Right now my kids are playing with Play-doh. Noah is making sushi and Anna is making balls of huge color with dots in them. I just took a shower while Eli napped, Anna and Noah listened for Eli as he slept.
I’m painfully tired. Eli woke up almost every two hours last night and wanted to nurse and my morning started at 7:30 am after going to bed at midnight.
Today we have grocery shopping to do, errands to run, school registration to complete and everyday things that must be done.
I’m painfully tired. Okay, I said that. But today is different as both Anna and Noah are being punished today. Anna may not go outside and play with friends or watch TV and Noah can not watch TV.
I’m not a perfect parent and I swear I hope I never hope I am. I think that’s the problem with a lot of parenting these days is that parents think their kids are perfect when really when their kids are not near their parents … THEY ARE SO FAR FROM PERFECT.
I’m even talking about my kids. No, really, I am. Also, as far as parenting is concerned, I give myself a 4 (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being obnoxiously awesome) on bad (most) days and an 8 on the rest (rare) days. Just this past Sunday, we were at a family reunion, I had Eli in my sling, I was carrying two plates, getting lunch, trying to be SUPERMOM! when Eli put his hand in the mashed potatoes and burned his little tiny hand. Here I am, holding two plates of food with sticky, (sub-par) mashed potatoes burning his hands. My brother-in-law grabbed one plate, my sister the other, I grabbed a handful of napkins and wiped his hand, while he screamed.
He’s four months old and he burned himself. Ultimate parenting fail, right? Except WRONG because this has already happened to one of my kids. When Anna was just shy of her first birthday, she put her hand in hot mashed potatoes when a waitress put mashed potatoes right in front of her. So, now I’ve decided to banish mashed potatoes forever because they are trying to kill my kids. (except I’ll eat my Mom’s mashed potatoes and mine and Lovelyn’s and my mother-in-law’s and also the mashed potatoes from Chili’s because they’re all garlic-y and also at Thanksgiving. God I love Thanksgiving. Only 16 more weeks!)
Wait. Where was I?
Oh yes, I’m trying to kill my kids with mashed potatoes. Yes.
Anyway, yesterday my daughter did something quite naughty. Like as in baaaad. I’m not going ot tell you what it was because I think that would be wrong, it was just wrong. I mean, it’s not like she stole anything, OKAY SHE DID, SHE STOLE MY iPHONE, are you happy now?!
She did. While I was upstairs with Eli, she took my iPhone outside and played with it and let her friends play it, too.
How did I catch her? I came downstairs and found my phone way too close to the patio door. And if I hadn’t caught her that way, I would have caught her when I saw that she took pictures of her friends outside and of my neighbor’s car and of the grass. I wonder if, as a good parent, I should teach her how to better hide her poor decisions by, you know, DELETING THE EVIDENCE, but I’m guessing I should not.
By the way, in case you are wondering, I did not fall asleep on my bed with Eli while my kids were downstairs except, yes, I did. But you know what? My kids are 6.5 and 7.5 years old (the POINT FIVE definitely matters, here.) In some countries, kids that age are working and bringing home paychecks to their parents (remind me to revisit that idea after writing this post.) I’m not saying I AGREE with that, I’m just sayin’.
So, while I’m upstairs parenting *cough* Eli, my iPhone gets stolen by my daughter and shared with her friends.
Note of interest: I do not let my kids play with my iPhone. Mainly because a.) it is mine. b.) I can not afford to get another one, if it breaks I have to use a calculator as my phone and c.) IT IS MINE. Now, things may change with Eli getting older because he looks at it and grabs for it and says “oooh, twitter.” So, you know, I’m always open for change. But not behind my back.
Also, while I was upstairs “parenting” Eli, my other child, Noah, allows a girl, twice his age to come in and go through my cabinets to look for food to eat because her Mom won’t give her a snack. Now here’s the thing, I wasn’t totally sleeping because Anna came upstairs 43 times in a 60 minute time period and asked for a marshmallow and each time I said “no” because I’m not downstairs and if you choke I should be with you. And then Noah would come upstairs and ask for ice cream sandwiches for our neighbors and also WHY AREN’T WE FEEDING OUR CHILDREN?
(it’s important to note that I do not allow other children in my house mainly because that gives me too much *unpaid* responsibility and also because I can’t keep up with my kids’ messes, let alone other kids’. Also: I HAVE AN INFANT.)
I’m finally waking up with tiny Eli, which was good because God knows what would have happened in my house if I hadn’t or if I had slipped into a coma and Noah comes up and says “can Trudy* have cheese-its…she reallllly wants cheeze-its.” ”um no, Trudy* may not have cheeze-its and how does she know we have cheeze-its?” (and also is there really a “z” in cheeze-its?)
Needless to say, I figure all of this out, while nursing on the couch and drinking diet coke (SUPERMOM!) and I’m like “get your asses inside and send your friends home.”
Except I swear to you, I NEVER cuss in front of my kids. YET. The rest is true, though.
They came in and I felt betrayed and I told them so and they admitted to making dumb choices and allowing a much older girl to influence them but also they know the rules and GAH. I was “gone” for one stinking hour.
So, today my kids are being punished. Now Noah is playing Uno by himself (against two other “people”) and Anna is writing numbers down 1-300 and it’s surprisingly quiet except in my mind I’m so disturbed by yesterday’s events that my heart hurts and I’m wondering how they learned to be little jerks when I thought I raised them to be friendly.
I’m ending this with four thoughts:
1. I will be using Eli’s video monitor to monitor Anna when she is seventeen. And eighteen.
2. You may think your child does no wrong but you are probably wrong and if you don’t realize that we are all in trouble. (also, if you have older children who hang out with younger children, I implore you to ask them not to share their views on Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy with their younger, more innocent friends.)
3. Lives online are never perfect. No matter how they’re portrayed.
4. This is the point when I can see parents giving up on their kids. If you think this is the only thing Anna has ever done wrong, you would be wrong, there are all sorts of problems that are leaving Brian and I very concerned. I can see parents shrugging and saying “it’s just her personality, she likes to be in control.” Except NO. I do not accept that. I accept her personality, I do not accept disrespect.
The buck stops here, little girl.
*Trudy is not her real name. Every girl in our neighborhood has the same name, I’d hate to wrongfully incriminate the wrong girl just because THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME NAME.