Friday, June 25, 2010

Ha! Only an hour and a half, now

Editing a 15-page IADSR (50 points to whoever can figure out THAT government acronym) is not exactly taking my mind of my hunger, which was NOT satisfied by the 270 calorie Healthy Choice microwave meal I recently fed it. I need to stop thinking about how a farewell ice cream party (not saying goodbye to ice cream, just a co-worker moving on to a new job) is an excruciating TWO HOURS AWAY. Oh, I bet there will be chocolate! And whipped cream! And chocolate! Clearly this is torture, I'm way too hungry. But if I eat something now, I shall perhaps ruin my chances at a guilt-free ice cream gorging in two hours. So instead, I shall take a moment to distract myself by rambling on about parenting stuff.

First up: This morning, in the car, I asked Finn to be nicer to his Daddy. It's something I commonly do, because Finn is often quite mean to M., particularly in the mornings. If M. is the one to go into Finn's room to get him up once the cries of "I'm awake! I'm awake" echo over the monitor, it's as awful as if someone had taken his favorite blankie and pooped on it. No, he doesn't want Daddy, Daddy has to go away, he wants Mommy! Mommy! Time to get dressed? God forbid it be Daddy who helps him out of his PJs and oversees clothing selection. Must be Mommy!!! Seriously, he really puts M. through the ringer sometimes.

I don't take this to mean much, as M. and Finn have lots and lots of fun together, and I know Finn loves his Daddy. Also, it's pretty common for Finn to start whining that he WANTS HIS DADA! whenever I do anything he doesn't like. Which is quite often, especially as I try to get the kids inside and get dinner started once we all come home from work/school. Oh, you won't let me play outside? I want my dada! Oh, you won't let me turn on the TV until I use the potty? When is my dada coming home?!! Oh, you won't give me ice cream as a before-dinner snack? Damn it, lady, where is my DADDY!?!?!?! (Not that M. would give in to these things, but I guess Finn likes to forget that in the heat of the moment.)

Anywho, this was one of those mornings where M. could do no right where Finn was concerned. So I gently admonished him to be nicer to his father as I drove him and his sister to daycare. And I asked Finn, "Don't you love your Daddy?" His response: "Yes, I do... but Mommy, I just love you the best!"

Oh, snap! He loves me the best! There it is, he said it out loud. OK, so raising a Momma's boy is not really on my agenda, but I reveled in that statement for at least half a second before I said something along the lines of, "Now Finn, your Mommy and Daddy both love you very much. You should really love both of us just as much. It's OK if you like Mommy to do certain things for you, but you love your Daddy and you need to be nicer to him." And then the conversation turned to some construction trucks we were passing, and that was that.

I swear I'm not going to be "That Mother" or "That Mother-In-Law," - you know, the one who controls her son and drives her son's spouse batshit crazy - but I must say, my heart is secretly pleased (I guess not much of a secret anymore) that at least for right now, Finn loves me better than M. I'm sure I'll get mine one of these days, right? Might as well enjoy it while I can...

Next parenting thing: Threats. Especially empty, meaningless threats. Why do I make them? I know I should not. I don't WANT to say all the same things to my kids that my mother once said to me, but it's like they just... slip out. I have no control over it. I always hated the way my mom would hold every fun thing I had to look forward to over my head. Invited to a sleepover? Better clean your room or you're not going! Etc. In all honesty, I gave my mom a lot of shit over the years, and I completely deserved any threatened or actual punishments I received. But it still didn't stop me from hating that she did that. Well, here I am with my own kids, and I'm repeating the pattern. Finn had his first field trip of the summer yesterday - an outing to Romp n Roll (kind of a My Gym-type place). And what did I do? Use it as incentive to get him to do things. Things he should be doing anyway but was refusing to do (picking up his toys, brushing his teeth, etc). Which is just ridiculous, because at no point in time would I actually consider NOT letting him go on the field trip. Refusing to let him go would mean he'd have to stay behind at school, in a different classroom, while all his friends left on the bus. Or that I'd have to stay home from work to take care of him. Neither of those scenarios were ever going to play out, and yet. I made the threat, more than once. Parent of the year, right here. It's like it is the easy way out, and I keep taking it, rather than coming up with more effective ways to parent my kids. One of these days, Finn's going to start calling me on my bluffs. And then I'm screwed.

Final parenting thing: Erm, don't really have another thing. Guess I should have made the second "thing" the final "thing." Enjoy your weekend!


  1. I hate that Cameron obviously loves her daddy more than me. She says "Dada" and means him. But she does come to me when she's upset so I guess it evens out. In terms of your behavior with mom you absolutely deserved every punishment but usually wrote a suck up note and got out of it.

  2. God, the worst word Ned uses is "Mama". He cries for me all the time when he isn't happy - even when he isn't happy with me! It's just his "I'm not happy" word. I don't get it since I am just as "mean" as his Daddy. I hear you on the empty threats - I need to be better about using time outs.

  3. Oh, dude, I have totally had to eat my words sometimes when I've accidentally set up an empty threat. I go with, "...Actually, I SAID I would take away X if you kept doing Y, but I'm NOT going to take away X. Instead, if you keep doing Y, you'll go to your room immediately after X"---or whatever punishment I SHOULD have said if I hadn't slipped.