Thursday, November 6, 2014

Just Enough Dysfunction

       We are all parents here, well mostly at least. I'd like to think I've prevented some from joining in the misery. ;)  And I have discussed this particular peeve of mine before but I loooooove the new way of telling all of us parents how we are doing. No longer are articles titled with the eye catching how to, need to know, mistakes you're making, fix it, blah blah blah blah. Now it's all coming in captions of  Things Good Parents Do and the like. (Because of course every parent out there is sure, just absolutely sure, we are the good parent on the block....I really need to develop a sarcastic font.) So here goes my version of the article. *Note: the names have been changed to protect the innocent...parents.

    1. Good parents never yell to make their children listen. Okay, obviously these parents have given birth to the only children on the planet without selective hearing. Side note- obviously I'm not one of these good parents. If a day goes by that I only break the sound barrier once trying to be heard over the racket of our children and zoo I'm sure someone is sick or trapped and start taking temperatures and head counts.

   2. Good parents pick their battles. Yep, we pick our battle the moment the eye rolling, sighing, whatever, dirty look giving 100 lbs of puberty angst ridden twin makes an appearance. Because let me tell you-MY child I gave birth to is perfect. The fairy changeling that takes its place occasionally in the form of a rude, ungrateful, and severely put upon twin, however, makes me grit my teeth and tell myself I can not kill this being or my sweet darling will not be returned.

  3. Good parents use word tricks such as the when/then parenting to get their way. Yes! Of course! This is exactly what I've been doing wrong all this time! My good friend *Ashley was shocked this one little trick could solve so many problems. "I mean what parent tells their child/ren when you do your chores, then you get a reward? To think I was throwing candy at them and not a toy was picked up afterwards. I'm embarrassed." (Really need to develop that sarcastic font.)

4.Good parents serve one meal, with a second option, and make food an adventure. Alright, this time I combined several into one. Because honestly this one baffles me. What do they think is going to happen here? A child will be so willful that they're going to starve themselves if mama doesn't feed them only chicken nuggets and mac and cheese? I promise you children are only as manipulative as a parent allows. For eleven years, four children, and several guests on different occasions I've never had to have a back up. I have had vegetarians, pescatarians, city folk, and in between to my home and aside from making sure there's enough veggies available I've never had to do anything else. Have a second option? Why so they can tell you they don't like that one either. What then? Make food an adventure? How bout eat what I made or wait till the next meal. I've had children over playing who were fascinated with a very basic lunch item (roman noodles with eggs and veggies mixed in.) She wasn't sure what a lima bean was and wanted seconds. This child had exclusively eaten chicken nuggets and ice cream for a year.   (Might I note I previously said I'm not one of these good parents.)

  5. Good parents tidy up once a day, have quiet time, and encourage hobbies other than tv.
Because apparently these so called good parents have time to spare before bedtime and a live in maid. It's the only explanation I can come up with. "IF I only cleaned up once a day, hoarders would be contacted in a week", said another friend of mine, Brandi. What's impressive is she's only got one child and a cat. If I quit cleaning for a day...well we might dwindle from a family of six to five until we relocated the child that was swallowed by the laundry pile.

     What have you learned from all this? Probably came to the same realization I did. I am NOT a good parent. That's alright though, my goal was to give the kids just enough dysfunction to make them interesting.