Now that I have two children of my own, I realize what a judgmental (and wholly naive) little shit I was before I was a parent. I cannot tell you how many times I sat high and mighty on my perch of ignorance and internally shook my finger at actual experienced parents for doing one thing or the other that I would never do with or to my own children. If this were the college days drinking game, I'd be drunker than Cooter Brown, somehow managing to guzzle my drink while eating every single one of my pinheaded words.
Things I used to say I would never do that I now do on the regular include:
- I will never bribe my kids to eat meals. Ha! We do this literally every.single.meal. "Finish your dinner and you will get dessert" is a daily bribe offered to our Threenager and no matter how painfully long it may take, he earns that chocolate like it's his J-O-B.
- I will never use a screen as a digital babysitter. Good gravy was I wrong on this one! The iPad is the ONLY way we get through a dinner out as a family. We fully expect to be carting two of them along once The Smilus gets old enough to appreciate the allure of pixels and LEDs.
- I will never let my kids stay up really late. This one is a rarity for me, because I'm a total freakazoid when it comes to keeping my kiddos on a routine (for everyone's well being) but when our friends all get together for Halloween or a Great Friday Crawfish Boil, for example, we have been known to bed the baby on the floor in the bedroom and set the older kids up with popcorn, candy to keep them going, and Frozen. It's only on special occasions, i.e. when Mama and Daddy want to play with our friends past bedtime.
- I will never tire of hearing my child talk. What was I thinking? Oh yes, that my child's verbal development would be so awe inspiring that I would never dream to turn off the ceaseless stream of chatter. Right. Then our oldest entered the "I have a massive vocabulary and I plan to use it nonstop without even breaking for a breath" phase. And I begged for sweet quiet relief.
- I will never feed my kid fast food. Generally speaking we have a healthy diet. Boy Wonder enjoys eating a wide variety of foods and fresh veggies and fruits are a large part of our daily diet, but sometimes you're in the car and hungry and there's a Whataburger on every damn corner. Plus, they are delicious. And Boy Wonder agrees. He doesn't ask for a hamburger. He asks for a Whataburger.
- I will never use Santa as a discipline tool. Hogwash! We used this three days ago (in April!) and even roped the family dogs into it saying that Santa speaks directly to all dogs and if Boy Wonder is mean to our pets, Santa will know. (Thanks for the idea, Big Brother!) And we will shamelessly continue using this ploy until our boys become nonbelievers and we are left dripping tears in our egg nog.
- I will never say "wait until your dad comes home." Um, yea. In (several) moments of desperation, I have uttered these words that the feminist side of me loathes. I can handle schooling my child on my own, right? Um, wrong. It takes two people. It totally and completely takes two and I'm not afraid to pull the Daddy card.
How about you? What things did you say you'd never do before the realities of being a parent knocked you sideways and left you grasping at time honored straws?
Photo Credit kbhyde.com.