It’s Not Always About Maternal Instinct
March 29, 2016, 12:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have mentioned in past posts how Christmas went for me last year. I gave my Tiny Human what I thought were unique and practical toys. She burst into tears after having opened all of them and proclaimed that none of this is what she had asked from Santa.

To be fair she had asked for:

A Unicorn

A game (??)

Unicorn shoes

& a unicorn purse

I couldn’t really go off this list too much so I, mistakenly, strayed. In the process I felt as if I had single handily dissolved the entire magic of Christmas. I made a new plan for next year. We will march our butts through the store and make note of everything she likes.

I know that this isn’t what I should be doing, probably. I know that in some way I am feeding into her being ungracious for what she got–but I feel it was not about that. She was incredibly polite to everyone who gave her a gift. I think the fact that Santa–her main man–hadn’t gotten it together is what really destroyed her little 5 year old heart.

Anyway, I entered this new year feeling like a failure. I vowed that Christmas this year was going to be the absolute bomb.

Then, Easter happened.

I literally spent an hour and a half walking in a haze around Target trying to figure out what a 5 year old Tiny Human needs for Easter.

I couldn’t ask her like I do with Santa because I do not want her thinking that Easter is just Second Christmas. I didn’t want to just fill this basket with candy–we aren’t big candy eaters because great teeth do not run in our family on both sides. I got a few Star Wars pieces of candy. I found a little stuffed bunny that I guess she could put at the top of the pile of ALL THE OTHER STUFFED BUNNIES EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

But, what else? Nail polish? Chapstick that she can pretend is lipstick? Underwear? A purse? MORE FREAKING SHOPKINS? She has all of this crap already. She just got this all in her damn Christmas stocking.

Then, I found myself in the book section. I walked, sadly, to the beginner reader section and gave it a once over. Most of it was stupid licensed character stories that I hate. But, as I moved them aside I came across a few Amelia Badelia books. I read these! I loved these! I grabbed on. Next to them was a selection of Bernstain Bears books. Dear god, I’ve hit the jackpot! I grabbed one of those also. Books! Of course! My Tiny Human would want books!

I marched triumphantly out of Targed at 9pm.

I arranged the basket perfectly and left it on the dining room table for her to discover the next morning.

She came down and was super duper hyped over her basket. She couldn’t believe that the Easter Bunny had come and left her some things. It was a little magic bubble. Thinly made.

As the day went on and we visited with family, who all absolutely love my child and are well within their rights to spoil her,  her pile of Easter baskets grew and grew. She was literally swimming in candy. By the time we got home after Easter supper, it was nearly time for bed. My husband recommended perhaps one of her new stories that the Easter Bunny had brought as her bedtime story. She could find sight words and maybe read some of the simple words.

She shook her head. “Maybe another night.” And walked upstairs, leaving my heart bleeding in my hands.

“Why is this not coming naturally for me?” I cried quietly to myself.

Perhaps I expect her to be more like me. I was a serious child who devoured books so fast that my parents couldn’t keep up with them.

My Tiny Human looks exactly like me and so it is easy to forget that she isn’t just my clone. She is her own person. I guess maybe books may not be her thing. That is something that I will have to accept one day.

(Like maybe when she goes to college and picks a major that isn’t a humanities–like something she can actually make a living off of. )

I laid in bed that night, probably sobbing like a bipolar does in times like this whispering, “I can’t do this”, in between the sobs.

When she was younger, even last year I think, gifts were so much easier. My opinion was still her opinion then. I would pick out her clothes, style her hair, giver her gifts that I would have been tickled about when I was a small child. And it worked. She was pleased to get anything.

But now, she is five. She picks out her own clothes–I can’t even buy her clothes anymore without her present. She won’t let me touch her hair. She just wears is scraggily around her small little shoulders. She is no longer excited blindly at gifts we give her.

It’s not her fault. It’s not my fault. It’s the just the normal progression of life, I suppose. My Tiny Human is becoming Not So Tiny Human faster than I am ready. Stay small, dear child. Be the mirror image of who I envisioned you to be.


I suppose there comes a time in all parenting that we must finally get to know our children. For years it’s little clips of their personality, circumvented with things we think they should be doing.

And then, suddenly, they’re 5 and you have no idea who they are or what to put in this damn Easter Basket.



1 Comment so far
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You win some, you loose some – sometimes you loose more than you win. We all feel that pain in parenting. But it’s the love and the effort that you are pouring into your Tiny Human that is the true gift you are giving her. You will see love and magic in her as a child, but the fruit of the seeds you are planting you will see as she grows and when she makes sure a friend feels special, when she remembers your birthday, and when she sprinkles love on those she knows. Your heart will swell when you watch her begin her time as a mom and she carries on the traditions that you are teaching her now. It takes a long time to grow a beautiful tree. Keep up the great and powerful work you are doing.

Comment by Denise Sprague ❤️ Heather's Mom

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