Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who's Your Mommy?

I thought I'd share a few of my parenting philosophies here. Not that you, my readers, give a shit what they are, but I thought it would be cathartic for me to say them 'out loud' given some of the dirty looks I get in public. You're simply the unwitting victim of my posturing. Sorry.

My Dearest Childrens,

Lest you get confused about what I expect of you, or think I'm an unreasonable asshole, I wanted to lay out for you what having me as a Mom entails. In fairness, the rules may change. I swear, I knew how to be the world's most AMAZING mother, until I had kids. Then everything I KNEW that I knew flew out the window with all of my free time and lazy afternoons. I reserve the right to reassess when you are no longer one and three and I'm once again reminded that I don't know how the hell to raise kids who are three and five. Because, life lesson, circumstances will prove time and again that you don't, in fact, know anything everything. This is ultimately a good thing, but frustrating when you try to fight it. Ahem...carrying on...

-If the situation merits? I will put you in time out. Anytime. Anywhere. No idle threats here. The grocery store? Check. The airport? Check. Wendy's? Check. You might make noise which might make others uncomfortable, and my neck might turn red from other people's glares, which might make me uncomfortable, but when your future sprawls out before my mind's eye and I envision you not being a complete asshole in it, some of your actions call for immediate consequences. Uncomfortableness notwithstanding. I'm not sorry about delivering these consequences. Embarrassed, maybe, but not sorry. I'd be sorrier about unleashing an asshole out unto the world. There are enough of those.

-I will not yell at you for jumping on the bed. Our mattress is shitty anyway and I remember just how tickled I was when I stole a few jumps on my Mom and Dad's bed when I was your age. I see no point in making rules just for the sake of enforcing them. But please don't fall. And, because I'm the furthest person ever from perfect, I will roll my eyes when I warn you that bodily harm might result from your bed-jumping forays. It's okay though. Because you are my kids and so you will roll your eyes and say, "OOOOOOOOOOOOOKAY MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!" and resume jumping. This is all laid out in some Parent-Child Rule Book I don't have the time or the inclination to locate. I have laundry to do. But, believe me. Because I said so.

-Same with blowing bubbles in your milk. Only not in public. Beds are few and far between in public but milk and straws are plenty. When other people are around? Blowing bubbles in your milk is rude. At home? Have at it. Just pass the salt and put your plates away when I ask.

-Growing up, my own Mom and Dad never EVER compared us siblings or wished out loud that one was like the other or vice versa. I am wholly convinced this is why we grew out of our childhood spats to absolutely adore one another, for who we are. I recall Hoot coming home from school one day in tears because a teacher who'd had both Bro and I said, "Ah, you're a Zube. Let's hope you're like your sister and NOT your brother." Said teacher was rumored to have slept with the entire basketball team in the locker room and I knew it was likely untrue but I spread that rumor with the ferocity of a sister whose beloved brother had been thrown under the bus before the impressionable eyes of his even younger sister. Is this a character flaw of mine? Maybe. But defending my family is a character flaw I fiercely embrace. I hope you will, too. Besides, it's not like the teacher got fired. Though she was shitty and probably deserved it.

That was a very long, unabridged way of saying, I will never compare you two. You are your own people. You are different. Not at all the same. Do not compete. I will not tolerate it nor encourage it. Even now, at your tender ages, I see the vast difference in your personalities, and I love each one of you for how simply YOU you are. You'd do best to love each other for the same reason. And if you do as you grow older? I will know that while I might not be Mother of Any Year Ever by any stretch, I'll settle for raising Siblings of a Lifetime. After all, I feel it is my job to set you off properly into the world, and being set off with a friend for life is about the most optimistic scenario in my eyes.

I am willing to sacrifice being 'cool' if only to see one of you approach and console the other after a particularly harrowing time-out. My insecurities about being a mother are far less important than knowing, long after I'm gone, you'll have someone who will look you in the eyes, pat you on the back, and say, "It's okay," even after you've just gotten in trouble.

Mommy (who tries like mad, but is only human after all...which you won't get until you're way older. Like, her age.)

3 Leg Humps:

Dayle Winnifred said...

RE: jumping on the bed - I frequently tell my children that I reserve the right to laugh and point if they get hurt. And I have too! (once I made sure there was no blood or broken bones, of course)

Anonymous said...

So, here I sit as I read these instructions and know that some superior power has a sense of humor. As my parents told me as I was growing up ‘enjoy this now because you will have children just like you one day’, this statement does not scare you until you become a parent yourself and think back to what you did.
I being the other half of the parenting of this rambling individual, I am not the ‘better half’ but the half the teachers (teachers that were at the school when the parents attended) did not want the children to take after. We have all heard the term ‘teaching is an honorable vocation’, I believe only people can be ‘honorable’ not a position. I like to think that the job does not make the person what they are but the person makes of the job what it will be (sorry I am starting to ramble as you see where my child gets this habit from). In closing this paragraph I do want to say that I do know many honorable teachers.
The idea that at one time in our lives we all think we know how to be great parents almost brings tears of laughter to my eyes, I can remember thinking this before I became a parent. Every parent in the world has this magnificent plan for their children and how their children will act and how well behaved they will be. We all know that every plan looks great on paper (or in our own minds) until ‘the rubber hits the road’ and you are dealing with the wonderful and sometimes devious minds of children. When I say devious I mean that in the most endearing sense, most of the time they are not even trying to be devious it just seems that way to parents. Especially when there are four against one, yes, I did say four against one because children learn at an early age to divide and conquer (they must teach this in kindergarten). Children learn to never approach parents when the parents are together, had many of the great military minds in history kept the lessons of child hood in their planning of military campaigns the world would be a very different place today.
One of the most satisfying experiences for a parent is to see one sibling comfort the other, the parents should realize in this beautiful experience that this type of camaraderie is also going into the planning of the next party when the parents are out on a Friday or Saturday night.
Then come the most enjoyable times as a parent when you can sit around with your children and listen to them talk about how difficult parenting can be. These comments coming right after they all laugh and recalled the time they had out witted you when they were young.
I don’t wish to get into a religious conversation here but there must be a superior power because they have answered my prayers, you are all having children that will be pulling the same tricks that you did (haha).
I will close by saying that I am very proud of all of you and can’t wait to see everyone in August.

Zube said...

Hahaha, Dayle! Duly noted! I will employ this laughing and pointing!

Dad, I just hope my kids adore me like I do you and Mom. I'm working on it. :-)


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