These “confessions” basically entail all that is adventurous in parenting. They are what we do to get by. Maybe we’re not proud of them, but it’s what works for us. Sometimes they’re funny. Sometimes they make others raise their eyebrows and think “OMG! Really?” But mostly they are to give a give a glimmer of hope to other parents, letting them know the struggle is real and they’re not alone.
I’ve written all about this complex lie we tell Bang. It keeps him from whining wherever we go.
We lay with Bang until he falls asleep. We used to do this with Crash, too. Now, with Crash (the 8 year old) we only lay with him for a few minutes or so after lights out. Then he puts himself to sleep. However, with Bang (the 4 year old) he hugs his penguin and will often hold our hand or arm until he drifts off into slumberland. He’s going through a couple transitions at the moment. Kindergarten three days a week and a new babysitter. Once he’s settled into routine we’ll probably start get him to put himself to sleep. He’s done it before, but we never stuck to it. That’s our quiet time together. Same with Crash. We still lay with our kids at bedtime because it’s our peaceful time together. And we like to hang on to their childhood with both hands good and tight.
We change clothes in front of the kids. We use the bathroom together. The kids see us naked and we’re okay with that. Though, I am more self conscience about it than DW. One day after DW got out of the shower, Bang was laying in our bed watching TV. DW went in to get dressed and Bang told her, “Mom, you have cute boobies”.
We try to get the kids to do chores but it often feels like a losing battle. I would like to come up with some regular chores for them to do. Every day kind of chores. Then start allowing them earn a small allowance. My DW’s sister-in-law gives their children chores to do and at the end of the week they can earn up to $3. One dollar is for them to spend, one is for them to save and one is for them to use toward buying something for someone else (i.e. birthday present). Right now mine just do chores when I think of them or when they need to be done.
We probably eat out more frequently than we should. But sometimes, we just don’t feel like cooking. Sometimes it’s just easier.
I sneak junk food yet I make the kids eat healthy. If they ask for a cookie, I make them have a piece of fruit first, if they haven’t already. And while they’re off eating their piece of fruit I eat a cookie. Sometimes, I’ll pass on dessert right after supper so that I can eat it after they are in bed and I won’t have to share with them.
When the kids do something mean to each other I sing the chorus to Dennis Leary’s “I’m an Asshole” under my breath.
I hate feeling like a restaurant but sometime I’ll cater to Bang just to get him to eat. If it turns out he doesn’t like (replace “like” with “want”) what we’re having I’ll get him something different. Most of the time I just reheat a leftover. Once, however, I made him a banana pancake just so he would eat supper.
When the kids were infants I liked it when DW pumped because that meant I could feed the baby.
Speaking of pumping, breast milk tastes sweet. (Am I the only dad who knows this? Or just the only one willing to admit it?) I may have tasted a small amount. Don’t be surprised. I also tasted cat food.
I yell. Not often, mind you and I’m not proud of it. But I do. It usually follows 3-100 times of already having said what it was they weren’t listening. Stay off the road. No horseplay on the trampoline. Stop splashing in the bathtub. Don’t be mean to your brother. Clean up your Legos.
You know those freezers in grocery stores where they keep the bags of ice? I may or may not have a picture of Crash standing in one looking out the glass door. Much like Oh did in Disney’s “Home”. (Don’t worry, Crash wasn’t locked in like Oh was. Though some days it’s tempting).
I know I’m a good/fun/sometimes goofy dad, but Mom is the real brains behind our family machine. I like to think I can handle it all on my own and DW usually lets me think I can. That’s why we make a great team.