Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I would never. . . .

Before I had any kids, I knew knew that I was going to be the coolest, funnest mom out there. I was sure of it. I also knew my kid was never going to go pants-less into a walmart because I forgot the extra change of clothes and he threw up all his milk. My kid was not going to throw an on-the-floor, kicking and screaming tantrum in public, no less. And my kid was going to be interested in Shel Silverstein books, not some stupid fuzzy muppet that talks in baby talk and refers to himself in the third person.

I had spent years people-watching other parents doing it the totally wrong way. How could I not learn from their example? When it came to parenting, I was set.

Then I had a kid.

And I quickly decided that sanity wins over principle and quiet wins over not letting my 2 year old watch Sesame Street. (What the hell is it about Elmo, anyways? It's like he has magical powers over toddlers!)

So now, after less than 2 years as a parent, with all my principles, high expectations and lofty ideas stripped away, I give you my:

Top 5 Things I Swore I Would Never Do As A Parent. . . Yet I do.
  1. Use toddler speak.  I promised myself that I would never use baby talk, and when Bjorn was a baby, the words "paci" and "baa-baa (bottle)" never once crossed my lips. But this no baby talk directive stopped the moment he began using words. With speech, instead of him following me, I get caught up and actually follow his lead. "Sessee. Sessee Seet. Peeeease." he says. "You want to watch Sessee Seet? Ok. Let's turn on some Mel-mo." Nothing with proper pronunciation, only Bjorn-speak.
  2. Use toddler speak with other adults. Unfortunately, these speech patterns have crept into other aspects of my life. No longer do I excuse myself from a date night dinner with The Hubs to "use the restroom". Now, I have to "go potty".  It is only with extreme restraint that I stop myself from explaining that I have to go "pee pee" or "poo poo".
  3. Give in to tantrums.  Oh yeah, you heard me. Give in to them. Now, I'm not advocating giving into them all the time, nor am I saying that just because you are in public/alone with no one to help deal with it that you should show them that tantrums = results. But sometimes, when the giving in hurts your pride more than your principles ("No, you cannot wear your galoshes to the store; it's a 102 degrees out there and your feet will sweat and you will cry and. . . . oh hell. I let him wear the boots and when he starts to complain, I take 'em off. The kid is 2. He can go shoe-less.) it can be worth it to give in. Because everyone likes to win every once in a while, and if it doesn't happen often, and it doesn't become a habit, then what is the harm? Sticking to your guns 100% of the time can be frustrating and exhausting - for both you and the kid.
  4. Let the kid watch some TV. It is about to be summer in Phoenix, which means 120+ days that boil even the coolest swimming pool. At that point, it it just to be outside - or even to get into your car to go somewhere cooler. And there are only so many puzzles/books/cars I can play with before I have to throw the kiddo in front of Handy Manny and grab a moment to myself. TV is not the devil, and I won't treat it as if its the worst thing he could be doing. Go ahead and watch some TV, Bjorn. I like TV - why shouldn't you?!
  5. Go to the store - even Walmart - in sweats and without makeup.  This is something I never did before. Even my gym workout called for a cute outfit, mascara and lip gloss. Not anymore. The days I don't wear makeup now outnumber the days I actually do - and most of those days are when I go to work, where makeup is required. (Yes, required!) These days, I won't win a spot on People Magazines Most Beautiful People, but I don't think I'm going to be asked onto What Not To Wear anytime soon.
What do you do that you swore you would never do?!


Andrea and Jeff said...

I agree completely! And I love what you said about Elmo. I have NO idea why he has so much power over little ones, but he sure does. I swore I would never let my girls watch tv either but Katie loves him! And you are exactly right, that 30 minutes of peace and quiet is so worth it.

TeeKayOh said...

My son is only 5 months old and I've broken tons of my "I would never". My son sleeps in a bassinet in my bedroom - a huge NEVER for me. Now I'm the one having issues moving him into his own room. I think he's already set to go off to college. My house is basically a toybox. Another never. My biggest never is that I just knew I'd love him but I NEVER expected to like him so much. That might sound weird but I'm not a baby/kid person but all I want to do is spend time with my son. I really don't want to do much if it doesn't involve him. Motherhood is incredible like that.

Mommy This and That said...

Your list could be my list....