I do oppose/ My patience to his fury

If I needed reinforcement that I need to follow my instincts with parenting and ignore the constant hum of advice from all directions, this is it: a NY Times Style piece on parents applying The Dog Whisperer to their kids.Oh yes, because "discipline, order, and devotion" are exactly what I want to instill in the person I'm raising. I think that's Kim Jong Il's motto, too.
I read on the facebook page of an elementary school classmate some years ago that one of the things she valued in being a mother was the unconditional love. To give her the benefit of the doubt, I would like to think she meant her unconditional love for her kids, but frankly it really didn't sound that way. I thought at the time, as the mother of an infant, that she was wrong--parents have to earn their kid's love, and they can lose it. Now, as the mother of a toddler, I find the idea ludicrous. Unconditional love? Really? I've never seen such neediness in my whole life.
You want to hear something hilarious? I once told myself I was not going to use bribes or threats with my child.Yes,  I was going to do battle with the most cunning and persistent foe known to man or woman--the toddler--without the most potent weapons in a parent's arsenal. Silly mommy.
I got a promotional piece from Talbot's in the mail the other day. That was bad enough, but tucked inside it was a piece of misdirected mail intended for one of my hipster neighbors: a postcard ad for "That's Weird, Grandma," presented by Barrel of Monkeys at the Neo-Futurist Theater. The juxtaposition just kills me. Not that I was ever cool enough to get mail from Neo-Futurists, but I would like to think there was a time when I was too cool to get mail from Talbot's.

I joined a Yahoo moms' group recently, and I am seriously doubting whether it is going to lead to the sort of mommy friendships I should be cultivating. There was a flurry of emails over several days about whether one should give their kids a multi-vitamin and if so which one. Many pixels were spilled on this topic. I embarrassed myself early on, before I read the writing on the wall, with the cheerful "confession" that my son gets Costco gummy vites, and he eats 'em up like candy! Another misstep like that and I think I can kiss any playdates goodbye ...
The tenor of this post might have already driven this point home, but may I say, for the record, that when parenting is your second job, it is damn hard to come home from a full day of stress and effort and still find within yourself the patience that a stubborn, frenetic, insistent, affectionate, adorable, infuriating toddler requires.

1 comment:

Trent said...

There's a Southpark episode where Cartman's mom hires Caesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer) to train Cartman. It's hilarious.

Anyone who has a stick up their ass about gummy vitamins probably isn't worth hanging out with anyway.