Buck Up Little Skier

– Posted in: Elfie, Guilt, Illness, Sports, The Great Outdoors, This Is Supposed to be Fun, Worst Mom Giveaways, Worst Mom Moments

As we approach the First Anniversary of World’s Worst Moms, I thought it would be fun to throw in one of my own bad mother moments. Enjoy the pain.

And if you haven’t entered the Anniversary Giveaway Extravaganza yet, then get your butt over to the previous post before midnight on August 24th. Someone’s going to end up with a cute necklace. 

I consider myself to be a caring, empathetic person. And since I’ve personally lived with chronic pain for the last seventeen years, you’d think I’d be particularly sensitive to when other people aren’t feeling well. You’d also think that, as a doctor, my husband would be more attuned to the discomfort and suffering of others. Generally speaking, we are.

Just not, apparently, when it comes to our own family.

Last winter, we had passes to our local ski resort. The kids had learned to ski the year before, so we thought they’d be seasoned veterans. But instead, they suddenly turned into a couple of whiners who didn’t like snow because it was cold. Or ski boots because they were uncomfortable. Or car rides because they took too long.

We were up in the parking lot of the resort, unloading the equipment, when Elfie, our 6-year-old, started up. She was tired. She couldn’t get her boots on. She felt too puffy in her clothes. That’s when we just laid into her. Both the kids got a giant lecture about how we rented their equipment for the season because they said they wanted to ski and we were sick and tired of all the complaining and if they didn’t buck up and stop being so difficult, we were going to leave them home (a threat that, based on all the whining, you’d think they’d be psyched about, but no — kids are big paradoxes).

So Elfie bucked up. She put on all of her stuff and walked to the lift. But she didn’t really talk very much and just sort of shuffled along with her head hung low. When we got our skis on, she and I took the lift up and split from my husband and son, who wanted to do something steeper. Still not much talking, but I figured she was beaten down from the lecture.

I should mention that the bunny run is annoying enough for me because there are places where it’s so flat that I actually have to “skate” in order to move. And sometimes, I end up having to pull a kid with me. On this day, Elfie was skiing so slowly that we kept getting stuck at a complete stop. And it was killing me. I was like the ski patrol pulling one of those rescue sleds. Only you don’t yell, “Come on! Let’s go!” at a sled.

And when I wasn’t pulling her, I was reminding her that we were actually skiing. Down a mountain. And she had to pay attention. It was like someone had slipped her a special brownie at a Grateful Dead concert and she’d “never seen the stars move like that before. . . “

“Elllllllfie, over this way. . . Ellllllfie, stop looking at the kids from the ski school. . . Ellllllfie, the bottom of the hill is this way. . .” I don’t want to say that my tone sounded as condescending as, say, Donald Trump talking to full-grown, successful adults on Celebrity Apprentice, but it couldn’t exactly be categorized as “kind and understanding.”

By the time we got to the bottom, I didn’t even mind when she said she was too tired and didn’t want to ski anymore. Because frankly, I didn’t either. But I was ticked off all the same. All I could think was, “What the hell is wrong with my kid? Is she really this weak? This wimpy? This spacy? Maybe we need to send her to go live on a farm for a month. This is all because I stopped breast feeding too soon, isn’t it. . .”

We sat down on a snow bank and waited for the guys. She asked me to help her take off her helmet, and that’s when it happened — I felt her head.

“Elfie, do you feel sick?”

“Yes.”

Yes.

When we got home we took her temperature — 102 degrees. Um, sorry! Erm, ha ha. . . wanna watch a movie? Or eat a popsicle? Or burn your mother in effigy?

I’m sure she’ll read this in the not too distant future. And all I can say is this: “Sorry honey. I really screwed that one up. And with me, it’s true — you and your brother have have gotten the short end of the stick. But just think — if I were better at this, there’d be no World’s Worst Moms. So thanks.”

13 Comments… add one

not blessed mama August 24, 2011, 4:17 am

oh boy. been there, done that. the guilt is especially strong when you find out they're sick. we've had a handful of nights where i pretty much yelled at the kids- be quiet! go to sleep! and then lo and behold, come morning- fever time. ouch. i think i finally got it through my thick skull that when they cry all night, they're probably sick.
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Verity August 24, 2011, 6:09 am

I have done that so many times….it is really the worst feeling. And the guilt multiplies greatly when you've sent them to school and they get sick there. (Thank god no one has said, "mommy told me just to stop whining and buck up"). My worst lately has to do with nosebleeds in the middle of the night. I get so freaking frustrated – especially if she is crying and snuffling a coughing – getting flecks of blood all over the bathroom. In the middle of the night. I have found myself yelling, "how hard is it to hold a tissue on your nose?" "Lean over the toilet" "Lean" I'm sure I sound like a drill sergeant…so bad….so bad. Sorry kiddos.
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@worldsworstmoms August 24, 2011, 6:44 am

It's just so hard! Especially when they're younger and they're going through those phases when they won't go to sleep on their own or alone or whatever. Then you really do have to get all hard ass and be like, "Buck up!" But if you don't know if they're sick, you're kind of screwed.

@worldsworstmoms August 24, 2011, 6:47 am

Ugh, the nose bleeds. I've gotten ridiculously pissed about the nose bleeds. Which, I know, is ridiculous. Ree-dic-u-lous. But it drives me nuts when they just keep dabbing and dabbing instead of squeezing it to get it to stop. Just postponing the inevitable.

And, no, you're not entered! Go leave a quick comment on the jewelry post that says, "I joined email." I forgot — I was going to mention the giveaway at the top of this post. Gotta fix that.

@worldsworstmoms August 24, 2011, 6:49 am

Ugh, the nose bleeds. I've gotten ridiculously pissed about the nose bleeds. Which, I know, is ridiculous. Ree-dic-u-lous. But it drives me nuts when they just keep dabbing and dabbing instead of squeezing it to get it to stop. Just postponing the inevitable.

And, no, you're not entered! Go leave a quick comment on the jewelry post that says, "I joined email." I forgot — I was going to mention the giveaway at the top of this post. Gotta fix that.

Angela August 24, 2011, 10:41 am

How about standing outside the house waiting for the school bus and your daughter repeatedly says "Mommy, my tummy really hurts", I told her it was nerves, she was hungry, etc. Then I said Mommy HAS to go to work, you'll be fine, only to have her puke as the bus pulled up. :( Ugh – worst Mommy moment for me.

Rebecca August 24, 2011, 2:23 pm

My daughter will run at 100% full throttle and then before you even realize she's stopped she is barfing up buckets and running a fever of 102…………..so she'd be totally stoked about the skiing and taking the biggest part of the mountain by storm, and then as soon as she'd get to the bottom the whole place would be covered in barf. That's just how she rolls………..

But yeah, I hear you. I think this sort of thing is harder on the mom than the kid.
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dianerene August 24, 2011, 5:07 pm

ugh, that's guilt I am all too familiar with. they know enough to say they don't feel well, but sometimes they don't KNOW they don't feel well. they're crabby and disagreeable and slow and mopey and we're pissed at the bad attitude only to find out they are running a fever! I always end up looking at them, with tears in my own eyes, and asking, "why didn't you just TELL me you didn't feel well?" ugh :(

Kimberly August 24, 2011, 11:46 pm

Two years ago, my brother moved an hour away for college. On his first day of classes, he called home asking my mom to come get him because he wasn't feeling well and wanted to go to the doctor (freshmen aren't allowed to have cars). She told him it was nerves (he was the kid who puked from nervousness on the first day of school every year) and warned him not to bother her with little problems. He then called me, and I pretty much told him the same thing. This went on for two more days, until I finally snapped, "Dude, if you feel so freaking terrible, why don't you go to the school nurse?" He took my advice that afternoon, and she took one look at him, stuck him in a wheelchair, and wheeled him across the street to the university's hospital. Diagnosis? An appendicitis that was dangerously close to rupturing. We all felt like terrible family members after that fiasco.
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@worldsworstmoms August 30, 2011, 7:03 am

That. Is. Awesome.

@worldsworstmoms August 30, 2011, 7:04 am

I think you may have some sort of future Olympic athlete on your hands!

@worldsworstmoms August 30, 2011, 7:07 am

It just sucks all the way around.

@worldsworstmoms August 30, 2011, 7:20 am

OMG! That's the best story ever! I'll bet he got so much mileage out of that.

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