That is what stings right now - my pride.
See, I am "room mom" at my son's preschool. I'm in charge of coordinating volunteers and making sure parties go smoothly. Walking into the school at 10:15 AM, armed with streamers, balloons, and cupcakes, and candies, I had spectacular visions of his preschool Halloween party...Happy, cooperative children, appreciative smiles from the teachers, Parker running to me with open arms [hey, it happens sometimes when I pick him up from the gym] to thank me for the amazing party.
Fast forward 2.5 hours...Ignoring the confused stares of teachers and parents in charge of darling, smiling children, I gracefully muscle my way out the door of the school, lugging a 35lb heap of crying, snotty boy and a bag filled with extra napkins, icing, crafts, etc.
Thank goodness my mom was home with Maddie. I fixed lunch for mom and the kids and retreated to the office for a good cry, prayer, and reflection. I came out laughing at myself and my own foolish pride. That's really what the problem was.
It wasn't so much that the kids weren't that into our crafts and games, or that we waited so long to give them the cupcakes they were ravenous little beasts with no interest in decorating them, or that trying to move them from one activity to the next was like trying to herd cats...no, those weren't the real issues.
I realized I was in trouble the minute Parker saw me and wanted to pick him up, to let him hang on my knees as I tried to move around the room, to sit with him, to do his craft for him, to whine incessantly. I was embarrassed. Then his teachers said the most awful thing. I have heard it before from more caregivers than I care to count - grandparents, gym workers, church nursery staff. "He never acts that way here!"
My hackles raised and stayed up for the rest of the party. Why would someone say that, I asked myself. My inner child [brat] wanted to scream at them: "Congratulations! You must have magic powers! I'm sooo glad he's such an angel for you! Maybe you could teach me some of your voodoo, and I wouldn't be such an incompetent parent."
Later, after some reflection, I have come to some different conclusions about their motivations for sharing this information. Perhaps they were just trying to assure me that he's well-behaved at school. That's nice. I am sure they weren't trying to insult my parenting skills. I realize I was hypersensitive.
However, for all of you caregivers out there. Please don't say that to parents. Ever. It really doesn't help.