I have a confession to make. Yesterday, I made a mothering mistake. It wasn't a mistake per say, but it was something I regret.
I've been working on some calligraphy projects and I tend to use a notebook and sharpie to draft my work. While Emma was napping, I hung out in the living room with a bit of Mr. Selfridge (Thank you, Amazon Fire Stick...you fuel my addiction...) and when Emma woke up, I left all of my pens and paper on the floor. I didn't think much of it as we were outside for the rest of the afternoon.
Here's my critical error: I made dinner. I don't tend to make dinner before B gets home as I much prefer to "get stuck in" with Emma (B and I eat much later anyways). I'll play with play doh and color or have tea parties because - to me - that's how I mother. I like to be present. I like to get on the floor. I like to read the same book fifty times.
As I busied myself with polenta, Emma got ahold of the sharpie. B and I were talking in the kitchen and our little two year old came wandering into the kitchen with a huge, mischievous grin on her face. In her hand - the sharpie. Her fingers were black - I panicked.
WE ALL KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE: SHARPIE DOES NOT COME OFF.
I quickly snatched the pen out of her hand and looked around my living room for the destruction. I found none. NONE. Her face crumbled; she sobbed.
This isn't the worst bit. Sure, I make her cry all the time by giving her the wrong cup or changing her dirty diapers. The worst bit was that when I found the "destruction":
She was copying me. She holds the pen perfectly and is already making pseudo-letters and straight lines. Her little marks were nestled in amongst mine. It just broke my heart - she wanted to be like mummy. To her - she didn't do anything wrong as she was copying me.
I felt terrible. I left the piece out in the living room to remind me to be patient - Sharpie is permanent, but does a little mark of sharpie really matter? I mean, really? I think my actions have a more permanent impact on Emma than a little marker.
This morning, Emma showed me the "coloring" and I told her it was very good. I asked if she wanted to do more and she showed up with another sharpie (Seriously! Where does she find them?!)
Ah, ha. A teachable moment. We spent about half an hour coloring with sharpie.
ON A PROTECTED SURFACE.
Will she remember? Probably not. Does it matter? Not really. Did we share a lovely moment together? Of course.