The Empty Child


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Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

The Day I was a Perfect Parent




It's all over the news and Social Media these days.  Imperfect Parents making mistakes.  It makes me thankful that I had that one day that I was completely and totally the perfect parent.

Because of that one day, I can sit in judgment of other imperfect parents.

Because of that one day, I can declare myself as above those mistakes because for one day I was exactly that.

I can't tell you the exact date that I was a perfect parent.  But I know that it must have happened.

Baby Brain has run rampant on me the last few months so I doubt it would have been since Beckett was born, no offense to that Happy Little Boy.  Actually, I know it couldn't have been since Beckett was born because his whole life he's either slept in my arms in bed with me, or in a crib that has (prepare yourselves, this is super scary) a bumper pad.

Maybe it was when Ty was a baby.  He was a pretty easy baby, too, so maybe that day of Perfect Parenting happened then.  Except that we had a quilt under the sheet of his crib to help soften the hard mattress.  That's definitely not acceptable Perfect Parent behavior.  Nor was the night that I put him in the car-seat and put the car-seat in the crib so that I could finally get some sleep.

Oh, and I didn't breast-feed him (or Beckett for that matter).  Being a mother that doesn't breast feed means that you don't care about your baby, their brain development, or their overall well being.  So that means it couldn't have been during his first year when he was taking formula.  I'm sure it must have been after that.

Darn.  I didn't keep him rear-facing until he was two-years-old, as is suggested.  Obviously I wasn't a good parent if I didn't do that.  So maybe after he was two.  Surely my perfect day of parenting happened then.  He did have that phase where he basically just wanted Vienna Sausages and Crackers for supper, so it couldn't have been on a night when I let him indulge because a perfect parent would have provided three square meals a day, perfectly balanced with cute and crafty little snacks in between.

Man.  That really narrows it down.  But I'm sure that happened at some point.

It definitely wouldn't have been on a day when I had him vaccinated because even though science has proven the benefits of a vaccine far outweigh any negative side-effects, Society tells me that I should believe some Blogger Mom who cites unreliable sources from the Internet.  I mean sure, those sources came back and said that their studies were fallible but they wouldn't have published them if they didn't really believe them.  And belief counts for something in the face of actual scientific research and medical evidence, right?

There was also that time that he got the (thankfully near-empty) bottle of Tylenol out of the diaper bag and went all bottoms-up with it.  (Sidenote:  The Poison Control Hotline asks for an uncomfortable amount of information before they actually provide you any assistance...pretty sure I've got a red-flag by my name somewhere.)  It definitely was not that day.  A Perfect Parent would have been watching their kids and interacting with them at all times.

It would have been on a day that I drove perfectly, too.  Not a mile above or below the speed limit.  I came to a full stop at every stop sign and was 100% aware of all things going on around me at all times.  But never distracted.  Which means my cell phone would have been put away, my music would have been at a reasonable level, and Ty would probably have been asleep in the age, weight, and height-approved car-seat.  It certainly wasn't that time that he was throwing the mother of all tantrums and I was swatting blindly in the back of the car trying to connect with any part of him that I could reach.  That was definitely not perfect parent material.

Nor was the time that I showed him I could scream louder than him and was therefore the winner of the fit-throwing contest.

And it would have to have been a day that I wasn't distracted by cell phones or television shows or the Internet.  I must have spent the day snuggled up with him or playing games with him.  Maybe it was the day that I built the giant tent in the living room and we watched movies together.  Except that I had pop-corn and cotton candy and all sorts of sweets set out for him to snack on in lieu of supper.  So nix that.

I'm still better than the parents that I see at Walmart.  I've never-ever had to raise my voice at my child or tell them "Stop running!", "Put that back where you got it", "Quit touching stuff", "Get out of the clothes rack and off of the floor", or "For the last time, I am NOT getting you a toy today!  You've got a birthday in two weeks!"

Actually I'm pretty sure I've said all of those.  So on my day of Perfect Parenting, we obviously didn't go shopping.

I'm starting to wonder if I even spent the day with him at all...maybe he was away at Nana & PaPaws and I spent the perfectly allotted and acceptable amount of time missing him and thinking of him while still getting some much needed "Me Time".  Because "Me Time" is important to moms, too.  So that's probably it.  He was away with his grandparents.  And I didn't forget to call him before bedtime.

See!  There you go!  I was a perfect parent one day!  I didn't do any actual parenting on that day, but it still counts.  I'm sure of it!

And because I was the perfect parent, I can sneer and make ugly comments at other parents when they make mistakes.  Sure, I've made those mistakes before.  Or I could very possibly make the same mistake in the same set of circumstances.  But I'm above that.  I have the Perfect Parent trophy from that one day that I wasn't really a parent at all.
Ashley Harris Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.