Friday, February 03, 2006

Move Along, Nothing to See Here Except Some Prodigious Self-Pity

Did you ever find yourself reading a post on someone's blog and have the stunning realization that you are complete failure as a parent?

I'm probably just overly sensitive for myriad reasons. Still. Here's what happened. Rebecca wrote a lovely, charming post about her a grocery list her daughter wrote with her dad's help. It's adorable -- Rebecca posted a picture of it.

And so, with my own particular brand of pathologic solipsizing, my heart sank. Her daughter just turned four; she's a little older than Sean. And she can write all the letters needed to form a grocery list. Sean can write, with help, his name. That's it.

I'm not sure why this glaring discrepancy in ability has brought all of my inadequacies as a parent into such sharp relief, but I've found myself in a bit of a funk over it. If I were a better teacher, he'd know how to write every single letter. And his numbers. And he wouldn’t still get confused between a lowercase "n" and a lowercase "u." And he'd be able to draw something, anything, that resembles a real-life object. With a great deal of prompting he can draw a face, but he loses interest after one rendition. Then it's back to scribbling.

And I'm sure if I were a more diligent dietitian or more enthusiastic cook, Sean would eat more than four foods. He'd have a better complexion and not have that bleached out, translucent look of someone who's never been exposed to the sun.

I'm sure Allie would know her colors if I were more persistent in teaching her.

They'd be happier, smarter, and more engaged if I spent a lot more one-on-one time with them. If I could use my imagination better. If I were more patient. More organized. More industrious. Less lazy. My kids would have more friends if I weren't such a loser and could be more sociable.

I know I should be looking, instead, at all the wonderful things that my children can do. I'm not sure why I don't focus on the good instead of heaping blame upon myself for the negative. It's not productive, I realize. And certainly sounds self-pitying at best. Sorry about that -- maybe some posts should just stay in my head.