Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Boys will be boys

When B was born, I was full of fresh stupid new parent ideas. (I thought I'd invented parenting, by the way. Just as I thought I'd invented sex.) There were a few that I really thought were important.

1. No guns in our house. I'm an extreme pacifist even though I'm a military brat. I told the husband when we married that he was never to own a gun, hunting was off-limits, and there would be no toy guns in our house. (My bff Stephanie is the same way. I used the term 'bff' just to annoy her.) I was firm on this... really firm. We still have no 'actual' guns in the house and my brother-in-law, who is a cop, either puts his gun on a high ledge or leaves it behind in the car. On the toy guns, the husband has little by little undermined my authority. It started with the nerf guns. They're not "real" guns. They're just nerf guns. They shoot balls for crying out loud. I could handle it. Then came any number of ray guns and blasters. Well... they didn't look like guns... and they were more for "space" fights... right? Then, squirt guns that look like flourescent version of actual guns. Okay... so... wait.... (My assimulation into broken parenthood was nearly complete.) The husband bought a cowboy costume for T. It has a full-on silver pistol with it. Guess what became T's favorite thing in the whole world? At that point, I don't know why I bothered. By then, I'd discovered T could make anything into a weapon. We had several dozen items in "time-out" on top of our fridge because they'd become weapons... including a pool noodle. Somewhere out there, the borgs of bad parenting are having a good laugh.

2. We would be establishing no strange fears in our children. The fear of spiders, snakes, and so on are learned not innate. Thus, as modern-day parents, we would boldly teach our children to fear nothing... but fear itself. There were two impediments to this. The first was grandma... who apparently squeals and dives around if something moves funny. Sigh. My mother screams at paint drying... I swear. The second impediment turned out to be me. I've surpressed my "scream and run around like a girl" reflex... but something evil lurked in the depths of me. I didn't realize while I was so busy saying that spiders and snakes aren't scary that I was teaching them subtly through my OCD to be afraid of lamer things. T walks in the woods like the flora is just waiting to attack and eat him. (I hate nature... in general.) B can't handle coloring outside the lines and learned how to use white-out in kindergarten. Sigh. You fail!

3. This was possibly the lamest of all my parenting goals. I was determined to raise my children as gender-neutral blobs of possibility. If T wanted to play with dolls, I was going to buy him a doll and be "cool" about it. This is when and how I discovered that the gene for trucks kicks in early... much to the husband's relief. (The husband is a bit macho when it comes to what he wants his son... number one son... his first man child... to play with, dress like, admire....) Today, I realized that T is talking incessantly about the P.E. teacher. B. has never so much as mentioned his name. (B has, likewise, become the uber princess of all princessness.) I think sometimes... fate slaps you upside the head just for kicks. I also decided that my baby daughter would wear no pink frilly dresses. Gag... blech. Yeah, it was like walking around with a lightning rod on my head. B LOVES all things girly. BUZZ. Better luck next time. Thanks for playing.

4. So, that I can fully establish how all my early plans went awry or backfired.... I also decided that my daughter would never hear me disparage my weight. I would be "unhealthy" not "fat." (Well, that makes it sound like that was the goal... the goal was really to be trim, buxom, and surpassing all hotness on the meter. LOL. I slay me.) So, while the husband slips and uses the term "fat" (only when describing self,) I don't. Unfortunately, this means that T feels like it's okay to comment on all those that have unhealthy habits. "Mommy, that man is smoking... that means he is going to DIE sooner, right?" T uses his loud voice 24/7 and for some reason has a dramatic tone and volume for the word "DIE." I wave at the nice man who is smoking in a far-off (within ear-shot of loud T) corner and say quietly, "Remember how we don't say that stuff out loud, T." This also means that the word "fat" has been taught to him via friends as a descriptor and he uses it frequently. Although, I will say it doesn't sound much better for him to say, "Mommy, that woman is very unhealthy and will DIE from disease" instead of "Mommy, that woman is fat." I had really good intentions with this one too.

There are a multitude of other ways I've failed in my perfect parenting goals... but you get the picture.

Well, I'm slightly less depressed today. Jane Yolen made me feel better... strangely enough. (I wonder how many other people will say that today.) "How do dinosaurs get back their self-esteem?" Jane Yolen.

On the other hand, there will be pie. The wait for replies from agents has just begun. I hate this kind of waiting. I almost don't want to open my in-box. So, I'll be going to eat pie at my favorite eatery later. It's the only way. Sometimes, soldiering on requires Jane Yolen... and pie.

Since I've already revealed that I like to switch out words from famous film line quotes, this shouldn't surprise you (from "My Best Friend's Wedding- bolded are mine) :

Suddenly, a familiar scent. And, you're off your chair in one, exquisite movement... wondering, searching, sniffing the wind like a dapple deer. Has God heard your little prayer? Will Cinderella eat pie again? And then, suddenly, the crowds part and there it is: sleek, stylish... radiant with charisma. Bizarrely, it's on the telephone. But then, so are you. And then the coconut cream pie comes towards you... the moves of a jungle pie. Although you quite correctly sense that it is... high in saturated fat... like most devastatingly handsome single slices of pie are, you think... what the hell. Life goes on. Maybe there won't be marriage... maybe there won't be sex... but, by the baker's dozen, there'll be pie.

Have a good Tuesday everyone!


  1. I can't believe my post didn't go through!!!!!!!!!! (I lost count of exclamation points because I AM feeling crazy!)!!!

    Or wait...did it go through but is still awaiting approval? ?? Okay, if that's the case I feel less crazy.

    Since I don't know which scenario it is, let me re-tell you that I also am in the middling stages of failing as a parent. Initially I had rules similar to yours including no guns. In my first post I had some references to Buzz Lightyear being partly responsible for the breakdown of this parenting law... I don't remember what the heck else I posted but basically my kids don't eat five to seven servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Oh, and that I failed in providing them with so much creative stimulation that they wouldn't mind watching only two hours of television a day. Okay, I hope you got the first comment because this one doesn't feel at all as inspired! If it's really gone than boo on the internet for sucking it into some cyber black hole.

    Your movie mad lib game is great... do you do it off memory?

  2. I don't see the other post.

    See...it's not our faults we're failures though, because who expects ray guns and blasters?

    I also tried to never have any violent wii games, but if you've ever played rampage... and seen the true joy in smashing helicopters and eating people from a bus while a freakish mutant... you can understand why I failed. There would have been a double standard in place if I hadn't let my kids help me take down the city.

    My family has always had this "thing" with movie quotes. I once recorded the entire Princess Bride movie onto cassette tapes because I'd watched it so many times that listening to it on tapes on trips was as good as watching it. I do look the exact quote up on the internet to get it right, but it's right on the tip of my brain regardless.