So working in the healthcare field for a little over 12 years I have been on many committees that dealt with patient satisfaction, quality improvement and overall customer satisfaction. What I have learned is that perception is reality...even when it is not. A parent waiting with a sick child in the ER may not know that the medical staff is working hard to save a life...instead all they know is that they have been there for 4 hours and they are pissed. They take that experience and put it out there in the community and soon the hospital is known for their long wait times, not for all the good work they do behind the scenes. In my 5.5 years as a parent I have learned that it is much the same with my children. Their perception is their reality...even though more often than not they are completely WRONG!!! Here are some recent examples of how what my children perceive to be an absolute truth is completely off the mark...
Perception: Chuck ruins everything! Sara wanted to run when they were out for a walk. Chuck said "no"...he also would not let them swing on the swings at the ball field... thereby ruining the walk.
Reality: Before they went for the walk Chuck laid out the walk rules...just a quick walk around the block, no ball field, no swings...he was exhausted and not feeling well but the 3 of them compromised on the walk around the block. The girls in fact repeated back to him that they were not going to the field. Yeah, right...Somehow I knew that was going to come back to bite him in the ass, it is never enough for Sara...she always wants something more. About the running...so Sara was running along the sidewalk. Chuck asked her not to run to far ahead...that she was running right across driveways without looking...of course she had some smart answer for him...he said she needed to slow down so she wouldn't get hit by a car to which she answered, "I hope YOU get hit by a car!" So in reality who really ruined the walk? Chuck or Sara?
Perception: I work too much.
Reality: I only work 20 hours a week. I am home with them every night at bedtime, I am here every morning for breakfast and I only miss 2 lunches and 3 dinners a week. If they are not home with me they are with Chuck and just once a week they are with my mother in law. Not too bad. Plus, if I were home with them full time I really don't think they would like me quite as much and I can almost guarantee I would not like them quite as much!
Perception: Katy Perry is the most talented singer in the world...EVER!!
Reality: I think I have plenty of experience to answer this one. The reason being we listen to her CD EVERYTIME we are in the car. We have to listen to "Firework" and "Katy Perry" (which in case you don't know is what California Girls is really called...at least according to Anna, she is insistent on that)...over and over again. I am no Kasey Kasem...or I guess these days the relevant reference is probably Ryan Seacreast but I can say with almost 100% certainty Katy Perry is not the most talented singer in the world. As a side note the girls really get into Firework and I actually over heard them singing an accoustic version, complete with Sara on guitar...again, I can say with almost 100% certainty that my children are also not the most talented singer in the world.
Perception: I don't want Sara to ever do anything fun with her friends.
Reality: I would LOVE for Sara to branch out and actually have some fun with her friends. Her perception stems from an incident last week. She came with me to her very first bridal shower...she was so excited and couldn't wait. The next day while waiting in the school yard she saw 3 of her friends with medals on from a running race the day before and she heard the kids talking about the race. She asked me about it. I told her the race was the same day as the shower and sometimes we need to make choices, sometimes the choices might be hard to make but their will be another race next year but there will not be another bridal shower for her auntie...she gets it, but....it is 5 days later and she has brought it up everyday since. So once again somehow I am the a-hole that ruined her life.
Perception: Chuck doesn't take care of the girls when they are sick.
Reality: It was 3 in the morning. Anna woke up coughing, sneezing and crying from allergies. Chuck took her to the bathroom, helped blow her nose, gave her medicine and put her back to bed. The next morning I was chatting with Anna and said how it was so nice that daddy took such good care of her. She said, "Mommy, daddy gave me medicine and rubbed my back for ONLY 1 minute! Do you think that really sounds like taking good care of someone?" Poor Chuck...he can't win.
Perception: I am a big, fat, huge monster.
Reality: The other day Sara told me that one of the preschool teachers came back from maternity leave. She said that her belly was flat and why did it look like she never had a baby. I told her that once the baby comes out your body starts to go back to the way it was. She looked me straight in the eye and said, "well, how come that didn't happen to you after you had Anna?". Thanks Sara! For the record this teacher is naturally tall and thin. I am not. However, I did lose all the baby weight PLUS an extra 10 pounds...take that Sara!! Yes, technically it took me 3 years to lose the weight and if I were not pregnant right now I would still be rocking the skinny jeans...I did buy some skinny maternity jeans...thank you Jessica Simpson and Heidi Klum...oh, as a side note for my pregnant friend they make maternity spanx...you're welcome!
So even though none of what they perceive to be reality is in fact the whole truth...when they want something or if I do something nice for them they tell me that I am the best mom ever...and yes, my friends that is THEIR perception and THEIR reality and that I can say is 100% true!!!