Yesterday Violet had a complete meltdown because I was wrapping a gift that was not for her. At first it was one of those fake pouty things that I basically laughed at and said, "Oh don't be ridiculous." Which of course forced her to make it real. She cried and cried and cried and then coughed and coughed. Luckily no barfing. It made me stop and think - oh crap what am I teaching my child that she reacts to the simple act of giving someone else a gift this way.
So I talked to her about giving to others because we love them and the joy of making someone else happy with a special gift. She didn't care at all. She wailed, "I don't like presents for other people!" After quickly checking to see if the neighbor's cars were home, I decided we'd walk next door to deliver the goodies I'd baked for them - make a big show of giving. She was a little resistant, but gave in at the prospect of seeing the sweet neighbor teenagers who she loves so much.
I don't know that it made much of an impression, so now I'm even more worried than usual about whether or not I'm being a good parent.
It was a bit reassuring to hear from the mom of one of Lorelei's friends that at a sleepover she "was super polite as always, cleaned up after their activities, and offered to help out with things I was doing a few other times. You should be proud!" I am proud and I told her I was - I wish that she would behave this way at home, but I know I'm definitely not that good at parenting.
Right after we made the decision to have a baby I totally freaked out. Completely. I started thinking about the huge responsibility of raising a tiny little baby to not be a serial killer (anybody who knows me, knows there's at least some chance of this happening). I told my husband I'd changed my mind, I didn't want kids after all. And then he freaked. There was a thirty minute calming period and I was back on board.
Now that we're three kids deep, I don't have as much time to obsess about every little thing since it can really be incapacitating for me. I just try to make the best decisions I can and let the chips fall where they may. At some point it's got to become their decision to not become murderers, right?