I don’t need a parenting manual. I have on-the-job-training and I’m OK with that. I don’t need Professor I-Don’t-Have-A-Clue telling me that unless I shower my child with Gap clothes and Happy Meals, I’m a bad Mom. I’m tired of people who either don’t care about their kids, or feel it is their duty to their kids to be their BFF, telling me that I’m too strict with my kid.
If not allowing my son to run around like a striped-ass monkey and throwing down ‘F’ bombs while shoving a Twinkie in his mouth is “strict” – then I’m not going to worry about it.
I’ve been a Mom for 10 years. Doesn’t seem like a long time. If you were going to put it into some kind of corporate ladder program, I would probably still be in the peon category and wouldn’t advance until I experience a total melt-down with my child and am able to handle it with grace and dignity.
A recent post, the one where I was a big girl and didn’t start a fight, has been haunting me for a while. I originally wanted to evaluate my parenting skills and instead, I went all over the place beginning with discipline and ending with ‘How I raise my kid’. None of it fit. I would write, delete, write, delete, write again, and cut and paste on several occasions to avoid offending anyone with my theory on parenting.
After speaking with a ‘bloggy’ friend of mine (whom I’ve grown to respect quite a bit), I realized, who cares? This is me. My blog. My rules.
I’m pretty sure I don’t need written permission to broadcast my thoughts and opinions. Right? Unless something changed and somewhere in the “Blog Rules” I missed the part where I was supposed to be mindful of people’s beliefs and feelings. Bull. You want mindful, go read some crap from Richard Simmons.
Originally, I wanted to touch more on how people parent. Now I’m just pissed off because I see so many people who should have their adult card revoked and who should be required to undergo extensive testing to include but not limited to: patience, tolerance, keeping a level head and knowing the difference between a loving parent and person who acts like they lost a bet and inherited a child in lieu of it.
I see and hear, more often than I want, “specialists” and pretend specialists give their two-cents on How To Raise Your Child. This is great news! I’m sure people way back in the day would have loved to have had a fucking parenting manual. Get real.
Every. Child. Is. Different. PERIOD. How can you possibly write a book about raising kids and convince people that this shit is gold? Desperate parents, whom have had their very last nerve trampled on, look to literature written by “experts” who claim they know what it takes to raise a successful, respectful child.
Does said expert understand that some kids, more often than not, have different chemical makeup in their brains and not all kids are exactly alike? Nope, said expert has a piece of paper in his or her study that validates their Child Psychology expertise and therefore qualifies them to shove their opinion down your throat because they were able to get NBC or PBS on board with their psycho-babble.
Here’s the thing. Parenting is hard. Rewarding at times, trying at times, adventurous, mind-boggling, high stress, and not for people with a lack of compassion or understanding that they too, once strutted around thinking they knew everything.
Moms or Dads don’t have a handy-dandy checklist to refer to when things get challenging. I mean, if we did, I’m pretty sure I would have known that the toddler potty seats that you put on your toilet to train your rug-rat - are not childproof.
Yes, my son managed to get it off of the toilet seat and somehow placed it over his head. Had I had a checklist, I would have known to put my two year-old in the car and take him to a professional child toilet seat remover. Instead, I put him in his Johnny Jump Up and cut the plastic-covered seat off of him with my kitchen knife. I believe I did have my head temporarily stuck up my ass – however, I now know better than to attempt that in the event it should ever happen again.
I actually do have a point. There is no perfect parent out there. I surely don’t claim to hold that title. But if you’re cell phone, soap opera’s, Facebook time, Twitter updates, beer time or whatever is more important than the 3 minutes it takes to apply sunscreen to your child, then I might venture to say you are quite possibly extremely selfish and unfit. Yes, I’m still stewing over the heifer from the water park.
That also goes for the parents that I see, on a weekly basis, who allow their children to test the sound barriers in the middle of the grocery store because they can’t have the $2 tube of sugar that has been strategically placed in the checkout lines. Man up! Grow a fucking pair and discipline your damn kid. And I’m not talking about the “You better knock it off …” threats that I hear from the ignorant parent. Those are empty threats. If they weren’t, the child would know it and would stop their bad behavior. But because the kid is used to being screamed at and smacked upside the head by the 8th – grade educated nimrod that somehow managed to reproduce, he or she learns that Mom or Dad’s threats are now – empty.
I become incredibly irritated with parents who feel ‘put out’ by their kids. The toilet seat incident with my son was traumatizing for me. I panicked. I just knew that C.P.S. was going to come bang down my door and make me hand over my kid because I allowed him to wedge it over his head. I cried and cried over my lack of common sense. So it completely makes me want to slap people when they treat their children like they are inconveniencing their social life.
I get that parents become comatose over the everyday stuff. I completely understand that moment of complete frustration and feeling of total loss and desperation when your child is continuously testing that very last nerve you had specially reserved for a later time in your life. I relate to the temporary lapse of judgment that happens when you decide to feed your child ketchup and cheese because you are so tired you cannot possibly function properly to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But when duty calls, when you catch your kid talking like a trucker, or swinging from the chandelier or trying to put the cat in the dryer – it’s our responsibility to remedy the craziness and PARENT.
Simply choosing to scream obscenities at them because what patience we had – left a long time ago – is unacceptable. The child then learns that he or she can eventually tune out the yelling and then it ultimately won’t affect them like you thought. Hence the skank at Wal-Mart who, without looking at her child, screamed, “You better knock it the fuck off!” The child continued screaming and then managed to dump the box of sugary goodness off the shelf, then proceeded to tell her mom, “F--- you!” Yeah – if at the age of 5 your child is telling you to ride the F-train, you might want to re-evaluate your parenting skills. Just sayin’.
I’m not Debbie Do Right, and I don’t sit around and put puzzles together with my kid. I don’t always hold his hand and sing songs with him and I very rarely have chocolate chip cookies made with a Big Gulp size glass of milk waiting for him when he gets home. But I do help him with his homework, tuck him in at night, and tag along to every practice and football game. I clean his puke up, give him massages for his growing pains, play hide n’ seek dart tag with him, buy him an ice-cream just so we can watch the sunset together; and I do make him do pushups when he gets into trouble. And yes, I have made him do pushups in the grocery store before. Guess what? At least he’s not telling me to F-off.
Being a parent is more than feeding and watering your kid. My tolerance is tested daily. I second-guess myself all the time. I occasionally have to put myself in time-out because I sometimes cannot figure out why, an intelligent little boy, would try to un-clog the toilet with his foot and not a plunger. This is called character building. I have to referee the Nerf Gun fights, the bantering back and forth and I also have to encourage good choices. My pantry does not have a revolving door, it’s NOT ok to shoot the cats with darts, our couches are not trampolines and it’s not ok to attempt to blow my windows out with the stereo at 6 am in the morning.
But, I signed up for this when I accepted the responsibility of being a parent. All kids want, is to be praised, loved and respected. If you don’t praise, love or respect your child, how are they going to learn to return the behavior? Don’t call Maury Povich begging for help when you can’t pull your ass off of the computer long enough to parent your kid.
I’m not over it. I’m still butt hurt over the shit I see. But for now, my playtime on the WWW is over. I’m off to go kick my kids ass in a dart gun fight.