So I haven’t written on here in forever.
It’s probably because I stopped going to therapy since I can’t afford it (isn’t America great?!) and so I’m way less self-reflective these days (which is a nice way of saying self-involved) and have been pretty much in maintenance (survival?) mode for the past 4 months.
I go to work. Read the news. Get pissed off about something. Come home and take it out on my kids. Put them to bed. Eat ice cream and fall asleep.
Also Dan is in there somewhere, making dinner usually while I try to pick up the house and not feel resentful towards everyone for being less OCD than I am.
This might be parenthood, or it might be a mid life crisis, I’m not sure. Except I’m not even 30 yet so if this is mid-life I’m in trouble.
Anyway, I watched Grey’s Anatomy the other day and it was just your run of the mill episode where someone’s girlfriend gets deported, and someone’s parent dies, and someone else almost dies but not quite. Also a baby gets very sick but then miraculously pulls through. And after I watched it and explained to the girls why I was crying over a TV show, I decided life is too short and I should start being more patient and loving with my kids.
Then Lucy came running over and put her peanut buttery hands all over my white shirt and the microfiber couch and I just lost my shit completely.
For real, though, how do we go through 10 rolls of paper towels a week when everyone just wipes their hands on the couch? And for the love of god I really hope that was peanut butter.
Thirty thousand hours later, after the couch was cleaned(ish) and the kids were tucked into bed and
sound asleep no longer screaming, I felt bad about the peanut butter incident and re-committed myself to being a better, more loving mom.
And then the kids woke me up at 6am and all bets were off.
I seriously think they are trying to sabotage me.
Last week I decided I was going to try this popular “parenting hack” (that was obviously invented by a kid) where you say yes to everything for a day. The internet promises that it’s not as crazy as it sounds and it will stop 90% of the fighting with your toddlers. I read a couple of parent testimonials about it and they were all “my kid asked if we could color at bedtime instead of books and even though that’s NOT the routine I said YES and then my toddler painted a Picasso and sold it for 40k at auction.”
Now don’t get me wrong I didn’t set my expectations THAT high. I mean for starters even if my kid did paint a Picasso I wouldn’t know it since I have no idea what Picasso paintings look like and I put 90% of my kids artwork in the recycling anyway so….. #sorrynotsorry.
Also my kids are not the type to ask for artwork at bedtime, for them it’s more like “oh hey how about instead of books we going sledding off the roof?!!”
So against my cold hearted impatient instincts better judgement I decided to try it out anyway. The first thing that happened was the girls woke up at the ass-crack of dawn and wanted to watch TV. Fine. I let them watch TV basically whenever they want anyway (if you think that makes me a lazy parent, you would be correct, but now we call it YES parenting).
So just when I thought this YES parenting thing was gonna be a breeze Mia grabs the remote and tells me she wants to watch Spirit. Lucy screams and grabs the remote out of her hand. She wants to watch Care Bears. Now what am I supposed to do?
Ok fine, Spirit and then Care Bears. Double the TV time double the fun, am I right?
So I took a long shower (YES parenting is growing on me) and then pulled out outfits for both the kids.
Mia rejected the outfit I chose immediately.
She wanted to wear a skirt. In 30 degrees and freezing rain.
Now I’m in a conundrum. Do I say yes to the skirt and empower my daughter to make her own choices OR do I prevent her from dying of hypothermia and getting investigated by CPS?
We compromised on a skirt over leggings and I was feeling all genius mom until we got downstairs and Lucy was screaming because she wants marshmallows for breakfast. Because of course.
Am I supposed to say YES to this? I know some of you are out there like “oh it’s just one day let her have marshmallows.” But if you’re thinking that, I guarantee you’re a grandparent and have forgotten that when it comes to toddlers if you do something once you’re committed for life.
Bedtime is a great example of this. If you agree to oooooone more hug or an extra sip of water or if (gasp) you are sucker enough to read an extra book – you have now lengthened bedtime for life.
I learned this in time for Lucy but my trial kid Mia requires two books, one song, a big hug, one kiss, 60 seconds of back scratching and 4231 minutes of arguing before even considering sleep. And if you think for one second that just because she can’t count past 20 that you can get away with 59 seconds of back scratching instead of 60, you would be painfully (earpiercingly) wrong. Don’t. Even. Try to pull that shit with her.
So I rejected the marshmallows without saying no. Instead I creatively responded “are you out of your goddamn mind?” And then I gave her an applesauce pouch with more sugar than a marshmallow but healthier looking packaging.
Next the kids wanted to sit in the front seat – NO – ride without a car seat – ALSO NO – come to work with me – NOPE – go to the trampoline park during school vacation week – HELL NO – and sleep in our bed – NO FUCKING WAY.
At least I finished strong by saying yes to the My Little Pony book at bedtime (the worlds longest and most obnoxious bedtime book ever). It also, interestingly, doesn’t appear to be written in actual English which is just confusing. Especially after a long day and a stiff drink.
But anyway the story of our YES day is basically the story of my parenting life. Good intentions, poor execution. And lots of excuses for why it’s not my fault.
On the bright side, I’m really an incredibly patient, loving and empathetic parent between the hours of 8pm and 6am.