(No, this is not a post about my boobs– so sorry to the person who ended up here by Google searching for “boobs is plus sized mom”, you’ve been misled again)
Before I had children I, like many other not-yet-parents, was full of adorable opinions about what I would and would not allow my kids to do. My list included things like “no eating in the car” (I found car seat crevices en-caked in Goldfish dust to be visually unappealing), “no kids in the big bed” (I honestly begrudged my husband space in the bed when we first got together. No touchy in the bed, please), and “I’ll always calmly explain appropriate behavior when a child is being naughty. No yelling.” (Oh, me. Cute, cute, naive me. The you who now has a 3 year old and is LAUGHING HER ASS OFF at you. Current you is kind of mean.)
I’ve now been a step-parent for ten years and gave birth to them parent for seven. I routinely sling french fries in the back of the car and hope that they buy me five minutes with no whining. I routinely let the previously mentioned three year old climb into bed with us so I don’t have to take her back to her room, thus giving myself 90 more seconds of sleep (full disclosure: she usually goes to Mr. Monkey’s side of the bed first and he is stronger than I am). I have come to realize that while I don’t yell a lot, I also no longer believe that trying to reason with a illogical dictator who smells like Go-gurt is a fool’s errand.
This isn’t to say that I don’t have any parenting hills I’m willing to die on…it just means they are different ones than I thought they’d be.
(side-note: My hills are my hills and are no reflection on your hills. I don’t believe that there are an awful lot of absolutes in parenting, so YMMV and all that.)
(except for vaccinations. There is only one right answer on that one. Because, well, SCIENCE. Vaccinate your babies.)
The 10 battles I am willing to fight over and over include:
1. Being polite. My kids say “please” and “thank you” or they don’t get sippy cups or dinner plates or the lollipop in my outstretched hand. They say “thank you” to the free sample lady at Costco and to the waitress and to anyone else who does them a service. They remember unprompted a lot, but if not I will remind them, every single time. I will be damned if I raise rude kids, or at least kids who are impolite in front of me.
2. Anyone can play with any toy. Pink is an everyone color.
3. Everyone learns to swim and everyone wears a bike helmet. No exceptions, ever.
4. Thou shalt not: Even though I use nearly every other swear word as the mood sees fit, I have enough lingering vestiges of hardcore Protestant Christianity in my system that any swearing involving the word “God” would make me enormously uncomfortable to hear coming out of my child’s mouth. My 7 year old is getting his OMG habit nipped in the bud if I can help it.
5. I did not give birth to anyone who is stupid. So the prohibition on the “S” word as a descriptive for siblings stands, now and forever.
6. Bribery is always an option, but one to be deployed with care.
7. I am not a cruise director and your boredom is not my problem. My 7 year old is growing fearful of telling me he is bored ever since I told him that every time he says those words to me, he has to find me a toy of his that he no longer wishes to keep. Obviously it must be a boring toy if he is so bored, right? Might as well give it to another kid to play with.
8. Sit on the couch like a PERSON and not like a slowly melting candy bar, dripping over the side.
9. No, I am never going to pay money for the Spongebob movie. I don’t care if you can see the picture for it on the cable guide.
10. You have to wear pants at Target, Evelyn.
Ah. That feels good to share. I should probably expand this to be the next big seller parenting guide.