Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

M is for Mistakes

with 7 comments

I’d gone to collect Pudding from school one day, but she wasn’t in the classroom, nor could I see her in the playground.  Her teacher saw me, and gestured for me to come over.  Together we peeped round a corner down the side of the school where Pudding felt that nobody could see her.  She was sitting on a training bike (a bike without pedals- the rider propels along using their feet on the ground).

Actually, no, she wasn’t.  Given that the bikes at her school are designed for preschoolers, and Pudding is our five year-old floating around in the body of an eight year-old, she was awkwardly straddling above the seat.  But the fact that she was even touching a bike was a big deal.  After I wrote last year about our attempt to teach Pudding to ride a bike, we’d tried several more times, but with even less success.  When we moved, we bought her a training bike for her size, but it just confused her further.  Now she won’t sit on either of her bikes, and all my attempts at bribery rewarding have only resulted in meltdowns.

So it came as something of a surprise to see her trying at school.  But not that much of a surprise.  Remember I said that Pudding believed she was unobserved?  This was key, because if there is one thing Pudding hates more than not being able to do something, it is having others witness her mistakes.  Pudding doesn’t like mistakes.  If something can’t be done according to her idea of right, it is better not to attempt it.  Or at least, forbidding anybody else from seeing you make a mistake.

I can appreciate Pudding’s reticence.  Nobody likes making mistakes.  I don’t know if she has yet perceived that things come harder for her than others.  I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know that she will have to try and fail many, many times more than most to do things that come naturally to everyone else.  It makes perfect sense that she is more content sticking to the things that she has mastered- finding comfort in the repetition that has brought her success in some areas, and avoiding those things that are too challenging.

I get it, because parenting is harder for me than I ever expected.  When I look around at others, they seem to have it all figured out, while I’m still learning.  But then, I’ve also learned that there isn’t a right and wrong way to do things.  Sometimes the mistakes I make with one child are the exact right thing to do with my other one.  At times, it is the timing that is wrong, and I only find out when I try, and make a mistake.  Maybe another time I’ll try and be successful.

Like Pudding, I’m going to try and fail many, many more times at doing something that comes naturally to most other people.  Mistakes and Motherhood are synonymous, so I’m making every effort to show my kids that I make mistakes too, very often, and they help me to learn.  They also help me to laugh at myself for thinking something this complicated could ever be easy, or this easy could be so complicated.  I don’t mind having witnesses for that.

So M is for Mistakes, and Motherhood.  Both are as natural as riding a bike- it just takes some of us a little more practice than others.  I could still use a helmet and knee-pads on some days though.


This post is the letter ‘M’ in my A-Z series.  You can read the rest by clicking >>here<<.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Lovely post, I know what you mean, when my Tom started school at 4, his teacher used to tell me that he would wrap one hand around his copy so no one would see his writing in case he made a mistake. He is now 14 and although he is very bright, he has not been at school for nearly 2 yrs because of sensory probs, so we are having to learn a new way to continue his education. I sometimes think in hindsight if I could have done things differently but as you say we learn by mistakes and this will be ongoing for life I think in my case, I don’t have to try hard, mistakes happen easily for me, but it is lovely when the success in learning comes eventually.:-))

    DIY Mum

    February 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    • Oh yes…I definitely don’t have to go looking for mistakes- they always seem to know where to find me!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      February 28, 2012 at 6:41 am

  2. first swimming and now this?? Awesome. It makes me go “awwww” that she doesn’t want people to see her trying, but I completely get it. Good post.


    February 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  3. We bought Jacob a bike for his birthday once. But he absolutely refuses to wear a helmet, so he withdrew from the whole bike riding idea. And like in your post, it seemed that afterwards Jacob wouldn’t touch the bike again. I’d love to see him on a bike.

    Jim Reeve

    February 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    • Helmets are a problem here too. She still won’t touch the bike we have at home. Something tells me the fact that the one at school is pink had something to do with it…

      Spectrummy Mummy

      February 28, 2012 at 6:39 am

  4. […] Not me, wise Maya.  Not me.  But I do make new mistakes in different ways.  And I do believe entirely in making mistakes. […]

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