Ok so , today folks, I once again made the most common of my own parenting mistakes . Before I get into the nitty gritty of my own personal maman fail situation , I just have to say that I have ISSUES with all the bad/how to be a good, parent literature that’s out there. If you haven’t read any of “it” yet – DON’T . If you have – well , maybe you know what I mean when I say ; WE FEEL BAD ENOUGH ALREADY ….. stop writing these wonder parent/ caregiver type of tomes about how great you are. You (ie; Halo wearing super parenting writers) must have genetically modified kids – or a little problem with compulsive lying or …………whatever …; I don’t want to know anymore ; because at the end of the day I can only be the parent that I am , and always will be, forever and ever ……. AMEN. And , PLEASE take my kids for a couple of weeks & then we’ll re-assess your super care giver levels (not mine).
Just this week alone, two ladies that I know to be incredibly capable mothers ( amongst many other great things ) sent out help flares through facebook. One , just a simple message about being pulled three ways and how hard it was to be a hero , the other an exhausted message about spending half the day in the ER after her little genius got the childproof lid off a bottle of calpol and made herself an early morning cocktail ( my kind of gal 😉 ….. but I’m not supposed to say that either , am I ?
So , we’re back to the saying things I’m not supposed to again ….. well it’s more of a saying things that I realise I have to actually stick to in order to set the boundaries or prove myself in some sort of boundary setting game thing that kids ,(or more so my 9 going on 16yr old, hormonally challenged daughter) play with their parents. Maybe because I can never do things by halves, I managed to get myself into a major mexican stand off with her in one of Paris’ largest playgrounds.
There we were , having a picture perfect day out in Parc de la Villette , when my daughter lost the plot over a giant size abacus that my son & his playdate were busy pushing beads around. Now all the perfect parenting books say to stay calm , explain things in a normal voice etcetcetcetc … all of which I was doing , except of course my daughter wasn’t having any of it ; and was standing screeching at me in the middle of the 3-5 year old sand pit . Much to the amazement of the totally in control , (possibly perfect parent book writers) people around me. Seriously , do the parenty book writers have kids that go – ” Oh look – mother is doing her calm/ perfect parent /you’re in trouble voice – I’d better stop flinging sand around the playground for 5 minutes to listen ??????” I don’t think mine would care/notice if I pulled out a balaclava & a ransom note when they are in that state .
So for every time my daughter answered me back (after she had run off in a total teenage meltdown scene where she took a swipe at me) , I textbook calmly added one weeks worth of TV BAN on to her punishment ….. I GOT TO 7 WEEKS & a total teenage meltdown myself before she realised I wasn’t giving in.
7 WEEKS , people ……. what am I going to do????? I am freaking out here – because in my fake calm textbooky meltdown state , I also included no computers or audio visual entertainment. Which means not even a 5 minute log on to you-tube for her favourite Katy Perry / Britney Spears/ Lady Gaga vids – she is going to drive me insane.
Now I know the perfect parenters will swear by the no TV rule thing in general. I’m just not ok with that at all. What is wrong with letting them watch a couple of cartoons while I jump in the shower ? Or to take 20 mins to call the bank manager to keep him off my back after I’ve gone a bit mad & taken them away swimming every day in the mediteranean for a month ???????? Hmmmmmm ????? Where is the harm in all that ???
I know (of) kids of 3 years of age who can count to almost 30 in two languages because of Dora the Explorer . Winnie the pooh and his fluffy / neurotic / manic / anxious friends have become the basis for some forms of psychoanalysis – I’m not joking – apparently nearly every type of psyhcological disorder is in there somewhere and we all should be working towards being more like Pooh …. Pourquoi ?? Because, Pooh just is . ( Theoretically , that idea would make me a rabbit who wants to be more pooh – but that’s just way too complicated to fit into this meltdown scenario).
We also have TV to thank for taking the whole cougar mom thing out of the closet …. I never , ever thought I’d say it, BUT – I had a flash of what could be potential cougarmomness the other day . Yes, I sure did…… and because of the wonderful world of addictive televised series …… ‘I’m totally ok with that’. ( which, by the way, is also a phrase I picked up from another addictive tv series).
(Theoretically making me a rabbit with cougar tendencies who still just needs more pooh ?????)
I bumped into a dear friends youngest brother in law , who had been a mere gangly teenager hiding behind a Noel Gallagherish type of fringe at her wedding when I last saw him. It took me about ten minutes , a couple of double takes and a shocking plonk back into reality to realize that I was staring at the poor guy , going red and almost ( if not already) old enough to be his mother. The stunningly good looking things that emerge from behind these oasisish side burns / bieber cuts / grunge -goth beards never ceases to amaze me.
It made me get back in touch with the 16- 18 year old in me & remember what it was like to be hormonally challenged . God knows , I could have done with the, ‘soft spot for hormonal 16 year olds’, cougar in me at the park today – my daughter might not have ended up with the record breaking ‘7 weeks of no tv’ ban …..
Thanks for the tea , please send me updates on all addictive tv series asap 😉
ps ..Parc de la Villette is a really cool place to visit with or without kids in Paris. Right now it’s open air cinema season + it’s pretty much free. Bring a picnic, vin & some friends . 211 Avenue Jean Jaurés : Paris 75019.
pps ; My cougar interests sister in law made me laugh out loud by admitting to thinking about pulling out her skateboard ( she doesn’t have one) & playing hip electro music that she doesn’t understand the next time cougar boy visits. My kind of gal 😉