I took my baby to the doctor's for her well-child visit yesterday. She is 81 pounds, and 57 1/2 inches long. :) Alright, I guess at age 11 I should be saying she is 4 ' 9 1/2 " and maybe I shouldn't even disclose her weight, a lady shouldn't tell right? And Lord help me, I think she is a young lady now!
At each well-child visit we get a sheet of paper letting us know what to do/not to do, what milestones she should have reached (more when she was a baby than now) . I call them her instructions. Because other than a few baby books, and advice, some solicited, some not, they were the only instructions that she came with!
I used to laugh at people when they said that kids should come with instructions. I thought it must be pretty straight forward. And for the most part Samantha was a pretty straight forward kid. The things I would have liked explained to me were important, heart wrenching, but few & far between. Like when she wasn't even two years old and we had to get her glasses, and she would cry and cry , "no glasses mommy, please mommy, no glasses" because it was different, and we had to make her wear them. It hurt. But she had to. And when I put her on the kindergarten bus. And they wouldn't let me go. At least not every day. But even if it hurt I knew what I had to do.
Now it's things like how to handle gossipy friends, what to do with peer pressure, why school starts so early, and why I am the meanest mom in America. And I don't always know the answer. I know what I want to tell her to do when she tells me her friend says her shirt is stupid, or that another friend is mean to her because Samantha won't sit with her on the bus. What I want to tell her is to go all Jerry Springer on her friend, and tell her "OH NO YOU DIDDINT" and hold up her hand in front of the child's face. But instead I try to get her to understand why the other person might be acting that way. And to just continue to be nice. She thinks that it is hard. I know it is hard. And I find myself feeling angry at that other child. But I can't show that. And again, there are no instructions.
In the future I know there will be more difficult problems. I know this because I was 11 once. And I remember. And I survived.
Middle School is looming. Next school year. It makes me want to throw up a little bit.
So for now I follow the instructions they give me each year at the doctor's office. I make sure she sleeps well, is physically active, involved in activities. I make sure she is healthy.
I hope that next year the instructions cover, hurt feelings, cliques, mean moms, and not being allowed to have everything every other kid in America has. Because I am certainly at a loss.