Who is the Dog?? Am I the Dog?
by Denise Berger
Remember this scene in the all-time classic movie, When Harry Met Sally? Harry (Billy Crystal) metaphorically uses a dog to explain an error in their ways and Sally (Meg Ryan) promptly and indignantly responds with, "Who is the dog, Harry? I am? Am I the dog??" Well, I feel like Sally these days... only, not necessarily with a significant other, but with my kids!!! As they get older (nine and seven years old), they exert such strong opinions... and usually against something that I have done for their well-being!!! Why? We moms try so hard to give our elementary school kids exposure to many different activities, in hopes that a) something sticks, about which they can write a college application essay, to say the least, and/or b) we give them something to do that does not involve some kind of screen and keeps them occupied between the hours that they get out of school and we get home from work - tennis, golf, karate, gymnastics, dance, music, soccer, basketball, baseball, religious school, art, tutoring, after-school care, whatever, pick your poison, your vice, their passion?? We all do it. We do. And yet, where is the appreciation, the gratitude, the thanks for a job well done? Instead, I feel like I get kicked. And moms, worse yet, just today I got blamed for signing my kids up for something that my husband insisted they do! Why am I the punching bag? Why am I the dog??
My friend, who has a three year old and one year old, is overwhelmed by the preschool and kindergarten applications that already beseech her. Why is she putting herself through all of this craziness? So her kids can receive a good education and reach their full potentials during their lifetimes. There are many days when I feel overwhelmed by the paperwork and logistics and the oversight and the coaching and the whining and the organization of it all. Sure, we have our own motives for signing up our children for “fun” activities, but shouldn’t our kids be appreciative of the opportunities that we offer to them?