic. But that wasn’t the worst part. She had fallen asleep at my father in laws house, so I put her in the car seat to sleep on the floor with a blanket tucking her in. When we packed her up for the drive, we must have forgotten to remove the blanket to be sure she was strapped in – she wasn’t. We drove 30 minutes on a highway with her in the carseat, but without being strapped in. I strapped her in and cried for the 15 minutes remaining in the drive, and then cried myself to sleep that night. I was a new Mom, and I’d failed at keeping her safe.
  • There have been times when I have left the kids in a diaper that I know is wet because I am preoccupied with something else. Not something important. Something like a game on Facebook, or reading a book.
  • I have plopped my kid in front of the TV so I could write more, I’ve hid in the laundry room to eat a chocolate bar while inconspicuously wiping the residue off of my face as I casually walk out, I’ve bribed and threatened all in one sentence…but one other thing I do feel bad about and need to work harder to stop is being on my damn iPhone. It has so many apps that notify me of things and being a lover of instant gratification and validation, I check them immediately, if possible, rather than waiting until free opportunities. WordPress has me bad…I love that damn notification sound. I don’t check FB very much on it, but definitely check texts and WordPress when they notify me. Both kids know how to work the phone from seeing me. When my daughter says something about me being on my phone, I say that I am scheduling playdates and activities for her and her brother..which is partly true and partly a lie. I’m doing that but also checking in to see what new comment just came to my post. So, there you have it. I spend too much time on my iPhone. Now that I’ve confessed, I may have to make an effort to stop.
  • I’ve yelled at my newborn asking him what his problem was on a few occasions (all the while knowing that I was the one with the problem because, y’know, the crying baby is crying because it’s the only way he knows how to communicate).
  • I keep “fast food” in the house for days when I am too lazy to put any real effort into cooking a meal. Frozen waffles, chicken nuggets in a box, a bag of fries, corn dogs. I tend to go through these pretty fast, even though I normally enjoy cooking.
  • One Christmas I was given some Lindt chocolates. You know the really yummy red balls. Whenever I ate one I’d give the kids a cheap Walmart foil wrapped chocolate. When I ran out of cheap chocolates I’d sneak eating my special yummy chocolates so I didn’t have to share with the kids. One day I got caught eating one and the kids wanted some, so I lied and told them I couldn’t share because these chocolates have alcohol in them. Lol Oops!
  • I’ve let my son cry in his crib “just one more minute” to “see if he can sort himself out” more than once in the middle of the night.
  • I snap at the kids. I lose my patience. More often than I want to admit to. I try not to, but I do.
  • I’ve been careless enough that my son ended up doing a face plant off the couch and onto the floor.
  •  I too, sometimes wait to see if the baby and the toddler with self soothe, partially because I’m tired and I really don’t want to get out of bed. I’m also guilty of the pajamas until three o’clock, potato chips as a meal, and toys when they really don’t deserve them because they have been misbehaving but everyone in the store is staring at me like I’m the world’s worst mother if I don’t buy them, offenses.
  • I love my kid more than life itself, and wouldn’t change having her in my life for anything. But sometimes I really miss life before her – things like sleeping till noon, making last minute spontaneous plans with my girlfriends, and generally being able to put myself first for anything. I love her, but I miss my “before” life.
  • Sometimes I wish I could go back to when I didn’t have kids. When I could sleep whenever I wanted. Eat when I wanted. Have extra money. Not have to wonder if I remembered to put the wipes into the diaper bag when we are out and catch a whiff of something unpleasant.
  • When my son was a little baby – about 3 months old – I went out for a few Xmas drinks with friends. I left a couple of bottles with daddy – one for the middle of the night wake up and one for the morning even though I’d be back. Anyway, my son just would not take the middle of the night one. There was no way I could feed him either. I’d had quite a bit to drink. We ended up just pouring just a little down his throat from a cup. He finally settled and went back to sleep. When he woke up for his morning feed he just refused the bottle again and screamed and screamed and screamed. With the calculations from the breastfeeding website, based on what I drank the night before I felt I still had about another hour to go before my breast milk would be 100% alcohol free but he just wouldn’t stop crying and in the end I fed him. He had a big sleep after that feed, I’ll never forget it, and I stood over him virtually the whole time as I was terrified I’d made him drunk. To be clear, I hadn’t had a drink for something like 7 hours, but still, it was worrying for me.
  • I love my daughter, but sometimes other people’s kids really annoy me.
  • I’ve gotten annoyed with my son because he was being needy and I just wanted to read one more post.
  • I sometimes sneak money out of my kids piggy banks when we are getting low on cash before pay day.
  • Forgetting baby wipes. I have done this. Numerous times. And not noticed until I had the diaper off one of them and no way to get anything. I used a receiving blanket and threw it out. When the baby spit up…I used the spare clothes that were in the diaper bag to wipe her and I up.
  • I’ve “not noticed” a few dirty/wet diapers so that my partner would have to change them.
  • I turn the TV on for the kids almost every day so I can lie on the couch and cat nap. I need it. I can’t function otherwise.
  • Sometimes I pretend to be asleep when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night in the hopes my husband will hear her and wake up to deal with her. If he doesn’t hear her, I’ll “nudge” him awake so that he does.
  • I cry a lot and wonder how other Moms do it. I don’t tell my friends that I’m having a hard time dealing with being a new Mom because I’m afraid it will make me look like a bad Mom. So I cry to myself.
  • I’ve told my daughter that her lunch/dinner is actually called “cake” or “cookie” just because I know if I use those words to describe her meal, she’ll eat it.
  • I sometimes feel resentful towards my partner for not doing as much to look after our child as I do.

 

That’s all I received for confessions from all of you lovely, amazing, spectacular Moms. I’m sure most of us can relate to one, if not all of the confessions on this blog post. And if we’ve learned anything from relating to these confessions it’s that we’re all in the same boat. We’re all Moms. We all struggle, we are all forgetful, but above all else, we all LOVE with every inch of our hearts. That is the most important common factor.

So let’s focus on the love, and not the failures. Because after all, we aren’t the first or last Mom to feel that way.

Xo.

(PS – Don’t forget to click to vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs – just click on that fancy button on the right hand side of my blog. One click = one vote!)

1

Motherhood Confessionals – Last Call!

Do you make your kids eat a healthy breakfast, while you yourself scarf down a doughnut?

Do you ever hide when eating candy or a chocolate bar so you don’t have to share with your kids?

Do you ever plunk your kids in front of the TV so you can get a 30 minute cat nap on the couch?

Have you ever been out and had your kid have a major diaper blowout, only to realize you forgot to pack extras?

Did have difficulty bonding with your child from the beginning?

Mother’s never talk about how they’ve messed up, the shortcuts they take to get through the day, their secret shames, their failures or their breakdowns. Here’s the thing though…we all go through it on some level or another. Nobody is perfect, no matter how much they try to make you think they are.

I truly believe that we as Moms are too hard on ourselves and need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves. In case you haven’t heard of my proposed “Motherhood Confessionals” post, I’m planning to post ANONYMOUS confessions sent in my Moms (or Dads!) so that we can all read them and say “Hey, I’m normal. Everybody goes through stuff like this, and it isn’t anything to be ashamed of!”.

I’m hoping to start writing it and putting it together on Thursday September 12th, so this would be your last call to submit a confession. It can be anything – big, small, funny, shameful, embarrassing, stressful, etc.

All of the confessions will be posted in a random order, and completely anonymously so there is no way to be able to see who sent what. If you’ve put in anything I think would be an identifier (Ex. if on your blog you always refer to your child as “Moon Pie”, and that name was included in your confession I will edit that to say “Child/son/daughter” to make it less identifiable).

So this is it – last call for confessions! I’d love to have a big selection to choose from, so please I’d love it if you contributed. You can contact me on the Suggestions/Ideas section of my blog, or by private message on How to Ruin a Toddler’s Day on Facebook.

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far. Imagine how great it will feel to read these and realize you’re completely normal, and doing an amazing job!

 

9

Motherhood confessionals…the proposal

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Last night, I was a bad Mom. I’m going to partially blame it on a new medication I’m on that has left me anxious, irritable, kind of depressed and snappy. (I have an appointment on Thursday to get off of this medication, as it isn’t really working for its intended purpose anyway).

This medication has shortened my emotional fuse immensely, and because of it I snapped at L.

L didn’t want to eat her dinner last night. She spit in on the floor a few times, and pursed her lips tightly closed in refusal to eat. More than once I said rather loudly to the fiance “I’m so done with her! I can’t take her anymore!”. Then when she was still whining and complaining I did the worst. I got right in her face and raised my voice too loudly and harshly and said “That’s ENOUGH! STOP IT!”, all while pointing my pointer finger out right in her face nearly touching her nose.

Instantly I felt regret. Instantly I felt like a failure to her. Instantly, she cried. Not just any cry…an afraid cry. She didn’t understand why Mommy was yelling, and didn’t understand why I was so angry. After all, this isn’t the first dinner time fight we’ve had, but it is the first time I lost my cool.

To be honest, I don’t really understand what made me so angry either.

How could I have done that? That is not my personality. That is not me. I later broke down completely in my bedroom (poor fiance trying unsuccessfully to console me) feeling like I’d failed her as a mother. My bedsheets had a puddle of my tears stained on them. I know that my losing my patience did nothing to better the situation. She still didn’t want to eat supper, only now Mommy was scary, too. I need to get off of this medication…

(I will add that 5 minutes later, I knelt down to her level and apologized to her. I told her she didn’t deserve to be spoken to that way and that Mommy was wrong and sorry. We hugged and kissed it out, and the two of us were good for the rest of the night).

This is way worse than the times I’ve forgotten to pack her a change of clothes when she was younger and she had baby poop explosions all over the one outfit I had for her. It’s way worse than the times I’ve left her in her pyjamas all day at home because Mommy was too lazy to get either of us dressed for the day (all day PJ parties!). And it’s way worse than the time I let her cry in her crib just “one more minute” to see if she’d soothe herself back to sleep because I really didn’t want to get out of bed.

Then it got me thinking. None of us are perfect, right? We all must have some secret confessions we want to make.

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So here is my proposal – I want to do a blog post called “Motherhood confessionals”, where I can anonymously share some of our weaker moments. Something you forgot to do, something that makes you feel like you’ve failed, something that you do to get by day to day (like drink wine after the kids go to sleep).

If you’ve got a confession to share, just contact me under my “Suggestions/About” area, and let me know your confession. I will not post your name or blog URL to your confession (unless you’ve given me permission to do so).

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I think it would be a great way for all of us Mom’s to see that nobody is perfect, we aren’t alone in our struggles or our failures, and that life does indeed go on.

Hopefully this will work out and we’ll end up with a great (anonymous) confessional post. Oh and Dad’s – if you have a secret confession please feel free to share it as well. Would love to hear from both sides!

15

Let’s play a game called “Did it make her cry?”

That’s right folks. It’s game time again!

This time the game is called “Did it make her cry?”. So basically I’m going to throw out a real scenario, and you have to guess if my sweet little L cried, or didn’t cry. Let me know how many you got right in the comments section. The winner will get….well nothing. Unless you count pure satisfaction, and the knowledge that you are a toddler expert a prize, then by all means you’re the top banana!

Here we go!!!!

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1) After climbing onto our coffee table/ottoman, L forgot she was near the edge and leaned back. This resulted in a surprise fall flat onto her back with a bonk on the head (complete with deflated ego). Did she cry?

2) When Mommy went to pee, L had to be in the bathroom, too. I mean of course she did. What Mom gets to pee alone? But when Mommy was done peeing she flushed the toilet and L didn’t get to wave “bye bye” to Mommy’s pee. Did she cry?

3) Daddy took L to the park! She ran and ran and ran away from Daddy. She ran so fast into the bicycle path, that she fell and scraped her knees and Daddy had to scoop her up and away from the bike path into safety. Did she cry?

4) Looking backwards while running forwards meant that L ran head first into the dining room table. There’s a bruise now. Did she cry?

5) While watching Dora the explorer (Uggh I hate that show), the map came on to show Dora where to go. Did she cry?

6) While watching Daddy play a game, she saw zombies and dragons and monsters. Did she cry?

7) Mommy told L that she couldn’t bring all of her stuffies into the tubby with her. Did she cry?

8) L watched Daddy writhing in pain after she elbow dropped him in the guts while he was lying on the floor. Did she cry?

9) L asked Mommy for some juice. Mommy gave her some juice. Did she cry?

10) Daddy put on his shoes, but then sat in the chair. Did she cry?

Those are the questions to be pondered. Get into your little toddler brains and try and figure out what happened. Are you ready for the answers? Here goes!

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1) After falling off of the coffee table, L rolled over and looked at Mama and said “hahahaha uh oh”. She proceeded to get back up onto the table. You could then see she was seriously considering “falling off” again to see if it was funny a second time. Mommy put a stop to that. So the correct answer is: Did not cry. Will also accept: Future in physical comedy.

2) When L couldn’t wave goodbye to Mommy’s pee, mayhem ensued. Mommy clearly didn’t realize that she had an emotional bond to the urine, and taking away the ability to say goodbye to something so special has left her emotionally scarred. Mommy couldn’t bring back the pee….well at least not for an hour or two. So L cried, and cried, and cried some more. So the correct answer is: Cried. Will also accept: Needs a new “special friend”.

3) After running away from Daddy, falling in the bicycle path and scraping up both knees, L didn’t cry. However, when Daddy scooped her up to move her to safety (away from the bikers), L lost her cool. Nobody can tell that wild spirit of mine what she can and cannot do. So the correct answer is: Trick question! Didn’t cry from the injury, did cry because she lost her independence.

4) The bonk in the head caused by looking backwards while running forwards into the dining room table resulted in an obviously fake, attention seeking, no real tears cry. It wasn’t real, and after 5 seconds when she realized the world hadn’t ended, she laughed and continued her running race around the house. So the correct answer is: Didn’t cry. Will also accept: “And the Oscar goes to…”

5) That map on Dora is almost as creepy as Dora herself. No wonder she cries when he comes on the screen and runs away! The correct answer is: Cried. Will also accept: I cried, too.

6) She may cry when she watches Dora the Explorer, but show her a zombie, monster or dragon and she’s in her element! She does the best zombie impression in the world, and runs around pretending to be a dragon. My kid is the coolest! The correct answer is: Hell no she didn’t cry, she knows where it’s at!

7) When Mommy said the stuffies couldn’t come in the tubby, all hell broke loose. The tubby was the enemy at that point, and she’s a fighter. She would not get in the tub, and when we finally got her in, she stiffened every muscle in protest and refused to sit down. She had a “standing up” tubby that night, and the water level doubled in height by the time we were done with her crocodile tears. So the correct answer is: Cried. Mommy doesn’t understand that stuffies need tubbies, too.

8) After elbow dropping Daddy in the guts, L thought his pain was hilarious. She proceeded to elbow drop him a few more times, gently sit slam down on his belly, and slide down to the floor like Daddy is a human jungle gym. Apparently to L, pain is funny. So the correct answer is: L didn’t cry, but we can’t necessarily say the same for Daddy.

9) Mommy gave her the juice she asked for, but she cried anyway. Mommy still isn’t quite sure why. Maybe she filled up the cup too much? Maybe she used the “wrong” cup? Maybe she had planned to cry regardless of what Mommy did? Who knows. So the correct answer is: Cried. Will also accept: Messing with Mommy’s head is fun.

10) Daddy put on his shoes, then sat down in a chair. He didn’t immediately scoop up L and take her out for a walk or for a ride in the car. Can you see the potential problem? Lack of instant gratification! The correct answer is: Cried. Will also accept: It’s our own fault for looking more ready to leave the house than we were.

Thanks for playing! How many did you get right?

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21

When Mean Girls Grow Up into Mothers…

When you become a mother, you change. I don’t know a single Mom who would disagree with that statement. I’m not talking about the obvious changes like the lack of sleep, and feeling less put together. I’m talking about the less physically obvious changes. It changes your soul on some level. Your child becomes your focus. You’re very attuned to their needs, and wish there were someway to prevent them from ever feeling any sort of hurt or pain in their lives.

This is impossible of course. Everyone feels this way at some point in their lifetime. The first time you are dumped, you feel pain. The first time you are made fun of, you feel pain. The first time you fail, you feel pain. Though there are some people who get it worse than others. Some people are picked on so mercilessly that every day is painful. For a brief span in my school days, that person was me.

Grades 6 though 9 could only be described by me as hell. I never had a problem making friends. I always had lots of friends for as long as I could remember. In the 4th grade I moved schools and was very nervous about the change I would be encountering. After the first day, however, my fear had quickly disappeared. I met great friends almost immediately. One in particular who I would call my best friend. We were inseparable, and spent every single day together. Until one day I showed up at school to face a wall of girls who were supposedly my friends. They had all been talking behind my back, and just decided collectively that I wasn’t cool anymore, and was no longer best friends with “her”. I tried to ask for an explanation and was simply laughed at, mocked, and ridiculed as they all turned away from me to form a circle and exclude the girl who was now the butt of the jokes. Overnight, my world changed…and I hadn’t done a single thing.

Every day for four years, I was the girl on the left.

Every day for four years, I was the girl on the left.

There was still one girl though, who continued to be friends with me despite what the cool girls said. After a while though, those cool girls made it their mission to take away the one person I had left. They didn’t like that I had a friend. One friend to call my own. So they went into my desk, took my eraser and wrote her name on it. Then they scratched it out and wrote a rude comment next to her name. Next thing I know I’m being confronted by my one last friend asking why I would write something so nasty about her. I was dumbfounded and had no idea what she was talking about. She showed me the eraser, and I knew instantly it wasn’t my handwriting. It was too loopy and pretty. But how do you convince the one friend you have left that the eraser with the mean things on it she was shown (by the mean girls) in your desk wasn’t written by you? You can’t. The result? My one friend was gone.

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Looking back it sounds like such a silly thing. When you’re 12 years old though, it is psychological warfare. I was now isolated. I dreaded recess. I dreaded lunch hours. I dreaded the walk home from school. The summer before entering Middle School for about one week they all talked to me again. They were scared about starting a new bigger school and thought if we showed up in a big group it would look better. So I was included again and thought (naively) that it was my chance to show them all I really wasn’t the freak they made me out to be. It didn’t last, and life went back to being hell.

Thankfully, once I hit High School everything changed for me and I separated myself completely from the girls I used to know. I made friends there who I still keep in contact with, and who are genuinely amazing people. I’m glad I made it through those years, and that it was before the days of cyber bullying. I fear if I had to go through this in this day and age at the tender age of 12, and had to deal with internet bullying as well, I may not have made it to the High School days.

Which made me think…

I was remembering all of this as I was driving my daughter to my Mom’s this morning. I was wondering how I could ensure that my daughter would never have to go through feeling isolated and made to feel like she isn’t worth the dirt on the bottom of someone’s shoe. Then I realized – a lot of those “cool girls” are now mom’s. They have children of their own, who have just started, or will soon be starting school.

Like I said before, becoming a mother changes you. So I wonder if now from a mother’s perspective, they ever look back at just how awful they were as kids. I wonder if they realize what pain they made another girl feel. I wonder if they’ve ever thought to themselves that maybe the adult in them should have reached out and apologized? I wonder if their kids will end up being the mean girl, or the sad girl. I wonder if they wonder….

I do know that they can’t claim to be oblivious to the pain they caused me to feel. It was a daily occurrence for four years, and subtlety was not their forte. They liked getting in your face about it so that they had front row seats to the soul slashing. It seemed to give them a rush when they could see someone suffering. I was not the only one they did it to.

Now I have a daughter, and bullying hasn’t stopped. If anything, it has become more rampant, and harder for children to escape. It makes me wonder: Do bullies grow up to raise future bullies? Where does the cycle end? If they themselves were the bullies and not the bullied, how can they have the proper perspective to teach their children about the damage their actions can cause? Do they even feel a twinge of guilt when they say to their kids “Oh don’t do that, that’s not nice”, knowing that they themselves were the not nice kids?

Motherhood has changed me.

Has it changed them?

 

 

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