Monkey Boy had another talking to after school today, by his teacher.
Then by me.
I’ve been doing a lot of the “I’m not going to do what my parents did to me” stuff, and reflecting on what was going through my head at these moments, and how I would like to have been treated at the time and I’m trying to do the same with Monkey Boy, whilst at same time trying to be all growed up and sensible and trying to get him to understand.
And, inevitably, worry about what I’m gonna do or say to screw it / him / the situation / his future up.
Just another moment of that “lead to emotional and / or psychological disorders” and “lower IQ” and “impede cognitive development” and so on and so on and so on …
… and then … it occurred to me.
Haven’t I already done this? At which point is it that I fuck them up socially and mentally, cause untold damage to they emotions, lower their IQ, increase risk of heart disease and whatever else ..
Because, well, I’m fairly sure I was drunk the night I conceived him. And possibly before I knew I was pregnant. And I did have a couple of drinks (but not all at the one time) during pregnancy. So, I thought that was when you caused all these problems.
I think I ate some camembert, too.
I had the added bonus of having an emergency C-section, and we all know the untold damage that ceasareans do to all kinds of things with your baby; lower IQ, substandard intelligence, emotional and psychological disorders, etc.
Also, whilst I started breastfeeding, I didn’t go for two years. I stopped at eight months (well, he did). AND I had been supplementing him with formula from about 3 or 4 months, so … again with the stupid baby with some sort of psychological and / or emotional disorder, not to mention myriad physiological, behavioural and social disorders.
Or … no wait. Hmmm. I’m fairly sure he tried a few foody type things that weren’t on the “best foods for baby” lists in the magazines and books. Could they have had an effect …?
He didn’t watch Baby Einstein DVDs, he saw several episodes of The Simpsons before he was 10 months old, I yelled at him more than once, he never slept in our room, let alone our bed, I had him in childcare at 3 months old and regularly left him in the care of others, he listened to Aerosmith and not the Wiggles, I didn’t baby talk to him, or subject him to word or number flash cards … and so on and so on.
And now I’m confused.
At which point, exactly, was it that I caused all this untold damage?
Cos, I thought it was all that stuff you did (or didn’t – I neglected to play him Beethoven whilst he was in utero – whoopsie) during pregnancy. Or, if you are one who was well planned, you could have had your chance at the “fucking up their heads” before you even conceived, by eating the “wrong” foods.
Then, well, then it was the whole “method of birth” thing. Was he already psychologically damaged because I didnt’ get enough spinach during his incubation? Did I cause the damage with his extraction, or did I add to it?
Then the breastfeeding – or not. Is it then that the impairments are cause … or … or because I didn’t co-sleep or …
I’m so confused.
Each bandwagon expert with a motive will tell you that the Thing They Tout is an opporutnity for you to raise healthy and happy children and that if you don’t do what they say, then you will be responsible for stupid children with emotional and or psychological problems, health related issues and more …
So, which is it:
- is it only one of these moments in their life that is really the key moment, and the rest are trying to scare you?
- is it cumulative, so you can screw them up pre-conception, and just continue to fuck them up during each of these phases? Or
- if I get it right during pregnancy, does this just give me the opportunity during their birth to screw it up? Get birth right, and the “breastfeeding” period is another chance for me to have my moment …?
Can I “undo” any of it?
(Not according to the ‘experts’ I’ve read!)
Or really, does it not really relate to us normal, real mums, who are doing the best we can, with what we have? Because, really, if you want to talk about causes of psychological and emotional damage, I’m willing to add “to the mum” to that list of all these things we’re doing wrong.
Now, back to working out the “right” way to handle this situation with the kid with above average intelligence and strong sense of self, and self worth, without screwing him up even further …