No parent is perfect. That being said, most parents start out with grandiose intentions; the first time we hold that tiny, wrinkled baby we vow that we will be amazing parents. Whether we promise to be better than, or as good as, our own parents- we all have a gauge to compare our parenting against. Somewhere along the way, reality sets in. It's impossible to be attentive 100% of the time, some meals you make just suck, there are days when your patience is shot to shit, and sometimes broken promises are unavoidable, regardless how much it pains, and shames, us to break them.
I am not "most" parents. The very first time I held our first born, I closed my eyes, snuggled her tight, and silently promised not to fuck up too badly. I had no delusions of grandeur, I refused to lie to her- this real, live human being that I was suddenly responsible for. I knew there was little chance that I would prove to be the first Perfect Parent ever created; I just had my fingers crossed that somewhere amidst the flailing, and fumbling, trial, and error, good intentions, and ambitious ideas, that in the end I would have helped raise a truly fabulous person.
Five years in: parenting is hard. Three babies in four years was/is exhausting. Figuring out how to raise a developmentally challenged child is a daily struggle. Sometimes parental shortcuts must be taken. I'm confident enough in my role as Mom to admit to doing these.
- Floss my three year old's teeth? Sure every night. And by every night, I obviously mean every third or fourth month.
- I have been known to put on an extra long cartoon so that I can catch a nap on the couch after a too early breakfast.
- You only want to eat yellow things today?! Sure, I don't care. Here's a can of corn.
- Endure 30 minutes of yelling, or let kid take milk to bed. Seriously? Homo or 2% my friend?
- We've donated an iPhone and an iPod touch to The Keep The Children Happy And Quiet Foundation. A worthy cause btw, look it up...
- You want to take 4 bubble baths today? Will it shut you up for at least 20 minutes each time? Cool. Lets get Bubblelicious!
- There was a good three week period recently where all the kids worn nothing but jammies. I may, or may not, have taken part in Jammie Fest 2012
- We taught Dryden to fetch Kleenex, pacifiers, milk bottles, remotes, beer, diapers. Some would say we are lazy. I say Dryden is earning his eight quarters/week.
- I am guilty of doing The Spot Clean. Wash all my floors? Fuck that- I'm just washing the spots that are dirty. Wash under the couch? Why- so lost toys have a clean hide out??
- "Saku! Come eat this off the floor please" is said daily at our house.
*Saku is our dog for those who don't know. We do not have a child named Saku who is only permitted to eat accidentally dropped food off the floor. Even I think that's horrible parenting...
- I pretend not to notice when Dryden sneaks a mini chocolate chip to Raegan. That's because I've already stolen a handful of them myself.
- When baby Raegan is in a rotten mood, she gets a handful of cheesies. No questions asked.
- Noëlle sometimes steals sips of my neglected, or misplaced, coffee/latte/cappuccino. I let her- she stopped drinking when she was 18 months old, so on the odd occasions that she drinks anything I'm impressed.
-I let Dryden plays with babies. Raegan loves playing with trucks. Will he turn out to be gay? Because of stuffed dolls? Grow up. Will she be a butch tomboy? No- but she just might fix your car on the side of the road after you overheated the engine and broke your fan belt.
- I let my kids sing their gibberish nonsense songs as loud as they want during the singing parts of mass. It's our trade off for them being (ever so slightly) quieter during the readings. Whatever, Jesus thinks their songs are awesome. I do too.
- I let Noëlle play with all of the cutlery on the floor in the kitchen, the pens in the cup holder from the office, my necklaces hanging in our bedroom, spin the toilet paper roll in the bathroom, and pull out the kleenex from the boxes in every room. I don't understand how her brain works- I just know that these things being her joy.
- I've lied about what time it is to hurry bedtime up a bit. Ok, ok, a lot.
I did it tonight as a matter of fact...