Apologies to My “Type Z” Child

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I love to eat pie. Hand me a slice of hot, baked-from-scratch, fresh-out-of-the-oven apple pie (or peach pie or any kind of berry pie) with a scoop of ice cream next to it (not on top cause that would make it melt too quickly!), and I’m a happy camper.

But do you know what kind of pie I don’t like eating?

You guessed it – humble pie.

If you can imagine, humble pie is that barely recognizable “dessert” made up of a gooey crust and cold, moldy filling. It’s like a baker opened up a can of very expired fruit and dumped it into a raw pie crust and handed it to you in a floppy tin foil pan.

Not too appetizing, is it? That’s why I was less than thrilled to have been served a slice of it this week.

Let me start from the beginning.

I’m a pretty typical Type A kind of gal. I’m detail oriented, a little too serious, task-oriented … you get the picture. But somehow I gave birth to a Type Z daughter. (Yes, I know the opposite of the Type A personality is usually called Type B, but I think using the letter Z is more appropriate given how completely opposite these two personalities are.) So, me and C (aka. my alter ego) get along great much of the time. She injects joy and life into the most mundane moments, such as the time she decided to place a shredded carrot between her upper lip and nose to form a mustache. Or the times she squeezes me tight and tells me, “I love you more than you love me!” Those are the moments that make me stop whatever task I’m doing and just laugh. I call her my fun-loving, happy kid.

Then there are the times my Type Z daughter causes me to sigh and groan. It’s usually when she has misplaced an item and starts having a minor meltdown about losing it, only to have me point out that it was right in front of her face the entire time (just partially hidden under something else). Or when she leaves a trail of toys on the floor and neglects to clean them up, creating a dangerous obstacle course for me to go through. These are the moments I end up complaining to hubby about how forgetful, messy and undetailed (yes, I made that up) his mini-me is.

So here’s where things started going downhill for me as a parent this past week. I was packing the kids’ snacks/lunch one morning and asking C where she put her water bottle. My exact words were, “Go look for it! You probably left it upstairs.”

Upon hearing my nagging voice, she went up to her room to look, then came back down and searched some more. When she told me she couldn’t find it, I sighed (of course) and thought to myself, I’m not surprised. She always loses things. Then I grabbed another pink water bottle of hers, packed it in her bag and sent her out the door to school.

Soon after, I opened the refrigerator to get some breakfast for myself, and my eyes spotted something on the top shelf that immediately made me cringe. Lo and behold, there was C’s “missing” water bottle, which I had put there the day before.

When I told hubby about this later, he gave me a “That’s not nice” look and said I’d better apologize to C for accusing her of losing her water bottle.

“I know, I know. I will,” I replied through a mouthful of humble pie.

Sigh. I hate swallowing my pride and admitting I am wrong about something. But this time I had no qualms about doing just that because I felt so bad that I had mislabeled my sweet daughter. Sure, the labels I had been using were based off of her tendencies, but tendencies only reflect what someone does some of the time, not all of the time. And negative labels certainly don’t give people the benefit of the doubt that possibly, just possibly, someone else could be at fault.

So, I’m trying to focus on more positive labels for my kids and for people in general (myself included). No one is perfect. Everyone has their share of strengths, including my Type Z daughter. And everyone has their share of weaknesses, especially a certain Type A mama. 😉

This song by Corinne Bailey Rae, “Put Your Records On”, comes to mind when I think about C. The lyrics remind me of her free spirit.

What personality traits do you have a harder time getting along with?