Monday, April 5, 2010

We have survived another birthday season. It's much like hurricane season except more condensed and with much greater likelihood for ultimate home destruction.  Kiera had her birthday party at Bellows beach on Saturday and despite a couple of glitches, it was a lot of fun.  All I can say is what could possibly be more fun than a car full of girls belting out Hannah Montana and Selena Gomez tunes?  It totally made me miss my childhood and trips to Cedar point and the lake. Ahhh. 

It was pouring rain as we drove through the tunnel and I was quite worried we were going to have to transform it into a rainy day party- but there was sun on the beach. I'd have to say the Sand Sculpting contest was a ton of fun and I am very sorry that I was so utterly remiss in reapplying sunscreen at that time.  There were a lot of pink cheeks as a result.

Yesterday was Eggstravagant. The Easter Bunny left me a note that it was lots of fun actually hiding eggs this year as opposed to just rolling them out into the yard. He also apologized for losing count as he was hiding. Lily was tickled as she found 2 more eggs just this morning.  We then ventured over to the 4th annual Easter Egg Hunt n potluck at the park around the corner from our house. This was the first year Phil hasn't worked and all the kids were big enough to really enjoy the festivities. Read as: Old enough for mom and dad to enjoy the festivities. Seeing as I had just spearheaded two parties in the past two weeks- I was pretty partied out.  It was alot of fun just to hang out with a couple neighbors and my husband. The sparkling moscato didn't hurt either. Well until this morning anyhow.

So here comes the soap box.....I am not the perfect parent. No such thing exists as you cannot possibly expect perfection from an imperfect species.  Going to big events is stressful for me. Kids are kids. They tend to act DIfferent ages will give you different challenges. You throw all those ages together and if there are 3 or more of them- as my husband puts it- they will be killing pigs.  The girls will kill the darn thing via emotional torture or through bursting it's eardrums with their high pitched squeals. The boys will find weapons and beat the thing to death and perform experiments on it. Then there are parents- many parents of my age group view such gatherings as a hiatus from parenting. The assumption is that either another parent will handle it or the kids are just off playing. Out of sight, out of mind.  I am an observer. You will not find me in the center of the group engaging in conversation over the best place to shop for this or that or the best new restaurant. I will be on the outskirts watching and listening. I am not a great conversationalist when my kids are present as I am constantly distracted.  Plus when you have your backs to the pig killin species- it's tough to see when it is time to intervene. But that is making the assumption that you would intervene. You know what happens when you assume.

This is why these events are stressful. I don't take a hiatus from parenting. I believe to do so while you are in your children's presence is bad form and sets a precedent for inconsistency. I think this is one of the major problems with the parenting of my generation. There is a reason we are called the me generation. Yeah well there is no "me" in parenting. There is a parent and ing. We were the first to be taught that we are "special" and deserve to be treated as such.  We deserve our own time. It's ok to take time for me. All is true. BUT you have to take care of your responsibilities before you take care of those things.  Just because you are not watching, does not mean it's not happening. In my day, (OH God I am really going there already???) if an adult told you to do something- you did it. Lil Phillip was playing at the park that morning and my neighbor told him to do something. He did not.  SHe asked him again. He did not. She made him do it.  By the time word got to me of what he did(or didn't do) he knew he was in trouble.  He didn't return to the park and didn't get to do the egg hunt. Now kids regularly disrespect adults and are defended by their parents.  We had 3 young teens sitting in the middle of the bouncy house and all the little kids were going elsewhere.  I told them if they weren't playing- get out. My neighbor told them- if they weren't jumping- get out. We went back and they were now standing. In the middle.  One teen says "I don't give a shit." My neighbor says "fine- if you don't give a shit- get out".  I say shit or get off the pot. If I had talked to my parents or neighbors that way, my rear would have been black and blue and I would not have seen daylight for weeks. And I was a spoiled child. I remember when I first learned the word ass.  We had neighbors whose last name was Aseltyne. Yeah- I thought I was soooo clever to superimpose my new vocabulary word into their name. My mother was not so amused. She didn't even hear me, but my friend's mom did.  I got my mouth washed out with soap. Literally. Guess what- It worked. I still swore. I was much more cautious about who heard me though. Life lessons. Here's the thing- nowadays- many parents take the stance- if I didn't hear it firsthand- I can't act on it. Generally good practice. If your neighbor tells you your child swore at or near them- that counts as first hand. If you choose not to act on it- your child has learned that they are not accountable for their actions when you are not present. That is a bad precedent. Not all adults are correct. But if you allow your child to disregard adults that you know, how do you think they will behave with other adults that don't know you to report back their behavior. There is no excuse for bad behavior. I don't care how many add/ adhd  or personality disorders you have. If you continue to behave poorly around me- your opportunities with me will be limited. 

SO part of me says relax and part of me says act now. Part of me says it won't matter at all anyhow. But make a difference I will -if just with my four cuz perhaps someday they will change four more. And four more after that and one day you will see- oh how much better things are with a little respect and dignity. SO now down I will step off my soap container, for what I've said could not be plainer. Now I must go wash some wash and shelve some shelves and well those little people I created cannot parent themselves.

Today's thoughts inspired by  quotes from one of my favoritest authors: Dr. Theodor Geisel

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind"

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It's not."

He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man

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