Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mental Lottery

Today, my Tukey fell into a wading pond at the Morton Aboretum. He wasn’t hurt, but he was wet, and he was embarrassed. I took him into the bathroom to dry him off with one of the hand dryers and while I was drying his shirt, we had this conversation:

Tukey: “Those people were mean. They were cracking up at me.”

Me: “No they weren’t. They were all mommies. No mommy would laugh at another kid.”

Tukey: “Well, they were. They all cracked up at me.”

Me: “Tukey, I think they probably just saw a cute little boy who fell in the water and they thought it was cute. That’s all. They weren’t making fun of you.”

Tukey: “Yes, they were.”

Me: “Well, look at it this way. If they were mean, and they were laughing at you, then this is a good lesson. You will learn how it feels and when you ever feel like laughing at someone cuz they are hurt or doing something odd, then you’ll know that it’s not nice to laugh at other people.”

I continue to dry him off and then the air dryer stops. Another lady was in the bathroom, a woman who worked there, and she looked at Tukey and said, “You have the world’s greatest mom.”

And I said, “I have the world’s greatest almost kindergartener!”

The woman said she had a six-month-old at home and always thinks of how she’s going to teach her little baby lessons when she grows up. She said I did a great job teaching Tukey a little lesson. I swear I almost was about to cry. I told her that was the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me and she totally made me feel so happy. She made me have a good day. My heart was soaring with pride, and I gave myself a little cheer:

“Whoo Hoo!
Who’s your momma? Who’s your momma?
I’M THE MOMMA! I’M THE MOMMA!”

Of course, it was just a little mental inner cheer but it was all mine. And I’m keeping this little nugget of good feelings with me for whenever I’m feeling like a crappy mom.

Have you ever received a compliment that just made your heart soar? I love offering free compliments to people when I see someone doing something nice for someone else for no other reason than to just make a person feel good.

It’s like winning a little mental lottery, to receive little gifts like this.

25 comments:

M said...

What a sweet story!

Andie said...

awww that is sweet. I haven't gotten compliments about things like that, obviously because I'm not a mom, but I have gotten compliments that make me feel so positive and so happy!

You are an awesome mom!

TTQ said...

You da Momma!

T with Honey said...

Those unsolicited, out of the blue compliments are the best. You earned it today!

kim said...

awwww. And that was great advice you gave Tukey -- I put it in the mental file for sure.

I did have a moment like that once, it's hanging out in my unfinished posts section.

IT WAS like "winning the mental lottery". Like you, I banked it and made a mental note to hand out more compliments because truth be told, I may have been coming up with some great advice for my kid, but kid wasn't buying it and I was really getting inwardly frustrated.

Compliment = frustration evaporated and I was infused with patient momness for days.

I told the woman that she evaporated my frustration so she could feel proud for having spoken out loud. Act of kindness mini-fest.

kim said...

btw- was in your neck of the woods Tuesday and came home with a couple of itchy spots. Nice bugs ya'll got there.
WT Heck?

Manic Mom said...

Kim, yes, we got some mean-ass bugs here!

Swishy said...

Awww ... that is so sweet! And she was great, you ARE a great mom!

la bellina mammina said...

That was really a fantastic advice you had given your little Tukey... and I'm very sure you're a fantastic mom!

Kim Stagliano said...

Nice. Nice. Nice. On behalf of my girls, who hear nasty comments and get dirty looks from people all the time, THANK YOU.

Colorado Writer said...

Oh my god MM, You really are the coolest. Will you be my mom? Oh that's right, we are the same age!

Thanks for sharing this.

Kristabella said...

Wow, great story! You are a great mom!

These are the things that make me realize that maybe I'm better off childless. Because 1) I would have laughed too when he fell in and 2) I would have admitted that yes, they were laughing at you.

That is an awesome way to teach him! And I'm happy that the woman said it to you! Compliments rule!

March to the Sea said...

well done on the parenting..funny that lady can say "I got this great advice in a public restroom once..."

Patricia said...

Don't you love when someone compliments your "mommy skills". My problem is I laugh when stuff like that happens, but my kids are used to it, LOL.

Ello said...

That was really lovely advice! I really like how you turned it into a lesson that would really make sense to your son without it feeling like a lecture. I am not so good at that. I need lessons from you! My girls are really sensitive and their feelings are easily hurt. I haven't thought to do what you did. It is a great idea and I will be using it soon!

I love hearing stories about how a total stranger can make someone feel good with a simple kindness. Thanks for sharing.

Andrea said...

I would have probably died laughing, too, but hopefully Tree Faerie will be used to that by the time she's old enough for it to matter. :)

I love compliments that come from nowhere, especially when they come during a stressful time. It's like it reminds me that yes, I really am doing an okay job.

Patti said...

once me and boy were out shopping. he was about 14 or 15. i think i was buying him a baseball cap and the lady ringing us up told boy, "your sister is so nice to buy you a hat!"

he burst out laughing, and i didn't correct her. man, that was good.

Patti said...

^ gaaaaa....boy and i...boy and i were out shopping...

Manic Mom said...

Hey, "boy and me" sounded great to me. And that's definitely the mental lottery!

B. said...

Wow! The rest of moms and moms-to-be have a lot to live up to. Perhaps I'll need to use that advice someday.

Trish said...

oh yeah....

a couple of years ago a woman I had just gotten to know had asked me what it was I did to have such great kids, that SHE wanted to know so that she could have kids just like mine.

*GRIN*

Best cpmpliment ever!

Manic Mom said...

Ah Trish! Isn't it just nice to know that somehow we're doing some things right in this motherhood gig!

Oh, The Joys said...

Woo hoo! It's so rare that I feel like I'm doing any of it right!

You, GO! Good mamma!

cubmommy said...

You are an awesome Mom! I wish I could be more like you. I am having trouble adapting to three little ones.

I was at the park the other day and I could feel this other Mom judging me because the boys would not listen to me. I finally got the boys together and we left the park. I wanted to cry.

All I can say is I can't wait until school starts even if Big Cubby is gone half a day it is still a break of some sorts.

wordtryst said...

Awww... Moms are full of self doubt, knowing that they're always being judged by their children's behavior and performance. It's always: Am I handling this right? Am I teaching the right lessons?

You're definitely on track, MM. You taught that boy about empathy and kindness right there.

Nothing, nothing feels so good as when my sis or friends compliment me on the way I've brought up my son. One of my best memories is of the day my son came home from high school and told me that his teacher commented on how well his mom had raised him.

I always got the feeling that my own mom thought I was doing a rotten job, though. Ya can't win them all.