When you are a Mom-Teacher, and you sit down to reflect over the past year, you hope to remember happy, peaceful, "I'm so glad they picked up on that" moments spent with your offspring students.
You are sometimes surprised, however, to get bolted in the face with the very recent memory titled The Moment my Almost Six Year Old Turned Into The Parent, And I (the one who is supposed to be the Mom) Felt Like A Disobedient Teenager.
It went something like this:
MamaTea: Ooky, I'll be gone tomorrow for a little while.
Ooky: Where are you going?
MamaTea: Well, tomorrow is the last day of the year and I have to use up my gift certificate for my tattoo before it expires.
Ooky: Tattoo? Like a temporary one?
MamaTea: No, like a real one. My first real one.
At this point, Ooky screws up his face into the most horrific expression of disapproval I have ever seen on anyone's face this side of 80.
Ooky: You are not getting a tattoo, Mom.
MamaTea: Um, actually I am.
Ooky: But Mom. They use needles. Real needles, Mom.
MamaTea: Yes, Ooky. That's how the ink gets into your skin.
Ooky: But you're probably going to bleed to death. And then you're going to die.
I should point out here that you're going to bleed to death was not stated with weepy eyes or given in an I'm so scared for my Mama quivery voice. It was just said very matter of factly. You're going to bleed to death. And then you're going to die.
MamaTea: Do you really think I would willingly go into a tattoo shop if I thought I was going to bleed to death and then I was going to die?
Ooky: Well, no. Probably not. But you will bleed. A lot.
MamaTea: I really don't think so.
The longer the conversation continued, it became very interesting to me how you could so easily change his comments to "parent" and mine to "rebel teenager".
Ooky: Well, I really don't think its a good idea.
MamaTea: Thanks for your opinion. I bet you'll think its cool when I come home and you see it.
Ooky: Mom? I don't want to see it. I don't even want to look at you after you get a tattoo.
Seriously, it was like staring into the glaring eyes of a parent with their arms forcefully crossed, telling me, "No can do! Absoutely not! I am soooooo not letting you do this. I totally disapprove..."
So what did I do?
Like the disobedient teenager....I got the tattoo. **
I couldn't take the bandage off until the next morning. When I arrived home, Ooky ws caught up in Wii and New Years Eve excitement to care much about my arrival home. But the next morning, when he had somewhat regained his senses, he asked (still very serious and flat and disapproving) "So. What does the tattoo look like?"
I showed him.
"Hmmm." he said.
And after a long pause, he continued, "It's kind of pretty. I guess."
And then he walked away.
So does that mean we made up?
Even though my last memory of 2009 will be a severe scolding from an almost six year old for something I chose to do, I will still consider the event a success because a) it reminds me that I have a child who will stick up for what he thinks, even if it means he doesn't agree with his Mama...and b) it will be hilarious to remind him of this in ten years when he's asking his Mom or Dad to sign for him at the tattoo shop.
** Tattoo symbolizes: green and blue are colors of nature, celtic knot signifies the interconnectedness of everything, star symbolizes the story ot the starfish (the man who walks along the beach throwing all the starfish back because "it matters to that one".)