Friday, February 4, 2011

Signs you may need work in a key parenting area

I first suspected I had a problem at Christmas when my mom gave me a beautiful nativity set. Boy 1 pulled out the wise men and said, "Who are this guys? " Oooooh, yeah, now I remember what I meant to teach them about...I need to do better with their spirituality, or maybe transfer them to Catholic school.

Another sign was when the school counselor called and said...well, I guess, the school counselor called. Period. Doesn't really matter what she said, you know it's not good.  They never call and say "Your son is so bright/creative/innovative!" or "Your son is reading too much!"  although I did recently get a call from the principal to say that Boy 2 got hit with a skipping rope and the other child would be dealt with.  I was relieved neither of my kids were in the wrong.  Is that bad? Good parents are probably outraged when their kids come home welted, not relieved they were the wronged party.

I didn't learn my lesson, either.  One day they were fighting so bad over a toque that I sent them outside.  The fight finally ended when Boy 1 shoved Boy 2 into a snowbank and Boy 2 came up with a bloody mouth.  "Help me, help me!"   "Sorry, sorry, sooorrryy!!!!" I was so happy the fighting stopped. I need to go find some empathy, or something.

I carry a book in my purse in the event that one of the children won't get in the car and I will either a) have to wait him out without appearing anxious, or b) have to pretend to be ignoring the hilarious footrace around the car.  When Boy 2 won't get in the car, PHD will chase Boy 2 around the car until either his rage or stamina fails. Usually stamina is the first to go, the rage hangs on for a while.  I don't understand how Boy 2 can belly laugh and sprint at the same time.  The angrier PHD gets, the harder Boy 2 laughs and the faster he runs. I have to pull out my book so he can't see me laughing...maybe we can call my reading "modeling excellent literacy habits" and take this example off the list. Cuz the footrace is hilarious.

Oh, and another huge indicator of poor parenting is if you you have PTSD-type symptoms every time you see a cop car or fire truck. My symptoms started last spring around the time Boy 2 figured out he could leave me voice mail messages by phoning our home number from home.  He left me a variety of messages like singing Waving Flag, telling me he loved me (aww), making chewing noises (even the dog knows that is my biggest pet peeve - are you kissing that bite or what?) and telling me stories about his day.  He was busying himself with this project one day while I folded laundry. Suddenly he comes running into my room, "The cops are here!"  Sure enough, they were at the door.  Seems someone called 911 and hung up.  When 911 called back they could only get voice mail.  Probably because Boy 2 was occupying the line with another chorus of "This is the song that never ends..."  They grilled me and him and only let up on us when I told them my husband and other son were at Boy Scouts.  Whew, close one.  The next day a fire truck pulls up in front of our house.  I look at Boy 2 and he says quickly, "That wasn't me this time - I don't even know their number!"  It turned out they were testing the hydrant across the street; we had nothing to do with it.  See - good parents probably never suspect that their child had something to do with the fire truck or cop car out front.  I get flinchy.

I could keep going but I think you get the idea.  I should stop playing on the computer and go read a parenting book, or something...

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