I never saw myself as being a competitive mom… that was until my daughter started taking part in things at her crèche. At the beginning of this year there was an athletics day, my daughter’s first race. I was looking forward to it and never really gave it another thought.
As she started the race she tripped and fell flat on her face, in the first meter of the race she put herself in last place by this slip up and I found myself screaming “Get up and MOVE!”…. I must be honest I shocked myself and kept screaming at her to pick up the pace. My girl made me proud, at 2 1/2 years old she got herself up, put her head down and shot down that track at the speed of light. From coming last at the outset she outran almost all the kids and came second.
I spent the rest of the day beating myself up because it was all my fault, I didn’t take her shoes off before she ran. She never wears shoes, but I had put takkies on that morning because it was freezing cold leaving so early in the morning.
A few months after that was the modelling contest, where the children model and a boy and girl is chosen from each age group. For 2 weeks before the show my daughter and I practised every day after school. I would get her dressed in her princess dress, tiara, butterfly wings, ring and earrings (all plastic, not toddlers and tiaras style) and we would practice her walk, her hands on her hips and her waves and kisses for the crowd.
On the day she was so excited to be a “model” and wearing her little outfit. I was so proud of her and convinced she would easily take the title. She did her thing perfectly, she held her head up high, hands on her hips and did her little turns, waved to the crowd and blew little kisses to everyone. 3rd place and 2nd place was announced… so of course she was going to come first! I was already half way out of my seat, ready to scream and applause when her name was announced. “And first place goes to….” Much to my horror another name was called out and I was standing up with a huge smile on my face that was about to switch to tears! I was shocked, absolutely let down…. this was supposed to be her moment. The thoughts that went through my mind were along the lines of “this thing is rigged!”. The next thought was that some mom must’ve paid off the judges. My girl was hands down the prettiest, dressed to the nines and there could be no doubt that she was the best. I could understand if she walked down the platform with one finger up her nose and the other up her bottom……. but she didn’t! I felt so let down and disappointed.
When I went to fetch her after the show she came running up to me, with a beaming smile screaming “Mommy did you see me? I was a model! I was a princess!”. Absolute pure joy and happiness was bursting out of her. It suddenly dawned on me that it was her moment, she had it and she enjoyed it to the max, the problem was I was wanting my moment. Wanting something for me, not for my child. That is not to say I have changed overnight, this little competitive problem I am fighting will have to be worked on big time. I must remember that it is about the game, about the fun and not all about winning. I must ensure that I have the right attitude and I am going to have to take some lessons from a 3 year old to get this right.