Or a few random thoughts in lieu of a post
It’s really hard to get back on track after being off it for so long. I guess that’s why they call it “on track” because it’s like you’re this huge heavy train just chugging along and if something knocks you off, sister you’re going to need a crane to lift you back on.
Hmmmm…all of a sudden “They’ll Need a Crane” is even more layered than it was before. Like the flip side and crap.
In any case, the good news about being off track is if you need a crane anyway, no reason you can’t have it set you down on a new different track. Which is totally what I’d do if I felt like it, but I don’t. I’m just glad to put November behind me.
So, the Schadenfreude. Have you ever run across one of those parents that no matter what their kid was doing, was always calm and spoke to the kid in this high pitched sing-songy voice. No matter what? And the kid is pushing five? And while part of you is rolling your eyes, the other part is wondering now why in the hell can’t I always be calm? Not with the sing-songy voice, of course, that’s just crazy but maybe not so bark-y sometimes. Or jaw-clench-ish. Calm, that would be the ticket; non-escalatory, I think you’d call it.
Because the thing is my two youngest are 2 and 3 and I need all the non-escalation I can get. They aren’t bad kids, but neither are they the kind of kids that will sit still through a dinner at a restaurant and nobody would realize they were there until we got up to leave. It’s my fault, really, because if I have learned one thing about parenting from reading the comments on Consumerist and other such blogs, it’s that somewhere along the way I have failed to let them know what my expectations were, probably because of the bark-y, jaw clench-ish manner in which I speak. Which is really going to suck for them when they grow up and want to comment about out of control children posts on blogs. Maybe they are creative enough to turn it around.
Yeah, I was that kid that would throw himself on the ground in front of other shopper’s carts in Kroger, right in the middle of the aisle, too so they couldn’t get around and when my mom tried to pick me up, I’d manage to simultaneously go limp and thrash all my limbs around so that she was forced to use both of her arms as a makeshift straitjacket to get me off the ground while trying to corral my brother with her left leg so he wouldn’t run down the aisle trying to knock down an entire shelf of pickles with his outstretched arm.
We didn’t go out much.
And you know, I probably wouldn’t have done it, if she’d only calmly told me I shouldn’t do that. Instead she’d just go “Schrop. Rraattt. Rrrowww.” like freaking Scooby Doo with his jaw wired shut.What the hell is that? English? Who would think a toddler could understand that?
So, yeah, being a more calm parent is something I want not only for my own blood pressure, but for my kids, too.
Back to SingSongMamma, even though her lilting manner of speech was irksome to me and I wasn’t sure if I should emulate her bright, loud way of affirming everything her child said (YES! I do hear that noise! It DOES sound like a train! Do you think a TRAIN is going down the TRACK? You are so OBSERVANT! What ELSE do you HEAR?) or if that would only encourage my child to speak that way to me when I was in the nursing home and should be avoided, I was jealous of her remarkable calm. In fact, in my lower moments while she’d be sing-songing and I’d be barking through clenched jaws, I almost imagined she was doing it just to spite me.
Then I found out through the grapevine that her kid is something of a terror and scratches other children and doesn’t share and throws hissy fits that would put mine (as in me, not my kids) to shame and I’m ashamed to say I had a brief moment where I felt, not so much vindicated, but like, you know, I think we’re going to be all right. I’ve got room to improve, they’ve got some growing up to do, but the lot of us are all basically okay and will continue to get better.
And it’s not like I’m glad her kid is a terror or that I think this means her way is wrong, just it’s like, well, you know. Right? You know? I’m still a nice person, right?
Before I go, I’d like to mention that Patricia, of Patricia’s Wisdom has put together an awesome Harvest Potluck cookbook as a fundraiser for UNICEF. It’s a free ebook, but you have the opportunity to donate to the UNICEF Children’s Fund as a thank you for the cookbook. I haven’t had an opportunity yet to make anything from it but several recipes have caught my eye.
And I’m still getting back in the swing of things. I’m completely run down these days from being sick and having to power through the holiday, so sleep is my number one priority, but I have a feeling that once I get a few good night’s rest, I’ll be good as new. Thanks so much to everyone for your good wishes! I am so behind on email and comments that it’s not funny, but please know all your good thoughts have been most appreciated.