Earlier this week I had a furniture refinishing person come out to the house to take a look at what turned out to be a more significant number of things than I had anticipated when making the appointment. Turns out that even when you think you've been pretty thorough in catching all the damage to furniture from a move, you may not really have done so.
Anyway, this person and I, to be more specific this woman, (my age-ish, with skin tone I totally coveted) were wandering around the house looking at the various pieces and discussing what could be done, what I was hoping would be done, that sort of thing. At the same time LO was running around doing her thing.
And by doing her thing I mean: The television was playing "Peppa Pig" ** so she was watching that, then she'd go into the play room and root around in her Duplo stash to make something or another, and then back to play with a ball. Generally excellent self-entertainment and exploration.
Eventually the lady and I finished with the inside pieces and needed to go out into the garage, but before we went out LO handed me a Duplo creation. So I kept it in my hand as we went out and eventually went to make an expansive hand movement and the gesture swung the blocks around so they loosened and crashed onto the floor, briefly interrupting our conversation for clean up. Ooops.
But this is where I'm going with this overly wordy anecdote: the refinishing lady took that opportunity to complement me on letting LO play by herself (which I had obviously done, leaving her in the house by herself without adult supervision - please don't send the authorities, I was merely a closed door away). And then she (which I thought was amusing) said something like she wasn't judging my parenting or such. But it's really stuck with me that this stranger essentially complemented what I fear is one of my biggest failures as a modern parent: not wanting to, or being willing to, spend hour upon hour giving LO my undivided attention.
I would do anything for her, she is my world, but she is not the center of my world. That's how my mother (parents) raised me, I don't know any different. And I'm not saying it's the best way or the only way or that I couldn't be a better parent (because lord knows when I spoke to her sharply yesterday about not feeding the dog and made her cry I felt like the worst parent ever) in 1,000's of other ways but it's what I know. The best I can hope is that I don't screw her up too much & that she learns to be self-reliant instead of depending on me or others to fight her battles for her.
**(oh. my. god. the Peppa. That is the #1 requested television program -
and LO is happy to watch episodes over and over and over. And over. But,
it keeps her happy so I'm able to do stuff.)