Tag Archives: ice cream

Parenting FAIL… all day long

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Yesterday was such a parenting FAIL for me that I’m almost too embarrassed to describe it. ALMOST. But I feel like I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t confess to this. How are you supposed to feel parentally (is so a word) superior to me if I don’t give you the ammunition to do so?

It all started when I picked the Loud One and the Nibbit up from camp and we had THIS conversation:

Me <excited>: “Hey guys, guess what we’re doing tomorrow??”
Them <equally excited>: What?? What?!? WHAT??
Me: We’re….. GOING TO THE YANKEE GAME!!
Them <sad faces>: Oh.
Loud One: I thought you were going to say tomorrow is Matilda. (We have plans to see Matilda on Broadway in July. Are these kids effing spoiled rotten lucky or what?)
Nibbit: Yeah, I wanna see ‘Tilda ‘morrow!!
Me: Um, well, here’s the thing… you still get to see Matilda in a few weeks, but tomorrow is the Yankee game! Isn’t that awesome, YOU GET TO DO BOTH!!
Loud One: Oh. The Yankee game just doesn’t sound that fun to me.
Nibbit: Yeah, not that fun for me. (He just repeats whatever LO says.)

Well.

I lost my shit.

Something about this exchange struck such a chord with me and I FREAKED out. I started YELLING at them… like REALLY yelling… like, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THAT’S YOUR REACTION? HOW ABOUT A LITTLE APPRECIATION FOR ALL OF THESE THINGS WE DO FOR YOU!! SOME KIDS WOULD LOVE TO HEAR THAT THEY GET TO GO TO A YANKEE GAME!!” and then…

… YOU TWO ARE ACTING LIKE UNGRATEFUL SPOILED BRATS!!!”

Yup. Full-on Mommy tantrum. But they SO deserved it. I know they’re young and I know they may not completely get it blah blah…. but I am not OK with the idea that we are raising bratty kids who feel entitled to see Broadway shows and who are unappreciative about Major League fun! (See what I did there?)

So I made them cry instead.

And THEN, I made another rookie parenting mistake when, without thinking it through and without talking to KJ, I said, “OK, FORGET IT. YOU ARE NOT GOING NOW. DADDY AND I WILL GO AND YOU WILL STAY HOME AND YOU DO NOT GET TO WATCH BASEBALL AND EAT POPCORN AND ICE CREAM AND…

ERRRRRR!

HUH? Did someone say ice cream?

Them: “WE’RE SORRY! WE DO WANT TO GO! IT DOES SOUND LIKE FUN! CAN WE GO? PLEASE!?!”

But now, I’ve already told them they are NOT going. So I have to do the dreaded backtrack, “Well, I don’t know. I’ll have to talk to Dad and see what he thinks.”

We worked it out a little later in the afternoon. The Loud One apologized for “not being excited about the ice cream and the baseball” and I apologized for losing my shit and calling them brats (even though they totally deserved it) and the Nibbit said, “Blah blah blah” which I’m sure was code for “I’m really sorry.”

So. One may think that was enough drama for one day, but one would be wroooong….

About an hour later, I had to break it to the Loud One that we’re giving away her guinea pigs. Tomorrow.

YIKES.

She knew that we were thinking about it and when we first told her, she was bummed but not distraught. I reminded her that the Nibbit is really allergic and that they require a lot of work for pets that don’t get taken out of the cage and played with enough. In other words, why am I scooping rodent shit every day if you’re not going to LOVE THESE THINGS WITH EVERY FIBER OF YOUR BEING?

Wait. Hold on. This is not the Loud One’s fault. This whole “Adventure with Guinea Pigs” was a mistake. MY mistake. A big one. I regret it and I am really sorry about it.

Before we got the guinea pigs, I should have remembered that I don’t even really like animals so I would definitely not enjoy taking care of small, furry ones. I should have known that even though LO desperately wanted a pet, she’s a little young for the responsibility of daily care and maintenance. I should have known that when the novelty wore off and she stopped obsessing about them, I would get bitter and resentful about doing all the work for animals I never wanted in the first place. And of course, there was no way to know about the Nibbit’s (and KJ’s) allergy, but there’s that as well.

I promised her that I would not bring them to any kind of shelter but would wait until we found a really great family who would love them a lot. That took about three months, but earlier this week, I found them.

I told LO yesterday and she cried. And cried and cried and I felt terrible. She said, “They were my birthday present, you know!” and my heart broke a little bit. She said, “But I love them and I will miss them!” and my heart broke a little more. She said, “As soon as I’m a little taller and bigger, I can help more” and I really questioned whether this was the right call. Then after a few more hiccups and deep sniffs, she paused, recovered and said, “Can I have ice cream?”

And my heart felt a little better.

Then for dinner, they had mac & cheese. And ice cream. Winning!

So, to sum up one of my worst parenting days ever:

I screamed at my kids and called them UNGRATEFUL SPOILED BRATS. Then, I told them that they were not, under any circumstances, going to the Yankee game (FALSE). Then I told LO that we were getting rid of her pets, that she received for her birthday only ten months ago. Lastly, I used ICE CREAM to make everyone feel better. (PS. Including myself.)

Conclusion: for every Transportation Day success, there is a day like this to knock you right off of your Mother of the Year podium.

Godspeed, Squeaky & Pip

Godspeed, Squeaky & Pip

 

Today’s Update:

  • Squeaky and Pip have left the building and my kitchen has never looked bigger. When LO walked in and saw the space where RODENTS USED TO LIVE IN MY KITCHEN she was bummed for about 18 seconds before moving on, so I know this was the right call. I never really loved Squeaky and Pip but I do think they deserve to be with a family that will take them out of their cage and play with them once in a while. I’m extremely big-hearted like that.
  • There may be a pet frog in our future… our very, very distant future.
  • We went to the Yankee game and everyone had a great time. We enjoyed fries, ice cream and about six minutes of baseball.
CAR-VEL! CAR-VEL! CAR-VEL!

CAR-VEL! CAR-VEL! CAR-VEL!

It’s fun to be an adult! Really! I swear!

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The New York Times recently published this article about “overparenting” written by Madeline Levine. (Be honest, do I sound smarter when I start a sentence with “The New York Times recently published…?”) It’s an interesting read and it ended with this quote:

“One of the most important things we do for our children is to present them with a version of adult life that is appealing and worth striving for.”

Hmmm.

I know that the Loud One already thinks being an adult is worth striving for simply because you “can have gum and ice cream whenever you want.”

So I guess my job here is DONE.

No, seriously. It’s obviously not about ice cream. Well, not entirely. OK, stop thinking about ice cream now. Stay with me.

That quote made me think about what an “appealing version of adult life” actually looks like… and am I presenting it to my kids??

From a kid’s perspective, adulthood is awesome, right? Mostly because you can make all of your own decisions about things like what to eat, when to go to bed and what to watch on TV. You can drive your own car and travel wherever you want, whenever you want. You have your own money and can spend it on whatever you choose.

All of that DOES sound pretty great when you think about it that way.

But then you grow up and realize the problem. That, if “abused,” all of those privileges have SERIOUS consequences.

  • Eating ice cream two times a day is unhealthy.
  • Traveling whenever and wherever you want means ignoring other responsibilities. Like your job. Or your two-year-old. Both of which are frowned upon.
  • You may have money, but you can’t just spend it on toys and candy because then you can’t pay your bills and your electricity gets shut off and EEKS, how can we live without online Scrabble? (Is it weird that I immediately went to online Scrabble and not some essential electrically powered thing? Like the toaster oven?)

Perhaps the cruelest twist? As soon as you’re old enough to enjoy all these privileges, you realize that it was actually MUCH better to be a kid without all the stress and responsibility of adulthood! I mean, when you’re a kid, someone cooks you THREE. MEALS. A. DAY. Do you know how awesome that is??

It is the ultimate “Grass is Always Greener” situation.

I find it mentally exhausting when I think about how my kids are watching every single thing I do and say. And that all of those actions and words are shaping the people they will become. (“I learned it from you, Dad!” 20 points if you can identify that reference. 20 OLD points.) It’s just so much PRESSURE.

I mean, we have to teach them all the basic life stuff – like how to brush teeth and tie shoes and write their names and use a remote control and fetch drinks from the fridge and play Angry Birds and other life essentials. But we also have to teach them the big stuff like How To Be A Good Person. And the best way to do that is – get this – by actually Being a Good Person.

It’s exhausting!

Sometimes I just want to scream at the woman who almost hits me with her car because she is texting, “Put the phone down, BITCH!” And even worse, sometimes I want to TEXT in the car.

But noooo… I can’t do either of these things because it sets a bad example for my kids. And oh yeah, endangers other people’s lives.

Anyway, I digress.

So how are we supposed to model “a version of adult life that is appealing?” By eating ice cream a LOT?

DONE.

But also by being happy.

My guess is if your kid sees a parent who is generally happy, a parent who…

  • Laughs a lot
  • Spends time with friends
  • Finds intellectual and/or creative stimulation through a job or a hobby
  • Rides a bike and plays games
  • Eats well and exercises
  • Hugs their spouse and/or their parents and/or their siblings
  • Communicates feelings instead of screaming them
  • Is NOT grumpy and stressing more than 97% of the time
  • Is NOT actively practicing road rage during every drive
  • Is NOT regularly complaining about a job/spouse/in-laws/frenemy (to your kids, that is… complaining to your sister is perfectly acceptable)

… then you’re doing a pretty good job of presenting a “version of adult life that is appealing and worth striving for.”

Well done!

I’m still working on a few of the above, so now I have my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions.

I’m also going to start eating ice cream in the mornings… just to prove the point.

 

Getting older’s not THAT bad.