08 February 2008

I amn’t kidding...

We’ve been sick, as you know… and, no, we didn’t go to the doctor’s – we toughed it out at home and are all on the mend, so I guess it shows what you know…

So, on Thursday night Marci had a concert at school. During the concert her teacher reminded the parents in the audience there will be a party Friday morning for our kids and to not forget the treat our child promised to bring…

Huh? Treat? We don’t need no stinkin’ treat…. Of what treat does she speak? And she needs it when?

I’m sure as parents, you, too, have had that sinking ‘deer out of water’ feeling…

“Oh, yeah, Mom. I forgot to tell you. I’m supposed to bring donuts tomorrow morning.” (For 37 kids and two adults, I may add.)

So, needless to say, but I’m going to say it anyway – we headed to the store directly after the concert. We’re hurrying through the aisle and toward the donut section… mother followed by two children - lagging behind, which is par.

As she passes the candy aisle, Sophe picks up a push-pop candy on steroids. It has a trigger action which allows you to push up the flavor of your choice to enjoy – you get five choices.

Where else in life do you get five choices? On demand? With a flip of a switch?

“Mom, can I have this?”

“Only if I can hit you,” I say, hurriedly on my quest for doughy nuts.

I don’t halt, nor do I slow, but I do throw a glance over my shoulder. I’m certain she understands my quip as a solid “NO,” but much to my dismay, Sophe is continuing on behind me, push pop in hand.

I’m walking backwards now.

“Sophe. Put that back!”

“It’s okay,” she says, with a determined look on her face… “You can hit me.”

I thought I was going to pee myself.
She’d weighed her options and was fine with the consequences…
Besides – she knows I hit like a girl.

Yeah – I bought it for her – reimbursing her for the good laugh - and no, I didn’t hit her… but I reserve the right to in the future.

I hope you’re enjoying your Friday.


Sandra Miller Linhart said...

whoops! That means I left one out for 'every other' parent:

You get to make the mad dash 'last minute' shopping spree every other time our kids 'forget' they have to bring something to school first thing in the morning...

Anonymous said...

My friend relayed this experience to me yesterday. Seems she was at work and one of the NACs said, "No offense , but why do you white people (NO OFFENSE THERE!)make your kids eat something they don't want to eat?" She told the aide she was a single mother and when her children were little, she fixed dinner, from scratch, because in that day and age, McD's was a treat and besides there wasn't one on every corner. Since she had gone thru all the effort to make a healthy nutritious dinner, the kids had two choices - take it or leave it. If they chose not to eat, they went to bed hungry, and for breakfast - you guessed it - last night's dinner - every meal until it was eaten. If it was a weekend, they lost the privilege to play or spend the night with their friends until it was eaten. The NACs were appalled, told her she should have gotten in trouble for child abuse, making her kids go to bed hungry!!! Apparently in their culture, if your children don't want what you're fixing, you go thru the freezer fixing shtuff until they do. Anyway, the NACs continued to quiz her on her child rearing ways. Seems they felt she was really out of line for employing love and logic with her babies, just as her wonderful parents had with her. She never nagged or harassed them, just told them once and then let them take the natural consequences of not following thru; such as when told not to reach up to the hot stove, allowed them to burn their fingers once. Seems she never had to worry about them ever pulling hot pans off the stove when she was distracted. On time she told them to buckle up and they ignored her, so she buckled up and drove off, accelerated slightly, then stepped on the brake. The kids tumbled into the back seat, a little shaken up. She still didn't yell at them, simply said, "Whew, I sure am glad I had my seatbelt on!" To this day, she says, her son will not even get into a car and drive across the street without his seat belt. Another time, she was shopping and had told the two of them to stick close. They didn't pay attention, so she continued shopping, keeping an eye on them, eventually they realized they had lost her, clinging to each other and crying. Slowly she "shopped" back over to them and "found" them. They never strayed again. She was feeling pretty bad about her parenting towards the end of the conversation, the aides giving her quite a bit of crap about how she had so abused her children. Finally she said, "I guess I didn't do too bad, I raised a Marine and a Soldier; what about your kids?!" She told me they sheepishly answered back that they were brats. We had a good laugh about that. For the record, her talent for allowing people to make their own decisions and the natural consequences has made her an exceptional COTA with great success in her field. Her father is a retired special ed teacher who used practical lessons to teach those kids that were considered "learning disabled". Many of those "special" kids are now successful, popular business people and community leaders and still make it a point to ask about him whenever they run into R. I personally think she's a great mom and person. I wish more people would raise their children this way. Her daughter is an exceptional Marine and hoping to continue her education and career as an officer and an attorney. She is very level headed and intelligent. She thinks things out and takes responsibility for her actions, even when those actions result in unintended consequences. R's son is currently in Iraq, his second tour. He volunteered and very much believes in his mission. Both of them enlisted right after 9-11. R's son-in-law is also a career Soldier, with a tour of Iraq under his belt, taking care of his wife and two kids on his soldier's salary. These are fine, hard-working, taxpaying citizens, living and loving and pulling their own weight. We should all be so lucky to raise such fine families. I bring this up, not to grind on you for your parenting, because I know you are a great mother. I just don't want the Discipline Allergy Moms to throw a gasket!!! or pop cork (maybe they should pop a cork, then drink the contents!) or whatever it is they do when they are unable to grasp someone might have a different opinion regarding child rearing; single parenting; or for that matter, an off beat sense of humor. Your story was funny, and demonstrates how we sometimes forget how little minds work. When my son was about five, I asked him to do "something a different way", explaining we could kill two birds with one stone. He got strangely quiet and cooperative. All day, he did what he was told, behaving nicely, etc. Finally, he came to me in the early evening and wanted to know "when we were going to go kill the birds?" We all got a good laugh out of that, and NO! he didn't grow up to be a serial killer. He is a wonderful, loving, sensible, empathetic, generous young man whose heart breaks when he hears of senseless tragedy and sorrow such as child abuse, the death or misfortune of someone he knows or knows of. Little people just process their worlds differently. Too bad some of us grow up and become cynical, self-centered douchebags. Anne Ominous

pass the popcorn, please!