Okay, so I threw it out there and I said that the parenting stuff that I tend to feel most guilt around is the stuff that I (almost) never write about here. And then I asked whether that was reasonable, seeing as I advertise myself as a mother who knows no shame, and who believes firmly in the emancipatory power of speaking the truth – good and bad – about our experiences. And you all, quite reasonably, said that that was indeed reasonable, and what’s my problem?
I don’t know. It is, to abuse the simile, something like an itch that I can’t scratch, and that maybe I shouldn’t scratch, but that nonetheless is calling to be scratched and I can’t help but wonder whether it wouldn’t be better if I did scratch it, if only for the second or two of the scratching which, you know, always feels good.
Anyway. Here’s my confession, in video form. Which is to say, here’s a video that shows the sort of thing that I’m not proud of and that I tend to not write about, because, seriously:
Yeah. That sound at the end? Is the sound of the baby crashing to the floor, from the chair that he had climbed upon to see what Mommy and Sister were up to and oh hey look a button! and Mommy was so preoccupied with videotaping Sister and Buzz Lightyear and that weird dog toy that she didn’t really pay any attention to the climbing baby and so, what do you know, down he went.
At least I had the good sense to stop taping. If I were really bad I would have just turned the camera on him and taped him shrieking and then uploaded the whole thing to YouTube. Right? I’m consoling myself with the fact that I dropped the camera and helped him. And then uploaded the whole thing to YouTube.
My point is this: this shit happens in my house. Not all the time, but some of the time. Maybe I’m videotaping or maybe I’m taking photos or maybe I’m tweeting or blogging or texting or talking on the phone or making dinner or whatever: I get distracted and I don’t notice that the baby has climbed up onto the table or that the girl has pulled a whole carton of milk out of the fridge and is pouring it on the baby’s head and, sure, once I do notice I drop everything and intervene, but still. This shit happens and I’m not proud of it and I never write about it because, well… I don’t why. Probably because I’m not nearly as thick-skinned as I think I am. And because what I do here isn’t confession. It’s storytelling. And there are just some subplots to my life that I’m not keen to include in the story.
(Closing comments, because I don’t want to be tempted to haunt the comments here looking for reassurances. If you want to weigh in on the broader issue of how/what/why we confess, comments are open on the previous post on that topic, and I’d love it if you chimed in. But I’m not looking for comfort on this confession – nor am I interested in hand-slapping, so.)