Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Glass-Half-Empty Mother

I have always wanted to be like my Aunt Susan, who exudes positivity and encouragement. When she tells you that she thinks you're wonderful (which she often does), you honestly believe that she actually might be right. Unfortunately, that positive gene seems to have skipped me. Instead, I am a dyed-in-the-wool glass-half-empty person, despite my continued efforts to the contrary. 

Now, don't get me wrong, the glass-half-empty outlook does come in handy, like on back-packing trips when nobody else thought to bring an extra tarp or duct tape, and on family vacations when those darn meterologists got it wrong again. As the glass-half-empty person, you see, I have already thought about the possibility of these misfortunes and have come prepared. 

In some ways, motherhood has made my glass-half-empty personality thrive, thanks to those slight twinges of fulfillment that come when the baby has a blow-out and J looks desperately at me, "Do you have another outfit and a whole container of wipes?" Well, of course I do. Or when Mister finally admits that his size 9 shoes really are too small and that he must have a new pair of shoes right.this.instant. Lucky for him, I bought them on clearance last year. But still, I would rather be less prepared and more positive. 

Until our trip to California a few weeks ago, I hadn't much thought about the impact of my half-empty outlook on my children. The first night at the grandparents, the kids realized that they hadn't put their stack of books into the travel box, so we had nothing to read before bedtime. I dug through the travel box and found a Snow White sticker book with words and read it instead. Mister and Sweetie had never heard of Snow White before. And they weren't so impressed. 

"Well, that's silly," Sweetie said when the story was over. 
"What is?" I asked.
"Snow White, going off with that prince," she said. "She doesn't even know him."
"Yeah," said Mister. "He could be really mean or something." 
"Yeah," said Sweetie. "Reeeeallly mean. Silly Snow White."

Yes, silly Snow White. Such a trusting, glass-half-full heroine. And who knows what ever happened to her? Yeah, yeah, "happily ever after." Do you think I buy that? (Remember, that glass is half empty.)  So, maybe there are some parenting perks to my half-empty outlook after all. 


Dena said...

I'm a glass-half-empty mom too. It does come in handy you have band-aids, extra this or that, and most things you need on hand. I also wish sometimes that I was more positive. I guess since we're aware of that, we can be prepared and try to be positive the rest of the time. I have found that the more kids I have, the more I tend to just roll with the punches now - but my diaper bag is always stocked and always w/ me. ;)

Miranda said...

You crack me up! I am never prepared. I am always the one at the park with the kid that pooped his pants and doesn't have any diapers or wipes (whips). I wish I was more like you.

Melanie said...

I love this! I'm a glass-half-empty mom as well. I get frustrated with myself because most of the time I packed around 10 extra pounds of stuff that I didn't end up needing. I guess every once in a while it comes in handy. And I agree, Snow White was pretty silly.

sweetpea said...

I'm a glass half-full kind of girl, but there are certainly times when it would have come in handy the other way around. Actually I wish I could ust be a balance of both!

Heather said...

They really have no idea who Snow White is? While I was reading that all I could think was, "crap! I am probably screwing up my kid. . .she knows just about every princess!"

bluestocking mama said...

heather, it has everything to do with having a boy first and having all boys in this neighborhood! and she's just not into anything girlie (which kind of makes me sad that i don't get the whole playing-with-dolls experience). so don't feel bad. she knows all about light sabers and fighting with daggers, so there you go :)

Heather said...

Okay, I feel a little better!

Rachel said...

I'm right there with you. Not a mom yet, but I'm sure it'll be half empty when i am. How does Susan do it? I asked her once and she was surprised to learn she was an optomist?!? Maybe she just fakes it better than the rest of us? But that's just me hoping that some day my fake-out will get better.