Lessons in parenting. From my 4 yrs old???


The words “who’s idea was it to have children, anyway” actually formulated in my brain and spilled out of my mouth to stun my husband.

Forget the terrible twos. If you can leave town while your child is 3 and 4, DO IT.

They talk back, they have opinions, they are RUDE, they are annoying, they whine, whine, whine.  They take forever to do everything make demands instead of requests, and for some strange reason act as though they live in a democracy.  This is no democracy. This Parent/child contract we tacitly consented to when mommy and daddy had sex is entirely about what we each HAVE to do.

My compulsory tasks are: 1) feed you, 2) wipe your butt, 3) kiss your boo-boo’s (though that comes straight from the heart), 4) educate you, 5) take you to at least 100 extra-curricular activities and generate stress for you in your young life, 5) show you off, 6) teach you manners, 7) teach you respect, 8 ) give you a safe place to live.  In no particular order.

A child’s compulsory tasks are: 1) Listen to ME, 2) Do as I say. We’ll keep it short because little ones ought not be overwhelmed with responsibilities.

Are they cute and bright and smart too? Sure. But the crap they pull whips the crap out of you and leaves you begging for a pillow to scream into or a quiet plush room with a locking door and sound proof walls to hide in.

We teach, train and praise. We disciple, threaten, and bribe. Lord help those parents who don’t…they’re in for a world of hurt.

What prompted this particular post?

My 4 yrs daughter’s monologue on how other parents are not  rude to their children like I was to her, insisting that she put her PJ’s on and brush her teeth.  This on the heels of 5 repetitions to put on her PJ’s (yes, I get that was my mistake), a 30 minute long stream of whining (this time from her not me), and three thrown toys and said PJ’s.

“I didn’t want you to say I can put my PJ’s on!!!!!!!!!” has become the amazingly loud background noise of the night as N wails and whines about not looking pretty with the PJ’s and her headband. Frankly all I wanted to do as my arms tensed and my face hardened is shout “SHUUUT UUUUUUUUPP!!!!!” and fling her into her room.

I don’t think it’s just the hormones here….really, age four is massively annoying and worse still past 7 pm.

Overall I find that past the 7 pm mark, I don’t do very well as a parent. I’m pretty terrific in the morning and during those middle of the night sessions but 7 pm, particularly during the winter months find me at my worst. Everyone I know is strongly advised to not call my house at that time, chances are a bitch will answer the phone and you’ll wonder if you dialed the right number.

At 7 pm this is what I like to do: get cozy, have a tea and either read, blog, stumble on the net, or watch something on Netflix with my hubby. I want sweet soft kisses goodnight from kids who go promptly and easily go to bed and I want to not hear them again until at least 7 am. I want to hear the words, “can I get you anything?” (which I happily always do) and then blissfully lie in my bloated state until sleep washes over me.

So can you imagine then when it’s 8:30 pm and there is still a 4 yr old N whining and complaining and not doing what she’s told just how hard it is for me to mask my aggravation?? I figuratively rip through the memorized reference notes in my brain for excerpts on techniques on how to best engage my daughter and I come up with only one: let her very capable dad deal with it.