I’m not long in this parenting game but it’s definitely thought me a thing or two in these short few years. You’ll never piss in peace. You’ll never eat a whole meal by yourself. Someone is always hungry. An ass will always need wiping. And you will find yourself being the parent you said you never wanted to be.
Remember when we all wanted to be ‘the cool mom’. The mom who let their kids do what they want when they want and how they want. Then you cop on and release our parents did and said those things for a reason.
I’m at that tricky age with the Big Kid. She’s pushing boundaries. Seeing how much she can get away with. And I suppose for me I believe that’s somewhat normal. She’s very independent. She’s well beyond her years if you know what I mean. She’s asking questions you would expect a tween to ask, yet she’s eight. She’s just finding her place in life.
I’ll never present myself to be the perfect parent. I’m far from it. Mostly because no doubt one of my neighbours have recordings of me screaming from the top of lungs, on numerous occasions too. But what I have learnt is to pick your battles and to pick them wisely.
One of my kids does not eat cereal. For a month I forced him. We argued every single morning until he ate enough spoons to get him through the morning. I was sick of the fights, fighting with a three-year-old about eating a bowl of cereal. Like who does that? So one day I asked him what he wanted. He now eats a banana, an orange and some crackers for breakfast while the others munch on their cereal. There are no fights. He’s happy. I’m happy.
My middle girl is another one who knows who she is, she may not talk like other kids her age but she sure as hell knows how to tell us what she wants. I was that parent who would never allow my child to have a tablet or an iPad. You know like, it’s bad for them, their eyes and well nothing good will come from them. She has her tablet at least two hours a day and she’s only two. I know, I can hear you all gasp. This tablet, the tablet I swore my kids would never have is our lifeline with her. She plays numerous educational games. Jigsaws. Phonics. She loves YouTube videos about hygiene. She watches kids playing with her favourite kind of things like slime, Play-Doh and sand. And you know what without that tablet I’m convinced she wouldn’t have said half of the new words she has said in the past few months like mammy, so I couldn’t care less. She can have the tablet.
And the big kid and her tent. Where she sleeps any night she’s not in her dads. I estimate her ‘tent’ as being two-foot by four-foot. We have a spare mattress under HER BED because she broke her other bed, part of a bunk that we plan on replacing soon. I fought with her the first couple of nights, told her to get back into bed, you know yourself. I’d go to bed and I’d find her in her tent. It’s two weeks now and I’ve given in and she’s loving life. It’s her favourite place to be and I now tuck her up in her little tent while almost killing myself trying to stretch in to give her a kiss but sure, so bloody what.
If your kid wants a tent to sleep in, let them sleep in a ‘tent’. If they want to jump in a puddle even though it’s raining or they have their ‘Sunday’ clothes on, let them. If they want another biscuit, give them the goddam biscuit. Like really what is one more biscuit gonna do? If they want to jump on the trampoline in the lashings of rain wrap them up and throw them out the door.
Pick your battles.
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