My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Some things I do actually understand about other parents
February 3, 2012, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Parenting

In contrast to the other post, there are many things that I do understand about other parents. Mostly, I understand them because I do them, too. These are mostly things I never ever thought I would do back before I had kids and I was the perfect parent.

  • Overuse of the TV–I do not condone this, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I understandit. I really embraced the TV back when we transitioned from a family of 3 to a family of 4. I remember complaining to a friend (okay, I was complaining on facebook, but still) and she said, “Really, if the worst thing you did today was let your kid watch too much TV, don’t worry about it.” Seriously. Sometimes you have to get the dishes done, dinner made, clean the floor, etc. Or sometimes you just need to read the paper and drink your coffee.

    This is where it all began. We were so innocent back then, only using TV for "educational" purposes. (Photo from PBS KIds website)

  • Eating McDonalds–Again, I am not proud of this, but, yes, we do go to McDonald’s on occasion. I personally prefer Chick Fil-A, but I find that my kids never ever eat their {delicious} chicken, and they prefer the McDonald’s french fries (or, as Scout calls them, “yellow fries”). I will admit that I brought this on myself. My second pregnancy was really absent the ongoing cravings, but I did like a greasy McDonald’s hamburger and french fries–perhaps a throwback to my youth. Well, needless to say, Scout embraced the fries. So, despite the awful nutrition that I’m providing for my kids and the annoying marketing, I will do it. Eh. There are worse things in the world.
  • Kids that look afright–This one I’ve wholeheartedly embraced. Both of my children have been dressing themselves since they were about 18 months old. I’m not sure if it’s a girl thing. I do highly suspect it is a Scout thing, and that her sister followed suit after watching her do it. I rarely win when I fight my kids on their clothes. I try to insist they wear weather appropriate clothing and that the clothes fit them. Other than that, I don’t bother. Why? I’ve been to so many parks and other places where the other moms generally nod their approval. Other people “get” this one. Most people would even find it pretty cute. I don’t do as well with the hair. My youngest has such a tender head; she cries everytime I brush her hair. I do my best to keep their hair out of their eyes, but sometimes that’s not even possible. Well, and the chocolate on her face, that’s just me being lazy.

    A perfect example of how my daughter loves to dress

  • Giving in–Oh, boy, this is one that I do all the time. In the battle of wills, I rarely win. I buy the toy at the store because she will not shut up about it. I buy the water at the check-out line because she is “sooooo thirsty, momma.” I tell her she needs to pick up her toys, and then I pretty much wind up doing it for her. I know she can buckle her seat belt by herself, but she’ll whine and whine for me to do it–and instead of waiting, and making her do it herself, I just buckle her so that we can GO already. It does sometimes occur to me how bad this is. I know that they are little people who are navigating life, and I’m basically handing them a big ol’ lesson called “How to Manipulate People.” I do sometimes stand my ground, but it is so hard!!! I’m weak!
  • Bribery--You can call it “rewards,” or you can call it “incentives.” Essentially, what I do is make a deal with a kid. I cannot think of anyone who imagines doing this before you have a kid. Scenario: Kid needs a haircut. Pre-kid me would say, “Okay, junior, let’s jump in the car and go get a haircut.” Done. Now, the mom of two girls who are difficult about this issue, she’s got to be a bit craftier: “Hey, guys, I’ve got this great idea! Let’s go for a little ride. I think we should go get our hair cut.{soft whine, beginnings of complaints} Remember, the haircut place has a Thomas the Train set AND they let you pick out a movie to watch while you get your hair cut.{ears perking up} Then maybe afterwards, we can go get some french fries.{definite approval}” Do you see the difference? Do you know the Cool Cuts 4 Kids place, where they do indeed have all those awesome things for little kids? Yeah, well, those haircuts cost like $20 a piece. Those places bet on moms like me: Moms who would rather shell out money and have the tricks in the back pocket of “you can play with toys and watch TV” than deal with the screaming, whining, horrible behavior of my child. It’s awful. I know. I incentivize other things too, like potty-training, going to the dentist, running errands, etc.

    See, this is how it is! They have a little car to sit in, and they can ring the bell. THIS is what you pay for.

These are probably just the tip of the iceberg. I do all sorts of lazy-parenting. I also think I do some very fun parenting, too. I mean, we sometimes make cookies together (actually, that doesn’t usually go very well), we go for walks (well, come to think of it, I walk and one rides, the other complains), we play dress up (they do, mostly, but I watch!), and on and on. Well, maybe I need to step up my game. This parenting stuff is not easy.


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