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Nothing Makes Me Feel More Like an Idiot than Parenting

Photo Credit: Creative Commons – Nika Zoe

My kids are weird.  Having my husband and I for parents really leaves them with no other option.

Odd is hard-wired in their DNA.

If you follow me on Twitter you’ve seen some of the stuff they say because I can’t keep it to myself.  The world has to know.  Like:

Daughter: “What’s a catheter?” I explain… “OH NO!  I am never asking you anything again!”

or

Me: “Son, you’re putting your pants on backwards.” Him: “Don’t judge me.”

Matter-of-Fact Belligerence

Probably my best/worst parenting moment ever was when my daughter was 4 1/2.  She’s a pretty good kid most of the time, but this day…she had been a monster.

I may have even taken out a Craig’s List ad and offered her as “free to a good home.”  The final straw was when she took a pair of scissors to her brand new school pants.  I was speechless I was so angry and just…done.  I knew if I put my hands on her I’d snap her neck, so I just stood there.  Staring at her.  Totally matter-of-fact she says, “Spankings don’t work and time-outs don’t work, so what are you going to do now, Mom?”

4 1/2.  She was 4 1/2.

P.S.  After going through the implications in my head of having to explain to her father why he was down a kid when he got home, I made her stay in her room for the rest of the day and tried to figure out how to answer her question.  I still don’t have an answer.  I always have to come up with new and inventive ways to punish her.  I think she secretly enjoys it.

Nature or nurture?

No one can convince me it’s not absolutely both.

My son is just about the kindest kid I’ve ever know.  He was born that way.  He certainly didn’t learn from me.  My daughter can not learn things fast enough to suit her.  Been that way since she was a baby.  I didn’t listen to Mozart while I was pregnant or whatever else it is you’re suppose to do to make super babies.  It’s just her.

Bottom Line Parenting

My husband and I decided long ago that all we can do as their parents is help them to figure out how to use who they are to it’s best advantage and make good decisions along the way.

That’s it.  That’s our whole job.  We figure we have until they’re about 16 (when cars happen) to teach them everything we can about being decent and productive, then we have to let go and hope they still come to us when they need to.

Terrifying Joy

We have about another year and a half with our daughter, then she goes mobile.  Our son is 12, so there’s a little more time.  He actually claims he’s never leaving home because he just wants to be with us forever.  To which his dad and I respond, “Don’t you threaten us!”

Sometimes it feels like a crap shoot when it comes to making decisions about how to handle the various things that pop up with our kids.  Second guessing has become second nature.  I guess I just hope for the best because there really is no formula, right?

I feel like I’m rambling, but that’s parenting, isn’t it?  Controlled chaos.  Terrifying joy.

Enjoy your kids.  Let every phase be your favorite.  Revel in the weird and the unique.  It’s their birthright.

Question: What are some crazy things your kids have said/done?

EdiTOR’s Note: Our family recently delivered our third child. As such, some blogging buddies of mine have graciously offered to write a series of guest posts to allow my family to spend a little time together – away from this blog. I’m deeply grateful for such friends, and I hope you enjoy their writing!

Today’s guest post is from Sharideth Smith who claims to “…write stuff sometimes.”  She’s managed to keep two children alive so far, has been married to the same person for almost 20 years and still likes the guy, mostly because he has a really great beard.  She enjoys short walks on the beach and shooting pool because she’s innately lazy and doesn’t really like to move much at all.

Do yourself a favor and check out more of her edgey, comedic writing at her blog listed below or follow her gut-busting tweets on Twitter.

A Woman’s Guide to Women: A Blog for Men

Sharideth on Twitter

  • http://www.adjuvancy.com/wordpress Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    I”m with you. I may have been a whiz at school and product design and business. The only things I knew I about raising my kids was to never do what my parents did. Which at least gave me a framework…
    They (the kids) filled out the rest very nicely.

  • http://twitter.com/shawnrsnyder Shawn Snyder

    Raising kids is kinda like closing your eyes and begging for mercy. They seem pretty resilient and bounce back, survive and even thrive.

  • http://www.outofmyallegedmind.com Nancy Franson

    This was terrific. I have two (almost) grown children and I continue to wander around blurting out, “I don’t know what to do.”

    Best advice I ever got from another parent? Do what you do know. Love them. And love is patient, love is kind . . .

    4 1/2? Really?

    • http://twitter.com/sharideth Sharideth Smith

      really. ugh.

  • Minette

    Hysterical!, I always say my kids are my greatest joy and my greatest challenge. They have certainly taught me how to be a better adult.

  • Soulwalker

    “Don’t Judge me…” that is just priceless.

  • http://bestoked.blogspot.com Luke Stokes

    Great post! My kids are 1 and 3 and more than I can handle on a good day. My wife and I always trying new things with our 3yo son who has an iron will. I found that blogging helps, even if I don’t post all the stuff I write. :)

    Thanks again. I’ll probably refer back to this one the next time they do something that leaves me speachless and unable to respond.

    It might keep our family from being down a kid also. :)