Well it’s that time again – time to share my thoughts on….
“Things I’d Never Thought I’d Say”
Here’s a sample, most of which happened within a 30 minute period while visiting Nana and Papa in Canada over Christmas: DISCLAIMER: THIS IS ALL TRUE AND HAPPENED EXACTLY AS DESCRIBED. I can't make this stuff up people.
(Me to Ellie) “Ellie – it’s hard to comb your hair with your Fairy-Princess wings on.”
(Ellie) “Yeah. Thanks for doing your best, mom!” (Aw)
(To Benji) “PLEASE DON’T EAT THAT OFF THE FLOOR. Yes. I see it’s (probably) a raisin and I’m proud you found it inside the couch – but don’t put it in your mouth.”
This is where I stutter to a stop. I have to EXPLAIN why it isn’t okay to eat something he found between the couch cushions. Somewhere between ‘because it’s gross’ and my speculation as to how many bacteria and viruses were lurking there and what trouble it could cause his digestive system…he eats it.
“Mommy I ate it.” And then he runs away happily, hoping, I’m sure, to find more mystery food to eat.
(Five minutes pass in relative peace)
(To Benji) “Please don’t head-butt the dog. Again.”
(To Ellie) “It’s okay to feel angry. I wouldn’t give you your Kindle and you’re upset. It’s okay to be upset. It isn’t okay to Van-Dam style drop-kick your mom."
I’m feeling that vein in my neck throb and I am suddenly at a loss for words. Again. How to explain why you can’t beat up your mom? Somewhere between ‘because it’s wrong,’ and ‘you might hurt me’ and ‘people in general may kick you back in the future’, she brings me her kindle (because she's relentless) and asks to watch her new favorite show, Stinky and Dirty.
“No Kindle, No TV for awhile.”
“Because I’m a good mom and your brain will rot and I don’t want you to go to Harvard because they’re all too crazy-stressed but I want you to be ABLE to if you wanted to…so no, no more TV right now.”
(To Benji) “STOP! Don’t let the dog lick the…ughhhh, give it to me. You can’t let the dog lick your popsicle.”
“Because he’s a dog and he licks his butt. Do you want to eat something he licked now?” (Feeling so proud right now because I had an answer for the why. A good one.)
(Benji)“Butt, ha ha ha ha ha.”
And that proud feeling evaporates just like his popsicle on mom’s good dining room coffee table. (I cleaned it mom!)
(Three minutes pass as I explain, again, to Ellie why she can’t watch more Stinky and Dirty right now…)
“Benji, don’t put it down on the garbage can….argghhhh. No DON’T EAT IT! I’ll get you another one.”
“Because its gross and germy.”
“Yes, germy, make you sick.”
It isn’t just the why, germs make you sick. It’s the picking and choosing how to explain at a level a toddler will understand. You’re also walking that super-fun line between keeping them safe and creating OCD germaphobes who kick people when they’re mad.
But maybe that’s just my problem and everyone else has super-perfect mini-me’s. (Bah – what’s the fun in that!?)
Anyway, keep on parental units, keep on. Tomorrow is a new day. As long as you’re alive you’ve got another chance to find your happy, keep your cool, and find the fun in any crazy situation your kids drag you into.
Also, I think everyone should make more Play-Doh at home. It’s super easy and fun and has nothing to do with anything I’ve written here but everyone should try it! It’s like an easy way to bolster your parental confidence. (Jimmy’s picking his nose in public but hey, we made play-doh together today AND he ate a whole carrot. I. Am. Awesome.)
Yes, yes you are!