Motherhood: Perception versus Reality

I took Drake and Guppy in for their checkups last week, and left with a long list of things that I should be doing, or doing differently or more often. Guppy hadn’t gained weight since his last appointment, so I should start him on solids. Drake doesn’t listen and talks back, so I should read a book. Guppy needs vitamins. I shouldn’t try to bargain with Drake to eat. Guppy isn’t sitting up. Drake should have access to craft materials like paints and crayons.

Of course, there’s a flip side to each of these, as I explained to our doctor. Guppy hasn’t gained weight because he’s sleeping through the night, so he’s eating less frequently. Drake doesn’t listen and talks back, and my reading a book probably isn’t going to change his personality, or the fact that he’s three. Guppy’s vitamins aren’t carried at Target, so they require a special trip, plus they stain and are fascinating to Drake, who runs off with the bottle and its non-child-proof cap. I know I should just put healthful food in front of Drake and let him be, but sometimes his attention wanders, and he needs to be reminded about the food. Guppy isn’t sitting up because that requires fairly constant supervision, which is tough for me to guarantee, with Drake’s short attention span. And finally, we do have crayons and colored pencils, but I put them out of reach because Drake just peels the paper off the former (I think he thinks they’re like bananas) and snaps the tips off the latter.

Since both my boys are awesome (I won’t bore you with the details. Anyway, aren’t my incompetencies more interesting than any bragging I could do?), there’s no way I can be as incompetent a mother as I feel like I am. I think receiving the advice for both boys at once made it feel more overwhelming. Perspective will return sometime soon.

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