Friday, January 05, 2007

The Workplace Evaluation

My boss is a passionate 17 month old. She puckers up in a kiss when she wants one in return. She calls out "hug" and throws her arm around whichever of my body parts is level with her at the time. She says "wuv wuh" upon her retreat, always. That's "I love you," for those in need of a translation.

Her rampant affection shows me I'm doing a good job. I am not wracked by guilt for my little misdeeds because I know that the whole of my actions has created the kind of environment in which she feels safe to express her attachment to the people in her life. She is as comfortable with others as she is with me. She is kind and mannerful. She is only beastly to the dog.

I make mistakes all the time. I lose my temper. I have been known to listen to inappropriate material on satellite radio while she's in the car (Can anyone say "Bubba the Love Sponge"? The Boss can.) I blog when I should be playing with her. I can listen to her cry at bedtime with little in the way of introspection. In many ways, I am not what the parenting books say I should be. But how authoritative are most of those texts, anyway? I mean, I could write one if I really wanted to, and we all know how full of crap that self-help tome would be.

When she turns two, and promptly turns on me, I will still know I'm a good mother. She'll test the boundaries of the foundation I've helped set for her, but it will always be her home. Our home.

I'm not sure where this confidence comes from. It's perspective that I am not blessed with in other aspects of my life. Am I a good person? I don't know. Am I a good wife? Probably not.

But I look at my daughter and it is clear to me that I am doing something right.


Anonymous said...

The cynic in me says you'd better bookmark this one, East of the River.

Can I just say I'm totally psyched to find someone (you through Jen @ one plus two) actually in CT? And a MOMS Club president? (I did my duty last year.)

Lauren said...

Um, you're doing a fantastic job. What other 17 month old do you know that says "thank you" without being forced, and who falls over and laughs it off instead of crying and begging for pity.

Binky = my role model.

jen said...

i love this post. you standing up with confidence rather than falling in line w/ the "i am probably doing this wrong" era that i end up in too much of the time.

and hey, you know, she might not turn on you when she's two. mine hasn't yet (grandparental situation removed)

surviving motherhood said...

Wuf wuh is a pretty good evaluation from your boss I reckon.

Linda said...

I was never too sure how well I was doing in the "mothering" department when my children were younger as I'll be the first one to tell you that I would never achieve "Mother of the Year" status but now that Amanda is 14 and still not only talks to me but likes to bring her friends over (and they in turn not only talk to me but all want to be "Friends" on my MySpace page), I've got to think that I did something right.

Sometimes I think we're our own worst judges when it comes to how well we're doing something but it sounds to me like you're doing great and I'm sure that when The Boss reaches her adolesence, she'll want to talk to you and include you in her life, too. And that's when you'll know that you REALLY did the motherhood thing right!

mamatulip said...

After the day I had yesterday with my bosses, I really needed to come here and read this.

I need to go look at my kids and remind myself that I'm doing something right, too.

Thanks. :)

Ruth Dynamite said...

Awww. This is incredibly sweet and so, so true. She is your boss. Your only boss. Your gauge of how you're doing at what's most important. Clearly, you're doing a great job.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Now if only those evaluations came with big monetary raises. But I suppose big smooches and leg hugs are good compensation, too.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Sounds like a 10 out of 10 to me! :)

Jenn said...

love this post! sounds like whatever 'mistakes' you've made certainly aren't bothersome to the Boss and, really then, who else are we worried about??

(via CHBM)