I’m Doing The Best I Can
I am a bad parent, just ask my kid. She is currently six years old. She loves the hell out of rules and structure, she enjoys school, reading, gymnastics, pushing our cat around in a dolls pram and pointing out my flaws, which according to her are many.
Like this one particularly bad parenting day… I was tired. I had deadlines, I had four hundred and fifteen urgent things that needed doing and I hadn’t brushed my hair in three days. It was just one of those days.
I was stretching out my jeans because I dried them in the dryer. I was getting down, kicking my legs out, doing squats and pushing my gut out trying to get them to stretch a bit. I was mid squat when my kid walked in. She looked me up and down and with a look of disdain she remarked:
“Why do you always do things that make it look like you are taking a dump?”
I was all like… Wow. ALWAYS? Really? Always is a strong word.
I don’t know what else I do that makes me look like I am taking a dump, but I am doing the best I can, and I am OK with that.
Not ten minutes later, the kid came running down the hall.
“I heard a sound on the porch,” She said all round-eyed and suspenseful. “It was probably my boyfriend,” I told her. “Quick you had better go hide because I haven’t told him I have any kids yet”
Eyes as big as saucers at the scandal of it all she whispered; “Who’s your boyfriend?”
I crouched down next to her, and whispered in her ear… “Channing Tatum”
“You’re an idiot,” She said as she realized my joke, and she rolled her eyes before saying “I’m telling dad when he gets home” and she walked off. I may be an idiot sometimes, but I am doing the best I can and I am OK with that.
After that, I heard that I apparently need to take a parenting class; my kid actually said this to me in the midst of a small emotional episode she was having. The small emotional episode began when I dared to take away her screen privileges for pegging a ball in the general direction of her brother’s head because she wanted to see the iPad and he wouldn’t share.
The ball lightly skimmed her brother’s ear, so naturally, he collapsed in a heap and wailed like someone was breaking into the house. It was bad; it was all dramatic, mouth agape and uncomfortable to watch. I don’t know what annoyed me more, the ball throwing in temper, the violence, the not sharing or the melodramatic reaction. At any rate, I just blanket banned screens for the rest of the day.
I did it with that superb parent reaction where I stomped over to them and took the iPad. I told them I have had it up to HERE and I used an appropriate hand gesture to indicate exactly where I had it up to.
Then I told them both to ping ding. I’m not proud OK; I am clearly not smart either, because banning screen time affects me the most.
Now before you start, I know I shouldn’t be relying on an iPad to amuse my kids OK? I know this and yet I do, probably more than I should, but I don’t care. I am doing the best I can with the staff and resources I have available to me.
What I wasn’t OK with was the way in which Miss Six carried on about it. I know I shouldn’t write parenting type articles admitting things like this… but sometimes this is what parenting looks like in my house. If my parenting thus far is offensive to you, then I suggest you stop reading here, because it gets worse.
My kid carried on about how unfair life was because she couldn’t watch Barbie swan something or other on the iPad because I was mean. This went on till 10:15 pm that night. I wish I was joking, but honestly, my kid strolled out of bed at 10:15 to whine about it. When it was clear she wasn’t going to win, delirious from tired, she glared at me.
I know right? Actually squinted up her tiny eyes, pursed her lips and fixed the rest of her features to display the most amount of disgust she could summon and quietly she said…
“You should probably take a class on bringing up kids”
Hey, maybe she is right. I mean considering I have a kid that is still getting out of bed at 10:15 pm to be a wise-ass, she makes a fair point. I simply looked at her and said “I am doing the best I can”
And I may or may not have flipped her off behind her back as she walked back to her room, but that isn’t important, because I really am doing the best I can.
I could beat myself up for all the things I am not doing right, or I can be thankful that for all my flaws it is clear that I am still raising a strong independent little lady, who is smart, witty, hilarious and not afraid to speak her mind, and I really am OK with that, and I am sure that in time, she will be too.