In light of the recent flurry of verbose parents’ ranting status updates about their fabulous children on Facebook, here is my translation of the subtext of said posts:
My child is so utterly fantastically superior to most any other child and it must be my uncanny parenting skills that have facilitated such an undeniable fact. Thank goodness, he/she has achieved x, y or z and has a trophy, certificate, report card, beautiful face, exceptional talent or remarkable astuteness (or all of them) to exhibit as indisputable evidence that he/she is a gift to humanity. Actually, thank me for being such an extraordinary parent and being able to produce and rear such high quality offspring. And especially, thank Facebook for enabling me to alert the public to the greatness in their midst so they can be sure to start ass kissing my 2, 5, 9, 12 year old right now before he/she hits the big time. To be more concise, the world would spin off its axis without he/she/us.
I just wonder sometimes who people are directing their posts to when they gush and brag relentlessly. I know they’re proud. But that takes one sentence to convey, if it needs conveying at all. Of course I have occasionally, though rarely, been guilty of posting about my terrific children myself – still, I try to at least keep it to one sentence. I don’t think I’m better than the gushers, just get a kick out of pondering how awesomely funny it would be if they just went all out and posted my interpretation of their status updates. I wonder how many “likes” they’d get . 😉
You want to make your life exceedingly challenging? Do what I just did. Ban your child from accessing electronics for an entire weekend. Oh yeah, this was necessary. The original offense was playing on his ipad behind my back before his designated time. His original punishment was just “no more electronics for the day,” but the subsequent tantrum (including expletives, door slamming and extreme face contorting) led to a prolonged moratorium.
We parents have to watch what we say when we are punishing our kids. I had plenty of moments of regret over the past few days, starting with 5:30 a.m. yesterday when my son woke me up (my one morning to sleep in) and proceeded to vacillate between whining, stomping and protesting and cuddling, crying and professing contrition. I finally gave up on any hope of going back to sleep when he began pacing back and forth at the foot of my bed and chanting, “I’m on strike, I’m on strike…”
“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.”– Woody Allen
I made one of my resolutions early this year. After the massacre in Newtown, I made a conscious decision to count my blessings. Something internal and unconscious shifted too. Every time I felt the urge to complain or my heart raced with anxiety, an inner censor tugged at me, reminding me … life is short and I have a chance. I have my beautiful healthy children, I have my own health and resourcefulness, I have this moment and the ability to hope for the future. Those luxuries were lost for the parents and families in Newtown. Those luxuries are lost everyday for so many across the globe and right next door. Continue reading →
My kids slept out at their grandparent’s last night. I slept in this morning, something I almost never do. Shortly after I awoke, I went on Facebook on my iphone by rote. I found the usual blather and some references to another shooting. I checked my emails. I sauntered out of bed, relishing in the quiet and the complete lack of obligatory tasks. No kids around, such ease, such a treat. Continue reading →
I’ll admit, when my kids’ dad said he was leaving me and hitting the road, my first impulse was to hoard my children, shield them from their dad’s apparent mid-life crisis, and start a new life without him. I shoved that feeling down and never acted out or impeded his ability to see them. It just so happens he literally left the country for new career opportunities and adopted a nomadic lifestyle. It wasn’t long after his departure that I was on the phone begging him to please come home and help manage the emotional fall out that our separation was having on our kids. Continue reading →