Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unbroken. Or Broke but Laughing. Or Pagan Parenting FAIL. You choose Title.

I just had my first Elephant Girl talk with the Bird. She was arranging me, her pillow/blanket/entertainer/lullaby-singer just so, and she demanded, "No. Your broke arm here, Mama." I felt a really powerful sadness for a moment- the implicatiions in broken of loss and dysfunction and wrongness- but explained gently: "It isn't broken Sweets. It's just my small arm. Just different." She insisted it is broken. "Somebody broke in half mama. Who broke your arm?" I told her I was born just that way, and it's fine. And here's where the tears I was choking down became hysterical laughter:

"But mama why?"
"Birdlet, the Goddess just made mama that way."
"Well den you better behave yourself."

So my baby mistakes my earthen-mystic-fate explanation for a Wrathful Punisher Goddess and I'm left thinking I should have just let her call it broke until such time as I can explain theories of amniotic bands or recessive genes or the twin absorption thing- and by the way, does that really happen? I'm gonna go use my google-fu and continue to process my strange reactions to an innocent toddler word choice.

14 comments:

  1. Hmmm, you've got me really thinking here. Because part of HER notion is that there is this thing called a perfect body, and as such, she sees yours as broken...not perfect. Maybe as she gets older just ask her more questions? Like my hair is brown and yours is blonde, which one is better? Why? No! They're both wonderful!

    Or else that might be more confusing....

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  2. Ah, the mouths of babes and all. I think it's a form of her worrying in her own sweet way about taking care of her mama. She sees your arm (I don't know any specifics about it of course) as broken, not bad. She wants to take care of her mama! As for the Goddess making sure you're naughty or nice, well, maybe she's heard too much X-Mas stuff, hee! I'm rambling, sorry darlin'.

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  3. She is old enough to hear that it is not your fault, it is not her fault, and it's just different. This didn't happen because someone was bad, it's just the way it is.
    The fault part is important for that age.
    If they think there is anything different, challenged etc about a parent, it is often in their mind somewhere that it could be their fault.

    My son asked me once if my asthma symptoms were his fault ( I had just returned from the hospital). He was 2 1/2 then and is 20 now- and he recalls that conversation.

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  4. She's just the sweetest gift from any goddess isn't she? :)

    We have brief discussions about "mommy's brain"-which I expect to get more in depth soon. I just try and let them know it's not their fault.

    Go Birdy!

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  5. Sweet birdie. Sweet mama. (((((((hugs))))))))))

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  6. It is sweet she is trying to make sense of things, even if her way means you have to be good.

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  7. Sweetie don't worry or be hard on yourself. I think this is a developmental thing. Understanding the concepts of "good" and "bad" are something children have to develop over time. Right now she just has a very black and white perspective on behavior and punishment. That's what parents have to appeal to at this stage. I think once she gets to be a more grown up girl you'll be able to see her process ethics in new ways. Her brain just isn't there yet my dear. *HUGS*

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  8. I agree with missbanshee - she doesn't see it as bad, but broken and different. I know it is in NO way the same, but I have a couple of moles and Ciaran is always asking me about my "owies". I think it's the stage that they're at...they don't have the vocabulary or the capability to express "difference", so they view it in terms that they can express and understand.

    She's just not in a place where she's even capable of understanding, because she's too little! As she grows, knowing how open and accepting a person YOU are, I cannot help but have faith that your daughter will be the same, and that she will love the ways that you are different because you are her mother. As a fat woman (again, NOT the same, but I hope you see what I'm getting at), I'm not looking forward to my son's first realization that I am much larger than most people and that society says that is Not Okay [tm]. I can only hope that he eventually learns acceptance and compassion from me, and doesn't see me the way that society might.

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  9. And anybody over the age of 2 who thinks you're "broken" is loony. You're one of the most remarkably *whole* people I know!

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  10. I'm trying to piece this together from perusing your blogs, flitting from here to there.

    I watched a fascinating documentary on chimera (absorbed twins) & how that explains such situations as hermaphrodites & more. It was on Discovery Health, I believe, and I'm trying to remember the name of it. The story was centered around 2 mothers who were told that they were not the genetic mothers of their own babies who they knew they gave birth to. (One mother needed a kidney transplant & her grown son was tested for a match & was told he wasn't her son. The other was arrested for welfare fraud b/c simple blood test said the baby in her house wasn't her own.)

    Might have been called "I am my own twin." Will google and report back.

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  11. found it

    http://health.discovery.com/tv-schedules/special.html?paid=62.15516.111185.0.0

    Seen it? Heard of it?

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  12. Sarah- thanks! Wow... looks interesting:) I don't have Discovery channel, though. Boo.

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  13. found parts of the documentary on YouTube. Here's part 1:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtZgxsAkA3s

    The rest in parts uploaded by the same person.

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  14. Yeah it really was fascinating. I love medical mystery shows like that. I watched the show years ago, one time, and could probably still tell you the summary of every major point of it, given enough time.

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