The truth about parenting

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fall pumpkins

There are axioms to parenting and raising children, no doubt more than I will ever remember. I’m reminded of them from time to time while raising my own kids, and while watching others.

Some of the truisms I’ve found include:

  • Snotty noses will run when gramma comes, driving her crazy until she has to reach out and wipe…and make a comment about it
  • Expensive toys are no match for cardboard boxes and plastic lids
  • A baby will have an “accident” at the least opportune time; usually coinciding with your having recently run out of diapers and/or wipes in your vehicle
  • Whatever food they LOVED last week, they will turn their nose up at this week
  • Whatever you have planned for the day–fuhgettaboutit! (ain’t that right Mike?)
  • If one child has a toy, the other wants it…at least until the other loses interest in it

There are more I’m sure.

Anyway, this weekend, despite the 90 degree temps, CareerMom and I got into a “fall” kinda mood. She broke out the bins of decorations, and I watched while switching off and on between playing with the boys, and rolling around on the carpet trying to stretch out my back.

My neighbor up the street always puts out a big yard display for fall and this year, I wanted to join in (read: compete for neighborly affections). I’ve been looking online for some outdoor pumpkins that light up and had been unsuccessful in the “sub-$50” range. But we have a store here called “Old Time Pottery.” It’s kinda like the Wal-Mart of crafty stores. So I scooped up MLI and we headed out for a shopping spree.

When you first walk in this store, you are assaulted with dozens of those recently popular blow up yard-art things (which I secretly crave, but know that CareerMom would cringe over) and MLI LOVED IT! He ran from one to another, his face all lit up with the possibilities! I hated to break the news to him that I’m not man enough to put one up in our yard and face CareerMom over it, so I just nodded my head and suggested that perhaps we “move along.”

They also have a huge selection of candles and such and one of mine and MLI’s favorite things to do is smell the candles.

And here is where I was reminded of yet another parenting truism:

  • If you put a kid around glass objects, something will get broken

As we popped the tops off of one candle after another, I heard a “smash!” and looked over at MLI holding the top of a candle while the rest of it lay in pieces at his feet on the concrete floor. The poor kid looked horrified and I was immediately reminded of how my first adopted mom would get incensed if I went outside and got dirty, usually resulting in, at best, a stern scolding.

I quickly went to him, grabbed the glass candle top from his hands and, while looking around, carefully used my shoe to scooch the broken glass under the display (hey, I didn’t want anyone to get hurt you know!). I told him it was OK, but that we had to be very careful.

What really got to me though was the look on his face…as if he thought I was going to immediately grab him and starting wailing on his bare bottom. I know exactly what he was feeling; I felt it many times (and experienced it in many forms) when I was his age.

Right then I vowed to never react that way to him. It’ll be tough the older he gets. Such as the first time he wrecks the car–when he starts disobeying and disrespecting my authority–when he gets his girlfriend…nevermind, you get the point.

Which reminded me of a parenting truism that I would do well to never forget:

  • Our children pattern themselves after us

I’m not perfect, but I’m doing my best.

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One thought on “The truth about parenting

    romi41 said:
    September 10, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Aww…it sounds like you are doing a GREAT job as a dad, now we just have to “man” you up enough to get that cool yard-art stuff! 😉

    PS: I LOVVVEEEE smelling candles too, so fun and therapeutic! 🙂

    RE: Eh, I manage! But thanks!

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