Are You Kidding Me?!

Are You Kidding Me?!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Once More, With Feeling *

I was at the pool today by myself. It was bliss. However, it was also crowded…tons of kids, a few parents. I braced myself for mayhem but was oh-so-pleasantly surprised when I heard parenting going on. “Kyle, don’t jump in so close to your sister.” And “Tyler, be careful, there are babies in the pool.” “Don’t run.” “No hitting.” And so forth. I jumped up from my chair, threw my arms in the air, gyrated a little, and yelled across the pool, “Go Mommy! Go Mommy!” 

Okay, so that’s what I wanted to do as I lay in the sun and grinned like an idiot singing quietly in my head “Go mommy, go mommy.” I was so excited by this that I called my husband on the cell to tell him there were actual parents here. Yay for parents everywhere!

This one mom in particular said the following, and I quote, “If you do that one more time, I’ll take your float away.” He did it again, and she took the float. My heart swelled with pride. Then the most horrific thing happened. He whined. He said he wouldn’t do it again and she gave him back the float. Do you know, can you guess, what happened next? He did it again. She threatened to take the float away if he did it “one more time”. He did. She took. He whined. He got his float. This happened three more times. Oh, won’t somebody please think of the children! The mommy I was so proud of just ten minutes before crumbled and turned into a sticky pile of chlorinated crumbs. She then threatened to take him out of the pool if he did this blasted thing just “one more time” and he did. But in the pool he stayed. 

I hate this style of parenting more than the parents who allow their rascally rugrats to run amuck; the kids who have no rules to go by, have no rules to break. It’s a black and white world for them and they’re annoying as hell. But the parents of the let’s-be-super-nice-to-Johnny-and-Sue-lest-they-become-unhappy mindset are creating kids far worse than the aforementioned rascals running amuck—they are creating spoiled brats. The rascals will eventually encounter someone who will tell them to do something and those kids will either do it or they won’t. The spoiled brats are the ones who will try to negotiate because, after all, everything is negotiable, and no one is seriously telling them to do anything. 

As I slipped on my flip-flops, walked through the gate and away from the pool, I heard mom say, “No splashing, Kyle!” What do you think Kyle did then?
            
*Thanks, Joss.

We're Not All Martha Stewarts

When I was pregnant, my dear friend gave me two pieces of advice:

“Develop your 'Mommy Glare'” and 'Do not read parenting magazines”.

I listened to her. Mostly. I have the glare down but I couldn’t help but peek at a few magazines along my 7-year journey of motherhood. Some of them are simply loaded with crap that make mothers feel inadequate.

I’m wondering if the drug companies have stock in these parenting magazines because after all the ladybug cupcakes that wound up looking like warty toads, the ocean themed birthday parties that looked more like a haunted swamp, the play-dates that imploded, and the dust bunnies that are now dust elephants, we begin to think there is something wrong with us and wind up on an anti-depressant.

“Why don’t these frickin' cookies look like the picture?!” is a serious explosion, not to be taken lightly, for a woman caught up in the idiotic ideals of what a mom should be. You’d think, by now, we’d know better but these magazines sell millions of copies. Millions. Their subtitle should be “Driving Moms to Meds Since 1984”. Or something.

We're not all DIY-ers. We're not all able to "whip up" a gourmet dinner for our family in 20 minutes. We're not all super moms with mad multi-tasking skills. We're just not. And that is just fine.

Thanks to all the amazing parenting mags (online and in print) that have sprung up over the years to help so many moms feel less alone, more "normal", and care less about the pink troll cake they made for their daughter's princess-themed third birthday party. Rock on.