Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Step Aside Dr. Spock!

When people think of mothers they think of compassionate, caring women who bake cookies and make you feel all better when you’re sick.  But I didn’t have that mother…so I didn’t become that mother.
I had the mother whose idea of compassion was telling me: “Beauty is painful” as she burned my ears with hot rollers.  And whose idea of caring for our injuries was giving us ice and Advil.  No, seriously.  Your whole leg could have just fallen off your body and she’d try to fix it with ice and Advil.
So I guess I’ve inherited her unique parenting style. 
A large part of my parenting philosophy centers on the age old pearl of wisdom “I told you so”. 
You snuck in the cabinet and ate six cookies and now you don’t feel well?  I told you so.  You ran through that puddle and now you’re bitching cause your pants are all wet?  I told you so. 
It’s especially hard not to gloat when he falls after doing something that I’ve told him five times in a row to stop doing. 
Liiiiike…jumping on the couch for example. 
Jump…”Stop it”…jump…”Stop it”…jump…BANG!  In this particular scenario my first instinct was to yell out: “Good!  I hope it hurt!”  I don’t imagine this is a normal motherly reaction. 
The other thing I like to let Carter do is say inappropriate things because they’re funny. 
It was the week of the big Pats/Jets playoff game and when I came home from work one night my husband said "Um, so, your sister taught Carter how to say 'The Jets are poop' when she was babysitting today.  He’s been saying it on and off for the better part of an hour."
I looked at him in surprise and said "OH MY GOD....That's awesome!!"
My husband occasionally works from home.  One day he had called into a meeting.  He had his very serious business voice on and was using important industry terms and such. The whole time Carter was in the background chanting "Pooping on the potty...yeah, yeah ,yeah!" And I didn't stop him.  Cause it was funny.  I’m actually laughing about it right now…
He’ll say these things at preschool one day.  Then it will be significantly less funny.
I really, really hope he doesn’t ever repeat anything that I say to his friends, teachers, social workers…
I mean, we’ll probably be ok.  We all know how I always watch my mouth around my children, how I never yell and always treat others with respect and…No, really, I can’t even finish that sentence.  It’s too ridiculous.
I don’t know WHERE he picked up the phrase “Oh fuck!” but don’t be surprised if you drop something and he yells that out.  Cause, yeah, it’s happened.  Nice, Danielle.  Real nice. 
But sometimes the things he says that he’s gotten from me are funny in a sort of appropriate way (No, really!)
Whenever we see rude behavior I try to use it to teach him a lesson. “Now see Carter, that lady bumped right into us and didn’t even say excuse me!  Oh, what’s that, Mam?  You can hear me?  Weird.”
We were leaving the doctor’s office one day and the man in front of us didn’t hold open the door.  So Carter screamed right behind him “HEY!  He didn’t hold the door for us!  That was mean!” 
See, he speaks the truth!
But then there are always the other things he’s heard me say…like when he pointed to my margarita and said "Can I have that too?" And I told him, "Sorry hunny! This isn't for's because of you."
Unfortunately, I also speak the truth.

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