Even more shocking than the ode to Right Said Fred in the title of this post, is the realisation that I am a role model!
Why has this just hit me?
It was something that my Beloved said this morning that illuminated the point to me, in huge Vegas-style lights.
Strawbug went to day care today, carrying a tiny white, vintage style, handbag. It was her choice to take it, I had no influence in the decision. The bag was given to her (preloved) by her Auntie who lives in London. (Note to the reader: Strawbug has regular bouts of obsession with London, but that’s another post).
She carried it over her arm, the strap cradled in her elbow. She looked like a mini Jackie-O, without the hat and gloves… and in some leggings and a pair of baby converse. OK, so, she didn’t look exactly like Jackie O. But, she did have an aura of 1950’s glamour about her, in the way that she carried herself, or more specifically her bag. I digress.
When I told my Beloved about how much everyone smiled when they seen her, he said “Aww, she wants to be just like you. She loves you.” And the lights went on…
I have lost count of the number of times that I have reprimanded my Beloved for things he has said, or done, in front of the kids. “I know that they are only little, but they are like sponges. They take it all in” I say. To the point where now, I only have to look over at him and he says “I know, I know, SPONGES!”. And to prove my point, Strawbug regularly walks around the house reciting “Oh, Blimey!” continually. (To be honest, it could have been worse). I have a stack of parenting books that back up this theory (and, it seems now I have Strawbug backing me up with real, live, evidence).
I’m always so careful about what I say in front of the kids, because the feedback from their learning tends to be rapid. (i.e. they pretty much repeat what you say, word for bloody word, immediately – especially if it’s a word you shouldn’t have said within earshot of them).
But I often forget that they are soaking in all that I DO as well. Because the impact of this learning appears (to me, anyway) to be more subtle or, at least, deferred until later. Now that I have seen my first exhibit of evidence, though, is it time to start moderating my behaviour as well? That’s seems like a big ask.
But surely I would only need to change my behaviour, if my behaviour was defective. And well, if your a mother, (and you are anything like me) you probably question your behaviour (and your abilities) on a daily basis. Every day I think about how to help Strawbug be the best Strawbug she can be. And now, it has finally dawned on me that the best way to do that is to be the best Me that I can be.
So, here I am. My life is a catwalk and I’m being watched, admired and looked up to, by my babies. I need to show them how to face life with dignity and grace. I need to show them what beauty really means. If I come across an obstacle I need to show them how to find a way to the other side. If I find myself at a crossing, I need to show them how to choose the right path. And if I fall off my heels, I need to show them how to get up again, dust yourself off and keep going. Because I am a role model!