As the children’s summer break from school hurls towards my face and the first of the warm-weather holidays that is Mother’s Day is upon us, let’s take a moment and listen to the parenting I shall impart upon you.
Ha. As if. I got nothin’.
I still don’t even know what I’m doing. My oldest is eight. Eight years old. That means I can serve as an expert witness on a short number of topics, ranging from the pros and cons of Greg Wiggle versus Sam Wiggle (Mom verdict: Anthony Wiggle wins it all) to how to handle the appeal of incidental sidewalk chalk on a small child and what to do if unsuccessful at redirecting her attention to something which you don’t hate cleaning from her hands.
So as we soonly approach this Mother’s Day, I feel like as an experienced parent of barrels and barrels of children (totaling three children) I am obligated to share some expert parenting advice. For free. Relax, retained attorneys! The advice is good. Stand down.
Tip #1: Chewing gum costs a buck. Your kid who’s begging for it? Let them have it. Yes, this goes against everything you and I have ever stood for as parents (hello, gum in our kids’ hair), but one time when I was eleven years old I begged my mom for a pack of gum in the checkout line. It wasn’t even Bubbalicious. It was sugar-free gum. She told me no. And you know what I did? I screamed at her from that checkout line in front of God and everybody, “when I have kids, I will always let them have gum!” And so should you. You SHOULD. Okay, maybe this is so that eleven year old me can one-up my mom, retroactively, twenty-four years later. But still, what’s the harm? Let them eat gum. Choose your battles. You are better than yelling at your kids to not eat gum. (Aren’t you?)
Tip #2: Give them every Band-Aid they ask for. My kids claim to require Band-Aids for any bump, thump, scrape, scrap. And this happens daily. I mean, come ON! My lower right patella has a bruise the size of their heads right now yet I carry on like nothing ever happened (what even happened? I’ve no idea). But you know what? Kids like to be tended to, to be taken seriously, to think they are Kind of a Big Deal. Guess what? A box of Band-Aids costs $1.50 (ish). That’s a month’s worth of battles you don’t have to fight so that your kids can feel triumphant and you get to be the hero. Plaster those Barbie/Mickey Mouse/sheer yet not quite flesh colored bandages all over their everywheres.
Because you know what? We moms know that this Mother’s Day holiday is manufactured by the greeting card companies (is it though?!). But we know we deserve it because if our own moms deserve us fawning over them one day a year, we deserve our kids stressing out a little about if their butterfly/handprint decoupage pencil holder is as good as the other kids’.
That said–and allow me this moment of shmoopyness–I love you, kiddos. Without you I wouldn’t need my own day celebrating my role in making you who you are. Though without my own mom serving as my role model, I wouldn’t know how to make you not like me so much that you plot a blog post at age eleven about how I won’t buy you gum (seriously! who does that?!). xxoo