Friday, May 04, 2007

Parenting Tips, Part Deux

Exciting things are afoot. Maybe. I don't want to get into it too much as I don't want to jinx it, and I don't know all of the details yet, but there's a possibility that my "work" may reach a larger audience. No, I'm not talking about plastering the neighborhood with copies of my stuff. As I said, I don't want to say too much, so I'll just choose to not say any more. It's cryptically delicious!

There was a pretty good response to my last post regarding parenting tips, so I've decided to supplement them with real world examples from our recent experiences.

On You and Wrongness
We're in the middle of potty training our daughter and it is not what I'd call a raging success. Half of the time we can catch her before she goes all over the place, but usually she'll sit there for 15 minutes, then get off and promptly pee all over herself. At this point she sees the potty nothing but a nuisance as it requires her to stop whatever she's doing every 15 minutes and try and go to the bathroom. Some days she sees this as more than a nuisance and gets downright pissed off. This is accompanied by a fair amount of crying. This is rare and only happens when she's tired, or in a bad mood. Ok, maybe it's not that rare, but it's not all the time either. My in-laws were in town this past weekend and my mother-in-law, who thinks that her granddaughter can do no wrong, seemed to think that us putting Abby on the toilet, when she didn't want to go was some form of psychological abuse. My mother-in-law called Linda on Monday and asked Linda if Linda thought that the potty training was, and I quote, "damaging Abby's psyche."

Once again, we are always wrong.

Here's the thing about young, toddler-age kids. They have it pretty damn easy. They have no job and no chores. They have all their meals provided to them free of charge and with no strings attached. They can eat like pigs with minimal social backlash and just crap in their pants whenever they want to, knowing full well that at some point, some adult will clean them up and send them on their merry way. Diapers these days have become so technologically advanced that they could carry a month's worth of water, to the point that the kid feels no discomfort when they go in them. Asking a kid who doesn't have to take the time to stop and go to the bathroom, to stop and go to the bathroom isn't going to damage their psyche, it's just going to annoy them. What will damage my daughter's psyche is her going to prom in a diaper.

We also recently moved her to a bed, and like most kids who are no longer confined to a crib, she gets down and out of bed and frolics in her room prior to going to bed. We're fine with that, as we went through similar experiences with my son, and continually going up and yelling at him to get into bed isn't particularly relaxing for anyone involved. Her room is childproofed and as long as she stays in bed once we tell her it's time to go to sleep, we're ok. The problem is that sometimes, after she's been told to go to sleep, she gets pretty damn upset. If, at this point, you thought that my daughter gets upset at a wide range of trivial matters, you would be entirely correct. After we told her to go to bed one time, and she started screaming, my mother-in-law asked us if we thought that leaving Abby's bedroom door open would be a solution to the screaming. Well, certainly it would, however it wouldn't get her to go to bed. See, when she pounds on the door, it's not because she's a budding percussionist. She wants to get out of the frakking room! Because Abby is crying, and her grandmother can't bear to hear it, whatever we're doing to cause the crying, even if it's perfectly legitimate like, oh, I don't know, putting her to bed, must be wrong.


Sometimes, your child's crying is the only indication that you've gotten through to them. I'm not suggesting that you make them cry every time you want to make a point, but once she stopped crying, she fell asleep. I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Who knew you could ever be so wrong, so much and still be allowed to raise children? Truly we live in glorious times. I can't wait until my kids grow up and start raising their children in a completely wrong environment. Oh the times we'll have!


Greg said...

I'm sure that in a few months you'll be reading my ramblings about the mistakes myself and my Linda have made.

Potty training. Gees. There's something I'd never put any thought into. Guess I'll cross that bridge when my daughter comes to it.

Bones said...

Suburban Binky podcasts?! Sign me up!!!