The other day I was jolted out of my red light daydream by my toddler! She was frowning with frustration and had removed her soother to urge me to get moving already mama! I was glad I was alone because it didn’t take any great leap of imagination to realise where this mini road rage had come from…yes guilty! Mama is not a patient driver.
Oh I tried to curb the habit, I bit my lip and muttered to myself, I sighed deeply and counted to ten, I silently gave people the finger when my daughter was looking the other way…but inevitably perhaps I couldn’t help myself. “Go!” I’d fume in a total rage when a driver was (slightly) too slow taking off at a green light. “Jesus Christ!” I’d roar then cringe when a pedestrian crossed at a dangerous junction. “Oh for f….sugar sakes!” I’d scream when someone (innocently) took a parking space I wanted. Little wonder then my 20 month old couldn’t deal with a slow driver either.
When my daughter was tiny I was much better behaved. I made great strides to be a calmer, more relaxed driver but then as we all know old habits die hard and as all us parents know your best parent behaviour soon wears off not long after the first birthday party…just when you’ll be needing it most! It’s ironic that when we are trying our hardest is when it matters least. My sister would watch her tongue very carefully when my daughter was barely a month old but now frequently slips up…just when language acquisition is kicking up a gear! I used to patrol TV watching like a Nazi officer, now it goes on whenever mama needs a rest…which can be quite frequently some days.
Let’s be honest none of us are perfect. There are things we do which we pray our children will never imitate. My ill-advised coke habit (cola not drug) being a major one. But yes there will be times when you find your child has inherited your freaky obsessive tidiness or her father’s perfectionism. All you can do is hope they find someone as crazy as them someday and live ever happily ever after in slightly dysfunctional bliss!
The following day my sister was driving us to town and stopped at a red light. Again this proved too much for my road warring munchkin. “Go!” she shouted. My sister looked at me and grinned knowingly. All I could do was smile and shrug. None of us are perfect but at least we are trying our best (most of the time!).