Parents and children : assorted thoughts for July.
This month’s disconnected and various musings on childrening and family life.
There are many different philosophies about naps during the childhood years, but I think they’re super important. I also think sometimes children should do them too.
Surprisingly, I’ve found that most children do not consider sauerkraut to be an acceptable substitute when we’re out of ice cream.
Sometimes I like to make other adults agree to a loyalty oath that they will preemptively take my side anytime I am in conflict with a young child. So far their loyalty rate to me is 0%. Sometimes I hate it when kids are cuter than adults. The universe is so uncool.
If you stick a piece of broccoli and a piece of chocolate in front of a kid, which one are they going to choose? How about a piece of broccoli and a piece of cauliflower? Think carefully about the choices you put before them. It’s your choice over what choices to give them.
One of my fave things about age two is the fight to figure out words. A constant stream of trying out new syllables and ways to verbally express ideas. Love it.
A lot of people ask me they’re a bad parent for letting their kids play Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance at very loud volumes for dance parties. My answer is consistent and it is this: you are a bad parent if you are not dancing along with them.
A scenario: when you’ve dealt with enough mini-injuries and catastrophes for one day, and your sweet little child runs up crying and sobbing from another mishap and wants to bury his head in your shoulder for comfort, and you hold him at arms’ length while calmly requesting that he go wash his messy dirty food-filled face before using your clean shirt as a mop for the seventh time that day. I’m sure someday I’ll experience that scenario.
The best cure for a child who says “playing outside is boring” is this: Number one, they should be outside more. Regardless of weather. Regardless of whether they’re grumbly about it or not. Kids are super good at figuring out how to move past boredom when you don’t jump in and save them from it. And number two, show them all the fun things you can do outside. Hint: it’s amazing what you can do with a ball…a couple chairs…some sticks…cardboard…a book…the list is infinite. But show them.
Skate parks are a public space - at least the publicly-funded ones are. So take your young kids there with their scooters and hot wheels and bikes and gliders and skateboards and stop complaining about teenagers. Introduce yourself and be nice. Many of them will be too.
If you have ever gotten into your children’s special snacks reserved for special occasions without their consent and then sneaked into an empty room behind a door to consume them illicitly, then…that is simply unpardonable and yes, I have done so, once or twice or thirty times.
What would it be like to wake up, sit down, and drink a hot cup of coffee slowly to completion, without interruption for diaper changing, conflict resolution arbitration, or general question-answering? I hope to find out someday.
Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to go a day without changing a three-weeks-dead-warthog-smelling diaper, and then my imagination implodes because some scenarios are too far-fetched to even realistically imagine.
I have worked at many physically demanding tasks and jobs, but none of them have been even close to as energy-draining as the emotional fatigue of working with fussy children through tough times.
The difference between a two-year old and a 12-year old being angry at you is that the former will run up angrily, demand that you hold them, and throw their arms around while they sweatily clutch you furiously and shriek in your ear. The other expresses displeasure in a different manner.
If you go to a public performance of anything with your children, it is not the performer’s job to educate your children on how to give respectful attention. It is your job. Our job.
How old should your child be before they drink coffee? I don’t know. I simply don’t know.