I’m sorry. Sorry. For myself and now for my daughter. Yikes.
If ever there was a word to come out of my mouth too easily, and too often, it is the word sorry. I suspect that I often say sorry when what I really want is for someone to say it to me. Like, erm, “oh, I’m really sorry!” subtext <that you bumped into me and nearly knocked me into the path of an oncoming car, but don’t you worry, you just carry on> It’s passive aggression raised to an art form. I am not proud and it gets me nowhere.
Now I am in the process of teaching my child to say sorry. Along with “please” and “thank you” and “you’re ace mummy”. Like me, Bibsey has not quite grasped the appropriate usage and will say “sorry mummy” when I am brushing her hair and it is hurting her. I suspect she really wants me to cease and desist. Oh, and say “sorry”.
She is nearly two years old and, characteristically for a child of that age, she struggles with sharing and can be quite the bruiser at playgroup. Without going into the gory details of her misdemeanours, I will just say that I have to be very vigilant and very much on top of it at playgroup.
Yesterday there were a couple of incidences of flying fur and I had to restrain her and then try to get a sorry out of her. The word is tricky for her. But offering up a kiss and a cuddle in its place is not. And no harm is done. Well at least I hope not. We haven’t been blackballed or run out of town yet. So here’s hoping.
And of course, mine is not the only child to resort to violence against her fellows. So, the other mothers are mostly very philosophical and supportive. They comfort me as I rock back and forth in the corner, pulling my hair out one stand at a time, and tell me that it will pass. Some have more than one child and have seen it all before. And, unsurprisingly, it is the kids with older siblings who hardly bat an eyelid in the face of my territorial and acquisitive little darling.
There is only one mother (first-timer like me) that makes me itch slightly about the whole thing. And that is probably more about me, and my paranoia, than about her, and her disapprobation regarding my child and my mothering skills. However, the profuse apologies still flow forth like diarrhoea from my mouth and I feel inadequate and out of control.
I want to say here that much of Bibsey’s ‘over enthusiasm’ at playgroup is just that: she loves it. So unbridled is her joy and delight at being amongst the other kids, the singing, the sandpit, the toys, books, playdoh, glue and sticky bits and paint (oh the deep joy of paint – she doesn’t have that at home), that she quite loses a handle on herself. And she is not quite always able to mitigate for the joy and delight of the other children. She’s only two. I should just chill out, right?
Interestingly, and back on brief, I don’t think that “I’m sorry” is a very commonly used phrase in Spain, along with “please” and “thank you”. This is not meant to be a great criticism, I should add. It’s just that Spanish is a much more direct language than English and here they don’t seem to dance around the pleasantries in quite the same way as the British do. It could be the way forward for me.
It will come as no surprise to learn that “lo siento” was one of the first phrases that I looked up when learning the language. And I suspect that I overuse it here just as I do at ‘home’.
It is so important to know when to say sorry. And just as important to know when to just keep your trap shut. But how do you pass this on to your children? How do you bring up the little people up to be confident and caring individuals? *wrings hands and worries* And when do they stop beating the crap out of each other? All advice and comfort welcome.
This post, in an early form, has been sitting in my ‘drafts’ for a while – along with about 40 half-written or hardly-written posts – but I picked it up again today because of another post that I read yesterday. I hardly know this blogger actually (funny where #followfriday* takes you sometimes isn’t it?) but, as her thoughts on the subject inspired me to get on and write this today, I feel that I should give some credit.
*For those who don’t do the Twitter thing, this is what the whole Tweeting world does on a Friday and involves tagging all your favourites Tweeters for others to discover.