Every well-meaning parent-to-be has had their share of “this is how I’m going to do it” statements they have publicly declared in front of large groups of their friends that already have kids.
Admit it, you’ve done it. I know that a good number of you are all now inwardly cringing. You are thinking about that time you said, “I’m never going to let my kids eat Swedish fish for breakfast” to your crew and you are now looking over at your kids who are eating cheese puffs and m&m’s for dinner, on the couch, while watching SpongeBob SquarePants, at 10pm. On a school night.
Listen, I am not judging in the least. As I wrote last week, I don’t give a rats ass how you parent your kids. I am too busy over here trying to keep my household afloat.
What I do know is that you will, against all better judgement, give in to your kids. Because if you don’t, you’ll end up in the loony bin. There is only so much whining and arguing and “he’s touching me!”, “she took mine!”, “he’s looking at me!”, “she’s touching me again!” one can take.
There are only so many ultimatums one can give a child. You start making up such ridiculous consequences, like my own, “if you don’t stop this RIGHT THIS MINUTE you are NEVER getting ANYTHING ever again!”, that your kid just looks at you and raises a “yeah, RIGHT” eyebrow.
They got you. That very uncomfortable spot between the rock and proverbial hard space- it sucks.
You need to go to work and are seconds away from being late. They are naked and want oreos for breakfast before they put a stitch of clothing on.
What do you do? The “behaviorally and research-based correct way of parenting” response of waiting them out or the guaranteed way to get you to work on time response of stocking up on oreo cookies?
I think the choice is obvious.
This will happen. I guarantee. If you don’t have kids and you are reading this and you are saying to yourself, “nope, not me, not going to happen” come over here so I can hit you upside the head with a reality rock.
You may start out that way. But watching a parent “do the wrong thing e.g. the thing you would never do” when you see them at Target is entirely different when you ARE that parent. Giving “the look” and getting “the look” evoke very different feelings.
Now, come over here. I will give you that reality rock smack to the head and hand you the reality rock so you can pass it on to the next naïve non-parent friend once you’ve had your kids.
You’re going to need it.
Now, excuse me, I need to go find some oreos so I can get to work on time.