Dr. Jekyll & Little Miss Hyde

There are two children that a mother knows.
One is talked about at a parent-teacher conference.  She is called “sweet,” “mature,” “caring,” and “aware” by her teacher.  She is “a pleasure to have in class.”
This child is welcomed on playdates.  Her mother is told by the moms who hosted her that the child is “so easy,” “polite and sweet.”
During doctor visits this child sits calmly, only getting agitated at the thought or sight of needles.  When the doctor looks her over she laughs at the touch and knows to be still when her ears and mouth are checked.  The doctor says she is a model patient.
The mother knows of another child.  This child does not know a time of day that is not appropriate for testing any and all boundaries.  She listens but then does the opposite and says she never heard you.  She screeches for help to put on her socks, something she has been able to do for the past three years.  This child does not know how to share or clean up or how to have a bath without splashing water outside of the tub.  This child’s natural state is pouting.  These two children were born on the same day, from the same mother, and reside in the same adorable body with the same brown eyes and the same soft hair.
The child outside of the home that the world sees is the child her mother has raised her to be.  She listens, is respectful, is aware, is kind, is smart.

The child inside the home collapses from the weight of the daily expectations put upon her.  The child inside the home knows she is unconditionally loved and cared for.  So it is there she unleashes the need to react and engage and test without fear or rejection.  This child inside the home explores her boundaries often with consequence of lost toys or time outs, but never with love lessened.
And sometimes these two children meet and figure out they can co-exist.

The mother waits for these moments, sometimes patiently and often times not so patiently.

For the child knows of two mothers as well.


13 thoughts on “Dr. Jekyll & Little Miss Hyde

  1. Sarah Brentyn says:

    This is awesome. True but also love your explanation of why you think she might be acting this way inside the home. (Also, the child knows two mothers. Nice touch.) 😉

  2. lablover22 says:

    My mom likes to remind me that when my kids act like this I should be pleased. All those reminders about manners and lectures about respect are working. We are raising them to be happy, healthy, respectful members of society. When they garner those kinds of compliments from other families it means all the hard work is paying off!! When I ask her about the Hyde behavior at home, however, all she says is “Welcome to motherhood!” Haha! So glad to have met you!

  3. Sounds like my daughter. Respectful and well mannered at school and public.places, but than sometimes at home a different girl lol

  4. Angela says:

    Love this post! I sat in stunned silence at the parent-teacher conference. Then I asked “you know whose mom I am, right?”

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