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Utah, United States
One night while tucking Abby into bed she sweetly chimed, "good night! Sleep tight! Don't let the bed bites bug you!" I like her thinking. Sometimes life bites. The trick is to not let it bug you.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Bird Watching

Well, I've had conversations with a few different moms now regarding "the incident." It's interesting the different takes on the situation people come away with. One mom is convinced that flipping the birdie wasn't Ian's idea because her son said it was another kid, another mom is sure it was Ian because her son said it was. Nobody seems overly upset, and we all agree that the kids don't even realize the meaning of what they were doing.

Frankly, as long as we aren't getting egged over it all, I'm ready to just put it behind us. Not that I condone such behavior, but I just don't think it warrants any further concern. It makes for fun blogging, though, so I'm milking it for my own purposes now. More than anything else, going through this little experience has caused me to reflect on how my perspective on parenting has changed over the years.

I'm sure if this incident had happened to my first kindergartener, I would have reacted with sheer mortification and horror. I think now I just realize that every kid is going to embarrass his/her parents at some point, and if somebody doesn't have enough kids to get at least one who's a nut ball, they are probably being spared for a different form of humiliation such as an 11 pound goiter. Nothing against people with goiters, but just be aware that if you are mentally criticizing my parenting when my 6 year old is doing his thing, I may be putting a curse on you.

Oh, that sounds so vicious. I'm sorry. See? This subject has been weighing heavily on my mind lately.

We sat behind a cute couple with a new baby in church on Sunday. The newborn slept, carrier completely covered by a blanket, throughout the entire service. My kids, on the other hand, switched places on the pew several times, sang obnoxiously and inadvertently decorated their flesh and clothing with ink whilst passing ball point pens back and forth to entertain themselves drawing pictures. I noticed the corner-of-the-eyes looks from the couple in front of us, and yes, I went there in my imagination.

I remember being "that couple". Before Scott and I had kids, and I'm sure as new parents, I had idealistic plans for my family, too. I rolled my eyes at the obnoxious kids in church, and made mental notes that "I will never let my kid do that in church!" I knew I would train them up so expertly that I would never deal with bad behavior or crusty attitudes.

I am now convinced that there is a real curse that comes upon the self-righteous folks who judge other parents, because I'm living in the curse now! I must have really been a judgmental arse, boy, 'cause I am the parent of the kids calling attention to themselves. And I really think it is a different experience for parents of boys. Multiple boys, specifically. Because you could have a family full of girls who bicker over clothes and the bathroom and chewing-with-open-mouths at home (like the family I came from), but they aren't likely to sit in the chapel making sound effects for the robot they are drawing or (heaven forbid) force bodily noises for their own entertainment. Less likely, anyway.

So here I am, living with 4 boys who rough-house, dent, ding and stink up the house, and one poor girl who regularly retreats up-wind. She can run and bike and yell with the best of them, but I can honestly say she is not the one I get calls from the school about, or who put the hole in the wall next to the basement stairs, or wedged a now half-melted crayon into the heating vent, or leaves a trail of Legos right at the bottom of the stairs where your bare foot will land, or forgets to flush, or who brags about camping with the Scouts the time when nary a boy brushed his teeth for 5 days.

You gotta love them. And I do, but it is a whole different world, the little boy world.

So, no signs of any more bird flippage, neither at school nor home. There are bigger things to deal with, and I know that I have at least 17 more years of  "incidents" to look forward to. I plan to parlay those years into some pretty good Mother's Day gifts when these kids are grown. :D


Travis said...

I remember my first experience with the bird...I gave it to my dad after spending the night at Grandma's house, having played with our cousins...

apple slice said...

i have graduated to the age i most times (not always) divorce children's behavior from their parents. mind you, not always but often. this also might be wrong. :)

Karen said...

Ha ha, Travis! Our family is the best. What did Uncle Harv do to you? That is the question!

Krista said...

Oh Karen, you make me laugh and then I remember how much I miss you!