Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Guessing game

The longer I'm a mother the more I realize that parenting is one great big guessing game and I'm going on way too few clues.

My daughter was getting her hair combed yesterday evening when she started complaining of pain in one spot of her gums. Her gums, no less! She had the same complaint the day before so I know it's a geniune malady, but I couldn't see anything out of the ordinary.

What to do? I'm the mommy, I'm supposed to know what to do. Alas, I didn't. So in all seriousness I pronounced my solution: "Well, I guess I'll think of something to do about it and hope it works."

After I said it and thought about it, I had to snicker at myself at the sound of the words. "I guess a lot about things, don't I?" I mused out loud to my insightful six-year-old. She agreed with me. I make no effort to try to hide the fact that I am unsure about things and that I make mistakes, but it seems like I'm doing a whole lot of winging these days. I said so to her.

The unexplained mouth pain is just one issue in a long line of concerns that have left me stumped. Stomach troubles, strange spots on the skin, and all sorts of odd things. What is going on here? What am I supposed to do about it?

As if physical ailments aren't enough, we've got theatrical tears and smart alecky mouths to deal with. What gives? It's not as easy to administer swift and just punishment for these childish transgressions and to be consistent about it as it is to preach it, especially when the meltdowns are more my fault than theirs. Now what am I supposed to do?

Wouldn't I just love to know?

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