Deb, San Diego Momma, asked the tough, but fair, question, 'Can you please tell me how to "defer parental anxiety"?' after I mentioned in another post that I'd done it. That's an excellent question, Deb. To be honest I don't think I've really cracked it yet, as evidenced by the fact that I wrote a blog post explaining why I was anxious and then tried to assert that I wasn't. Clearly I am attempting to delude myself and all of you and for that, I am truly sorry, but I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
I am dangerously unqualified to give parenting advice to anybody, except maybe that woman from DK's old playgroup who used to bounce tennis balls off her two-year-old's head for fun. I will, however, list a few of the things I've tried in order to counter the constant, cloying grip of anxiety that began shortly after DK's conception.
- Pretend you have no children (hard drugs, alcohol or a blow to the head may help). This is, perhaps, not very practical or responsible. Instead:
- Close your eyes and think really hard about sparkly fairies, unicorns and rainbows. Then:
- Stand in front of the mirror each morning and say, 'I am a GREAT parent.' It won't reduce anxiety or, in fact, make you a great parent, but if your children watch often enough, they might start to believe it. They might also start to believe that you are mentally unstable. Which brings us to:
- Sit in the foetal position and rock backwards and forwards muttering to yourself. You wouldn't think so, but this is strangely comforting. Finally:
- Concentrate on the positives. In my case, I would remind myself that DK must be developing quite exceptional hand eye co-ordination playing Zelda. As musing pointed out, she is also improving her reading skills and extending her vocabulary while pursuing something she loves and is interested in, which is, of course, the absolute best way to learn. Navigating her way around Hyrule Kingdom has taught her to read a map better than I can and on top of all that, she seems to be indulging a healthy love of animals.
Interestingly, much of her Zelda play at present seems to involve collecting stray cats. She keeps some of them in an empty house, while others follow her about, mewing. She bathes them by picking each of them up in turn and jumping into a pool, chanting, 'Have a wash, Kitty, have a wash'.
She has, apparently, finished the 'cat hunt minigame', but just likes playing with the kitties. That's nice, isn't it? So let's focus on that and ignore the fact that she also likes to go through the game wantonly smashing furniture and windows and that she may well be shaping up to be the crazy cat lady of the Zelda world.
So there you go. After eight years of constant anxiety, that's all I've got. Let me know if you come up with anything better. Surely it shouldn't be too hard?