5.16.2010

{ Lookin' Like A Fool With Your Pants On The Ground }

When I was around 20 I started to know a whole lot about how to raise other people's kids.  I did not have children.  I did not want children... but I did know that when I did want and have children, they would not behave like those kids in the mall that hid from their mother under the Nordstrom clothing racks like some kind of freaky little special-ops ninja.  I also knew that they would not say things like "you can't make me" when I told them to clean their room, yell out "take that you fool" while pretending to shoot the guy in the pew next to us during church, or write their initials all over the upholstery of my Volkswagen van with a bright blue Sharpie... (including the top of their baby brother's little bald head.)

What I did not know, however, was that every time I thought to myself  "my child will never do that" God would dig through his personnel files and pick out the kids who he knew would totally do "that"...and then he would send out a memo to the shipping department that said essentially "Hey, you know how we didn't know where in the heck to send this one?  Well, I just found him a spot.  By the way, clear your schedule, because you're gonna want to watch this.  Oh, and pull up that training video "Pride and You".  I think we'll be able to get some updated footage."

I'm pretty sure that babies start out as babies primarily so that you can start out kidding yourself into thinking that you are the reason that they are so squishy and cute.  You can believe that they sit up because you are a good mother, and use the baby sign language to ask for more freshly steamed sweet potatoes because you are a good mother, and learn to walk in uncomfortable shoes like a proper human being because you are a good mother.  We say it's all about the baby, but really it's mostly about "Hey look what my kid can do.  Don't you think I'm a good mom?"  This is a trap ladies... and I'll tell you why.  Eventually you are going to take your above average child to a Zumba class at your church and while you are doing your ab work at the end of your "wow, I didn't know I was Latin" exercise extravaganza he will walk over to some random lady who has clearly done more sit-ups than is healthy... and kick her.  Just like that.  (This actually happened to my friend of mine... a good friend and a good mom).  All I'm saying is that if you start thinking that the reason your child has the talents, or disposition or personality that they do because of something you control... when they turn beasty, you're in for a massive identity crisis.

Don't get me wrong.  I believe that parents play a huge role in the development of a child, but I've known too many good moms who feel totally defeated when faced with a child who came with a little more fire, or tears or hatred of seams than everyone else things they should have.  Really good moms who have had to put up with the comments about "if you'd just let her cry it out then she'd sleep"...or "if he's hungry enough he'll eat it"...or "it looks like you've got your hands full"... Which is what I got to hear from a total stranger last week when I turned around at the park to find my 4 year old son, bum exposed to the world, peeing in the flower bed.  I looked her right in the eye and said "You know, I'm never quite sure what people are trying to tell me when they say that".  Then, I pulled up my son's pants, told him (really loudly so that every mom within earshot could hear) "good job keeping those pants dry buddy" and headed for the car... with my pointy chin held high... totally embarrassed and wondering how I could be so bad at this mothering thing after almost 11 years.

... maybe I'll just blame his father for this one.
Bookmark and Share

12 comments:

The Laundry Queen said...

Ha! Smart move. Oh, and I told my 3 year old the same thing when I caught him peeing in the bushes a few days ago. The dry pants are truly the most important thing.

carmar76 said...

hahahahaaa! I think that was a great response! I mean, really... we spend all this time and effort making sure the kids don't wet their pants during potty training. "Make sure you tell us when you have to go potty." What else are they supposed to do but go when they have to go?? *laugh* And keep their pants dry!!

side of fries said...

To die for funny! Oh, and I hear you, sister. Oh, the things I used to say...

This is one funny post!

Joyce said...

he did that not because u r a bad mother but because he had to pee

u r doing just fine :)

grammy said...

Have you found any minus their underwear when they came home from school????

e. said...

nope, just from grammy's (the same 4 year old has a habit of ditching his underwear when he has an accident and leaving them in random places for his grandmother to find after he's gone home.)

Genet said...

Oh I love you and love that response. I will have to try and have enough composure to use it the next time I hear that phrase (which is every time I'm in public with more than one of my kids!) B likes to pee in the front yard. AND he insists that boxer shorts are shorts and perfectly acceptable to wear to preschool without pants. :)

Pam said...

Thanks for the laugh! I really needed it today. Mom's that dress their children like litte clones also, one day, face an identity crisis....

e. said...

Genet-

I agree w/ B. When I was in Jr. high I used to wear them over long thermal underwear, paired with a tee shirt. Awesome... I loved the '80s.

Marvelous Me said...

LOL!! Awesome response!

I was told the other day by a woman I just met, that Ethan in the outfield, picking daisies, covering his mitt with baseball diamond dirt, and chewing on his mitt that had been on his head (and dirt) moments before, had "absolutely no respect for his coaches, which makes you question the parenting." To which I replied "Oh yes, naturally." O.o

Matt said...

Maybe he got a case of the cheetoh legs and couldn't make it to the honey bucket.

Loralee and the gang... said...

...where else would he learn to pee in public?
And one thing that I've learned, after taking my sweet time to have 7 children - 20 years - is that kids are pretty much packaged up and sent to us the way they're going to be, barring a huge traumatic episode or two.