Bloggy Moms

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Being Robin Williams' Mom

Most of us know of the actor Robin Williams. I first saw him in the popular TV series "Mork and Mindy." Then several years later I saw him again in "Good Morning Vietnam." In the years since he has become one of my favorite actors. I love his quirky sense of humor. I also love how he jumps around from topic to topic so quickly. It is almost like stream of consciousness comedy. (Yep my own term right there. Feel free to use it.) I know I am not alone in my love for Robin Williams' body of work as he is one of the most popular actors of our time.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to be his mother? His brain is always on. I can imagine what family dinners must have been like. He was the life of the party but mealtimes took forever. When his mom asked him to clean his room, he had such trouble focusing that she probably ended up cleaning his room.

Can you picture being his boss? Picture this scenario: Robin is told to unload stock from a truck with some other fellow employees. The employees are quickly in hysterics by his actions but nothing gets accomplished.

On the one hand being Robin Williams' mother or supervisor is great because you are always laughing but on the other hand not much gets accomplished.

Wonder how I know so much? I live with a much younger version of Robin Williams. Princess is the life of the party. She has a very special charisma that lights up a room that she is in. However, getting her to accomplish anything takes lots of time and extra patience.

Take for instance the time we went looking for a brush at The Grove in LA. Princess and I had spent the night at a hotel nearby and were planning on spending the day at the American Girl Place there. I knew there were going to be lots of photo ops so I wanted her hair to look at least brushed but a brush was the one thing that I forgot to bring. I figured that I would be able to find a brush at one of the stores in The Grove. Wrong!! We walked from one end of the mall to the other with no success. What should have taken 5-10 minutes took us at least 1/2 hour. You see Princess feels it is her personal mission to pet every dog, talk to every small child (babies are best) and find something to compliment on every woman ( purse, earrings, shoes etc.)

When we finally arrived at the children's department in Nordstrom, the saleslady there told me that I could find a brush across the street at the CVS there. That would have required us walking back through the maze of dogs, babies and pretty ladies at least twice more since this drugstore was outside of the mall. I told the lady thanks anyways but I would just live with Princess' unkempt hair. This rude lady (Oh wait woman because true ladies are never rude.) replied " Well I guess you don't need a brush that bad." Lucky for her I did not complain to Nordstrom management about her. Lucky for Princess I did not let this rude comment ruin our day. We went on to have a lovely time at the American Girl Place, unkempt hair and all.

The above incident happened over 5 years ago but it is still a vivid memory. I still continue to deal with rude and ignorant people. I can choose to let them ruin my day or move on. Sometimes I can educate them but most of the time it is not worth my effort because they have a mindset that they could and would do better than I. Maybe some day I will have some of these naysayers come spend a day or even a week with our family.

For now I choose to pray for them and educate people through my blog. I also choose to embrace all of my daughter's personality. The fun, witty side as well as the inattentive side. The kind, loving and compassionate side and the not so kind side. I just pray for lots of peace and wisdom in raising my Robin Williams.

On an end note- A few years ago I told Princess that she didn't have to tell every lady that they had a pretty purse, necklace etc. Her response " But Mom how will they know that their purse, necklace etc. is pretty unless I tell them?" This response left me utterly speechless. To think that this child believes that it is her mission in life to bring cheer to others is just priceless.  I love my little ambassador!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Story Behind the Story

The other day I posted the following story on my Facebook wall:
Tonight Princess and I grabbed a bite at McD's. The cashier screamed at Princess and kept jerking her head around. She apologized to my daughter several times for scaring her and told me that she thought Princess was cute. Later I told Princess that I thought this young woman had Tourettes as her odd behaviors kept happening. I really felt for this gal. Turns out my daughter did too. She told me that she worried that this gal might not have any friends because of her behaviors. I explained what tics were and how the gal could not control them. I asked Princess if she would like to pray for her. She told me that she already had. Made me want to cry right there. Then I told her that maybe when there were no customers, she could go over and tell the cashier that she had prayed for her and that she knew what it was like to be different. Princess did so and even called her over to speak to her privately so as not to embarrass her. I would love to share this story with those professionals who told me that my child lacked empathy and compassion.
 Suffice to say that over 50 people "liked' this story. It also garnered many comments from friends who either know my daughter or have experienced something similar in their lives. That being said, I decided to fill in the missing details. I specifically want to share with you, my readers, what the circumstances were that led some professionals ( ie. administrators) to come to the conclusion that my child lacked compassion.
When Princess was in preschool, she would occasional get aggressive with other children. We were blessed in that the school decided to let her continue there but the director did warn my husband and I  that she saw something very wrong with our child. There was one time when Princess bit another child's finger quite hard. Since it did not appear that Princess had remorse, this administrator said that she lacked compassion and empathy.  Later when I talked with my then 4 year old daughter about the incident, she told me that she didn't know what to say. She was kind of embarrassed. She also told me that the other child had asked her to bite her finger. 
A year later when Princess was in Kindergarten, we started to see more aggression at school and at home. One day the playground supervisor told her to get off of the jungle gym. In her mind she had only been playing for just a short while so she didn't think it was time to get off. In her frustration she kicked several of her classmates as they walked by. The principal of the school suspended her for this action and for refusing to get off of the jungle gum. At our parent meeting that day, this principal also told us that she felt that our daughter lacked compassion.
That brings me to the day at Mc Donald's. I have seen Princess display aggression on numerous occasions but that doesn't mean she lacks compassion. She has shown me and others that she does have compassion and empathy for that matter. She does care about how others feel. One thing that is hard for her to understand is how her actions can affect others. I'm not sure where this comes from or what it called. Nonetheless I do know that my daughter cares very deeply for others.
So there you have it. My "Behind the Headlines" story. I hope you enjoyed it. 
Stay tuned for future blog posts- Crying Wolf or Raising Robin Williams? Which one do you want to read next?