For a while, my daughter said yes to everything. She nodded her head, smiled, and said yes completely regardless of what inquiry was made. Her father and grandfather took full advantage of this phase. My husband would ask questions like, “Do you have the best dad ever?” Emily would nod and say, “Yes.” He would ask, “Do you have the coolest dad ever?” Again, she would nod and say yes.
My father, a man who is constantly checking Craigslist for some need or the other (currently a Jeep), was able to use Emily’s adorable yes phase to convince my mother he needed to buy a boat. “Emily, should Grandma let Grandpa buy a boat?” he asked in my mother’s presence. “Yes,” Emily said and nodded, smiling gleefully at my mother. A week later, our family was enjoying a pontoon boat ride in the warm summer sunshine.
I never used this phase to affirm any positive statements about myself, such as Emily has the coolest, funniest, smartest, most wonderful mother in the whole wide world. I guess I just didn’t need that, and the men were having so much fun having their confidences built up and their ‘toy’ collections expanded.
This past week was not fun for me. I was ill and missed four days of work. I was in the clinic for blood work and scans trying to find an explanation to the dizziness and fainting that had occurred repeatedly throughout the week. I did not believe I was cool, funny, or intelligent. I felt like shit, and that was that.
Despite my suffering, it was evident that my daughter still viewed me as amazing and wonderful. She wished to read books with me all day while I lay in bed, climbing on the bed with book after book and grinning at me. I tried to help her, but she saw that I was sick and needed some assistance myself. So, she “read” her books to me, happily babbling away and smiling at me. She rubbed my head like she had seen her father do in an attempt to relieve the pain. She put Dora the Explorer stickers all over my face and nodded with an expression that asked, “All better now, Mom? All better?” There is a serious Dora obsession going on with her right now, and I think she actually believed Dora stickers would cure what ailed me.
|The prettiest mom in the world, with the most |
wonderful daughter ever!
However, I still felt dizzy and exhausted, despite Dora’s best medical efforts. I felt like shit, and I trust that my appearance was dismal as well. My daughter didn’t see how ugly I felt. My husband was sitting next to us in bed after the sticker treatment, trying to get Emily to let me rest alone for a while. He asked, “Emily, who’s the prettiest, most wonderful mom in the world?” She confidently pointed her tiny finger at me and beamed with pride in the knowledge that she had provided the requested response. “My momma,” she whispered. “Mom, mom,” she continued as she pointed at me and smiled. Then she leaned in, kissed me on my forehead (actually kissing one of the stickers), and nodded her head again.
She was so damn confident that I was beautiful and remarkable even though I hadn’t showered and was surrounded by piles of used Kleenex. I was feeling poorly, so I viewed myself in a negative light. But my daughter was happy and well, and to her, I truly, truly was the prettiest mom in the whole world. Even when I’m feeling low, I need to remind myself to see the world the way she does – to see me the way she does. If I can do this, I can conquer any illness. I’m the prettiest, most wonderful mom in the whole world, and I am loved. I say yes to believing in me.