Yep. I’m going to say it. I know, it’s a complete change of heart. Especially after all the complaining I do and when I threaten to go on strike. You guys know that’s just hyperbole right? (what a big juicy word, ‘hyperbole’)
Every day a child is taken too soon from this world. It’s the sad fact of life. Childhood cancer, bike accidents, car accidents happen every day. Children by the hundreds die in the Sudan because of starvation and disease. Why did the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy make such a difference for me? I don’t know. Maybe because it’s relatable to me based on the victims’ ages and location and its absolute randomness. It could happen anywhere.
So I’m still my snarky self. Trust me. But I decided first to remember before I gripe at my kids ONE MORE TIME about the clothes that needed picking up and the wrappers left randomly around the house, to take a breath, to speak calmly, and not let the little things bother me.
Will I still parent and make them hate me from time to time because I put my foot down on setting boundaries? You betcha. Will I do it with respect for them and their dignity? Absolutely.
This weekend I told McSweetie I’m not going to nag. He probably thought it was a Christmas miracle that came early. I will kindly ask him to remove his toenail clippings from the bathroom floor and whiskers from the sink. And then I’ll flash him my boobs when the kids aren’t around. It’s a win-win situation for both of us. He might start doing more chores, more often.
I will remember not to roll my eyes (it’s hard for me). I roll my eyes and see my brain sometimes. I will try not to get exasperated when Owen asks for the bajillionth time questions like this- “how tall is Marshawn Lynch from the Seahawks?” “How much money did Steve Jobs make before he died?” “Is the White House the biggest house in America?” “What kind of car am I going to drive when I get my license?” “Does Dad make more money than so and so’s dad?”
You get my point.
He is one inquisitive kid. But hey, what a blessing, right?
Then there’s Emma’s fits of absolute dissolve over something minor. But never tell a pre-teen girl ‘it’s not a big deal’. Because guess what? It’s a pretty big fucking deal I didn’t wash the socks she was planning to wear today.
I will remind her, without screaming at her, that I am not a mind reader. That I’m happy to wash her socks with the rest of the laundry after she gathers it up off her floor and into her hamper. But then I will smile, and hug her (but only when she’s ready, because hugging a pre-hormonal adolescent girl before she’s ready is as dangerous as wrangling an alligator.) I will smooth her hair and wipe her tears and offer her a snack.
Most often kids are cranky when they are hungry, so I will make sure she doesn’t need anything to eat.
So I think this will be a good plan. When Owen hands me a booger, the size of his thumb and announces, “I was digging for gold!” I will smile and tell him that his gold needs to be put in a kleenex treasure chest.
Those little stinkers!!
I love them and their boogers, and their tears, and their farts. And McSweetie’s toenails. I kinda love them. Sort of.