Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Last night I had dinner with one of the funniest women I know – we were cracking up before we even started drinking our Margaritas.  It was one of those dinners where the belly laughs were so huge that I was sneaking glances around the restaurant to see if any paramedics happened to be eating there, in case we both needed the Heimlich maneuver.

When were done talking about our husbands, jobs and all those riveting subjects, oddly enough the talk turned to our kids.  We began laughing, ok – howling, about how hard we tried to do everything right when they were really little, and how far we’ve fallen from grace after a few years of reality.

I confessed in a previous post that I had sunk so low that I lied to our Pediatrician about how much TV SB (Small Boy) watched.  Dr. Perfect, AKA Dr. What World Do You Actually Live In? told me, with a straight face, that SB shouldn’t watch more than ½ hour of TV per day.  Hello?  Have you been to our house?  In the beginning I tried so hard to stick to that ½ hour goal, and then I realized that no one had eaten in a week, the house looked like the slums of Calcutta, the pets were starving, and we reeked because the laundry hadn’t been touched.

In order to not wind up behind bars for child abuse and animal cruelty, I relented to one hour a day.  The pets started to plump up and every now and then we’d actually be able to eat real food, rather than suck on frozen dinners for nourishment.   And now, one year later, SB can watch shows in the morning and evening.  Balance has been restored and we can actually go out in public without being shunned.

There are so many unrealistic expectations out there for parents – diet, how to discipline, teaching nice manners, etc.  I’ve slowly come to realize that we have to cut ourselves some slack.  This parenting stuff is hard – it’s not like our kids were squeezed out after 382 hours of labor clutching little owner’s manuals.  I’ve also discovered that trying to do everything right is boring.  I certainly don’t want to listen to a perfectly fit, self-righteous mom drone on about her kid’s balanced meals, good TV habits, and perfect manners while I’m surreptitiously wiping wine stains out of SB’s filthy  clothes and digging frantically for the remote…do you?

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The Age of Contrasts. Big Ones.

First off, I have to say that having a full time job is really cutting into my writing time.  I’ve also discovered that the big problem with writing is you actually have to sit down and do it.  It’s really not one of those things you can fake, because I’d look pretty stupid posting blank pages on my blog site, and I’m guessing most people might catch on if I tried that.  With that being said, here are today’s musings, which is proof that I did manage to get my butt in the chair today… and for the four or five of you who actually read this, the long wait (or respite) is over…

So aside from the horror of having a three-year-old dictator-tot running the show most of the time, it’s also looking like this might just be a pretty sickeningly cute age.  There’s lots of hugging and snuggling, and lately he’s taken to singing, which just curls my toes and makes me want to die of a sugar/sweetness overdose.  It’s a time of great contrasts – our house is either like a Disney movie with birds landing on SB and everyone bursting into song, or it’s the set of The Shining with someone creeping around corners saying, “Redrum” with an evil laugh. 

I’m finding that bribery – oops, I mean rewards/incentives – work fairly well with SB now that’s he’s a big boy kid (his phrase, not mine).  I’m not saying that he’s a sucker, but I’m feeling fairly smug about how easily he falls for my schemes.  Usually.  Call it what you want, but if a $1.00 Hot Wheel does the trick of keeping him in bed, or peeing in the bathroom, whatever – I’m in. 

Lastly – the singing is off the charts.  For some strange reason, he really likes the Beatles’ “Octopus Garden”, and to hear him sing along and mangle the words makes me want to die of cute.  And not to be too obnoxious, but he’s clearly a musical prodigy.  It’s just a matter of time before he buys me a private island with his royalties.  As long as no one’s creeping around saying, “Redrum”, I’ll take it. 

So what do you all think?  Did the terrible-awful-embarrassing twos turn into the usually very cute – except when it’s not – threes?