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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Embracing My Ignorance

I would like to think that I exude a cool, calm exterior.  Even now, as my children interrupt my typing for the umpteenth time, I am not freaking out... yet.  But, there is a time in which my exterior probably falters-- just for a moment--if you look closely.   Maybe I have a fear of being perceived as a disorganized ditz or maybe I simply am prideful-- but I hate looking stupid.  Now, I have been shocked by my own ignorance before (my husband will never let me live down the fact that I thought Pink Floyd was a guy named Floyd for example)-- but usually I cover it up with a nod or a silent smile.... while inside I'm saying, "OH MY LORD."

As a mother, I seem to encounter these moments more often than I care to admit, probably because I am always charting new territory with each child.  One of the earliest feelings of mom-inadequacy I can remember was when my eldest was a mere 15 months old.  The conversation with a friend went like this:

"Ugh... my [14 month old son] HATES getting his teeth brushed at night. I have to wrestle him to the ground every night. Does Grace mind teeth brushing?" my friend stated.

"Um... no... she's fine,"  I stammered.....meanwhile, my inner monologue sounds like this, "OH MY LORD... I have NEVER, EVER BRUSHED MY CHILD'S TEETH!! I am the worst mom ever."

Yes, I confess it to you now.... It just never occurred to me that your toddler's teeth need to be brushed-- granted, she didn't get teeth until about a year old.... so it wasn't THAT long (see, I'm rationalizing my own ignorance even now).

Now, on Pinterest, yes Pinterest-- the curse and blessing of every mother, I am reminded of my own  inadequacies every day.  Have you read one of those "how to clean your house?" blog posts? Umm... you're supposed to wash your curtains every couple of  months? (Going strong on 5 years now... so far never washed....) or cleaning the top of your appliances? This is stuff that I am not only neglecting-- I NEVER EVEN KNEW YOU HAD TO DO IT!  Luckily, most of this information I glean from pinterest I can react to at home by my computer, not in public where I'd have to murmur something like, "Of course I remove my cabinet doors to give them a good scrubbing ever week, otherwise I would just live in squalor!"

I think I am too hard on myself. My standards are low for housekeeping and no one can possibly know everything-- so I am going to start embracing my ignorance. I have a friend who is charmingly honest about her own naivete; she's the friend who admits readily if she doesn't get a joke or when she's done some disastrously embarrassing feat.  I don't think she's stupid, dumb, or ditzy-- actually, I think she's MORE confident than the rest of us. She's fine with making mistakes and admitting she's not perfect. So, I am going to be honest with the fact that (until college) I thought tap water was named such because you had to tap on the faucet to get it colder (thanks, Dad) and I just realized that Jack O' Lanterns had the word "Lantern" in them because they glow. Seriously, I know.

Easy Rule #984  Don't take yourself too seriously.  Misconceptions, mistakes, and misfortunes are great comedic material.  

Easy Rule #972 Your kids teeth won't fall out if you don't brush them for 4 months.  Seriously.


  1. Nearly spit my lunch out reading this very Julia! :)

  2. Glad to have entertained you with my admissions of inadequacy :)