I’ve read somewhere, long time ago, that parenthood is like a laboratory: the parents are the mice, running around the box, and the kids are the mad scientist, giving the mice tests, after tests, after tests, to check how we react and what we would do in such situation. Do you agree?
I, in some degree, agree. I will be a pretty mouse, though. Not that sewer grey, big, rat. Anyway, I see my journey as parents are like long walks filled with bobbytraps, ditch, cotton candy, Tylenol, kisses and monsters. Sometimes you get rewarded BIG (when my son became Outstanding Student in school) and sometimes I feel like a big failure, when, yesterday, I got a call from his school telling me that he flipped a bird to some middle schoolers.
Well that made me speechless. My son? No way! That adorable kid that knows all the facts about catfish and sharks and can make his own breakfast? No way. I must be in nightmare, wake me up! After a short pause, I told the teacher, “yes, I’ll discuss this issue with him and his dad”. Glad this one did not end with detention. His school is quite strict. The reality was, later in the evening, it was his dad that did the job. I got chickened out and sat by the stairs, just listening. I failed this lab’s test. I could not face the fact that my son did such a thing!
I understand completely that I can’t expect him to be in his best behavior all the time. He’s 7 anyway. But I havent completely healed from his ‘artwork’ on the wall when he was 4 (I think) and his one tantrum at the mall when he was still in the stroller.
I do have high expectations, I do. He is my only son came out from my belly and since we decided not to have any more, he has all mommy’s hopes and dreams and fears on his little shoulders. A pretty big task for such little man. And so in the other extreme point of view, he knows well how to disappoint me, how to touch my button, how to make me feel like an exhausted mouse lab trying to find my cheese that he hid the night before. But I would not know. It’s a mouse job to find the cheese, and run in that silly wheel.
He told his dad that he doesn’t know what the gesture was about. Perhaps he saw it somewhere? Friends told him to do it? We might never know and perhaps we never will. Whatever he did might not be directly performed just to see how we would react. It might be not a test for the parents from the very start anyway. But that particular day I did feel like I failed being a parent, failed to give him guidance to prevent this from happening. I felt like a failed mouse (what do they do with those rats after tests are done, anyway? But perhaps I dont want to know).
So the mad scientist goes in his merry way (after looong, pouting night and long lectures from dad), and the mice goes back to the box. Ready for the next tests. ..