Ruby Rascal

ruby rascal

What is it with negative experiences hanging around in your head longer than  the positive ones? Or negative thoughts about yourself, what you did, who you are. It’s just how our (or should i say my) brain works. Negative versus positive 1-0.

Yesterday I came home. Happy to see my people again. J running around in our tiny garden and B making diner. After a while I asked how things were at daycare. B said her teacher told him that they call her Ruby Rascal. Pushing the limits (or other kids). Do unacceptable things and wait for the other to respond while making eye contact. Defending her stuff with her whole body as if it’s a pot of gold. You know?!

He smiled and finished his story with “the teacher laughed about it saying it’s still a lot of fun with her”. But I didn’t hear it anymore. He had me at Ruby Rascal pushing the limits. My head went full speed. In short: “Rascal means bad girl means bad mother”. And there it was. The projection of my own fear to be a bad mother, a bad person, on my little girl.

Of course my child’s behaviour depends on what I teach her. But this wasn’t about me. This was about her being a normal two-year old exploring the world and trying to find out how people work, how she works. I love her for that and people love her for that too. I need to say this to myself out loud. Often. I’m that negative versus positive 1-0 person. But not when it comes to her. She needs me to be 0-1 or at least 0-0. I can do that.


PS. reminds me of a lecture I attended about good enough motherhood. I should write about that some time.


  1. MIchelle June 17, 2015

    I came across your blog looking for a study guide for the book by the same title. I just wanted you to know two things: the brain is hardwired to remember negative more and you are a good mom.

    I read an article somewhere, sometime, someplace that said negative words and experiences actually create bigger memory pathways in our brain. That’s why 100 people can say they like our outfit and then one person says they hate it and, BAM! we focus on that one comment.

    And, you are a good mom because so many people would internalize that forever and make their kids performance about their performance and forever intertwine the two. That’s so unhealthy. Embrace the rascal! I have a rascal. She’s 17 now and the most creative, life giving, happy, good, adventure seeking, fun girl in the entire world. Not an emotion, an expression, a bug, a beautiful flower, a piece of trash, a unique sculpture goes by without her noticing and responding. Yes, it can be exhausting because I’m an introvert and I’d be okay with living in my shoebox- she insists we live in a fishbowl! Be encourage stranger mom on the internet.

    • Vie June 18, 2015

      Thank you for reading my post and leaving a comment! And you are right. We have to embrace rascal. Rascal means adventure ;)

  2. Willeke June 17, 2015

    Ja, zo herkenbaar! Fijn om te lezen en ik ga dat ook (hardop) tegen mezelf zeggen!

    • Vie June 18, 2015

      Fijn om te horen. En let’s do this!!!

  3. Lydia August 24, 2015

    I love your posts.. My son has been a little “rascal” too lately. His teacher said he tends to push his friends, doesn’t want to share at all, his aunt said that he gets a little bit emotional whenever someone said he can’t do this or that. I was (am) stressed out about it because I also thought that it was my fault. Reading your post makes me feel much much better. Thank you..

    • Vie August 27, 2015

      It’s so good to hear that people can relate to these kind of feelings. Hope you will realize it is not your fault. Thanks for your comment! :)


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