Today is Junior’s last day of camp (he isn’t going on tomorrow’s trip – he’s going to spend the day with his cousins instead). Yesterday they handed out the camp awards. I expected some sort of crazy award – the last time he got one (at the end of the school year) it was like the “flying feet” award for his crazy dancing.
So he makes me stand there while he presents me with his certificate…and I immediately get all verklempt (how do you spell that?). I had to give him a HUGE hug while I composed myself.
You see, ever since he’s been a toddler, I’ve used the phrase “are you being a good listener?” I don’t know why I use that, I just sort of made it up one day, but “you’re not being a good listener” was the replacement phrase for “Bad boy” or whatever. (Additionally, when he was really little and not listening, I’d say “do you want happy mommy or angry mommy?” to let him know that how he was behaving would have the consequences of putting me in the right or wrong kind of mood.)
I would always tell him he needed to be a good listener at daycare, preschool, school, etc. Meaning, you’d better mind your manners and pay attention to the grownups in charge. A good listener is not a troublemaker. A good listener, well, listens. If the daycare lady says you can’t play near the street, well by gum, you don’t play near the street. Etc. Etc. At our house, being a good listener means you are behaving as you should.
His camp award?
It may sound stupid to anyone outside of our house, but I have never been prouder. To me, it means my mom stuff is sticking. I am raising a great kid.
I’m not a failure as a parent.
He’s a good listener.