Let’s all play a favorite drinking game of years gone by… I NEVER… You know the game, where everyone gets together with their beverage of choice and while sitting in a circle each person gets to state an “I never…” The “I never" is usually something they have done, which of course is the whole point, so that they can drink, thus getting drunk faster.
Now, let’s play, but all the “I never”s have to be kid/baby/parenting related… Pick your poison, and go… Me first:
I’ve never let my kid cry endlessly while I check facebook/finish watching Glee/finish said chapter of Twilight…
I’ve never let my kid sleep in bed with me…
I’ve never slept in my kid’s toddler bed, on their floor, next to their crib…
I’ve never let my kid have 2 more Oreos just so I could finish a conversation with another adult…
Are you drunk yet?
It’s funny, but it’s also very telling of what we are doing in our own homes and what we really aren’t afraid to admit. Oreos never hurt anyone, well unless you’re allergic. Crying hasn’t harmed any children. Toddler beds on the other hand are all together uncomfortable but the only people they are hurting are parents.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned as a parent is “Never say Never”. Karma will make sure it bites you in the ass. Seriously! Here are some of my favorite examples and how they came back and bit me with a vengeance. You may recall similar stories in your own life.
“I’ll never let my kid cry like that in Target/Costco/Grocery Store of your choice”
I actually said this. Out loud to myself prior to having little ones. I was at Target buying laundry detergent which is coincidently right next to the toys. My friend Krysten swears this is because Target does the Devil’s handiwork. Anyway, there I was an early 20’s gal, buying some Tide and I hear the blood curdling screams of some child. I also hear the mother pleading with said screamer. My assumption, bad mother, equally bad kid, why can’t you coral that wild animal??? So stupidly, I swore on the spot that would never be me. Fast-forward about 8 years and there I stand begging Caitlin to just pick a Barbie, and No I’m not buying the $45 Disney Princess Spectacular!! Jokes on me right? Karma got me good? Hell yes it did, because now I’m her and all the 20 somethings buying Tide are cursing me. Well jokes on them, they’ll be me in due time.
“I’ll never let my baby cry it out”
Yes, I was that mom who thought it inhumane. I thought how could you just let that poor baby lay there and cry? Now I know, because you were tired and cranky and were actually crying it out yourself. I’ve done this with both kids now and they are in fact fine. I’m actually a better mother for it, and it gets results. My husband gets all the credit here, he convinced me to do it with Caitlin, and it made bedtime so much easier. It also made it possible for me to watch all my favorite shows, the nights they were on, at the said time they were on. Alas, it didn’t last after we brought #2 home, but those 12 months or so were excellent!
“I’ll never let my kid wear their pjs/princess costume/pirate costume to the store”
Guilty as charged. Again I was that 20 something at Target walking the aisles and stopped dead in my tracks when a harried mom walked by pushing the signature red cart with a Cinderella in the basket. This was not just any Cinderella either. This was a toddler Cinderella, with a stained blue ball gown, bright red lipstick smeared on her face, ruby red sparkly Dorothy of Oz heels, tiara, and a chocolate chip cookie in her tiny toddler hand. I was shocked that this woman let her child out of the house looking this way. Surely she had the time to clean the child’s face and put regular clothes on her tiny body. Surely this would never happen to me…
Oh it happened, tenfold. Let’s just say that this time last year the only thing Caitlin would wear were panda bear pajamas. Yes, that’s right Panda Bear Pajamas. I had to go back to Costco and buy 4 additional pairs, because she would wear the one pair day after day, dirty or not. Of course I would let her because of the tantrums that would ensue. Who has the time to negotiate with at 2 almost 3 year old, who has better negotiating skills than any hostage taker. How about a peanut butter cup if you wear this outfit instead of pjs? How about Dr. Pepper? How about a new doll? Nothing! It was panda jammers of the highway. Eventually she started to wear other things, but I have been known to take Sleeping Beauty to Target, a toddler in Stripped pants and floral shirt in un-coordinating colors to the grocery store, and let my daughter wear Christmas themed clothes in March.
I guess the lessons are learned. As our babies grow into toddlers, and then preschoolers and so on and we learn to compromise. Saying never to anything is like a declaration for the exact opposite to happen. Think about it, NEVER is a really long time. To say never is to make a promise that is almost unbreakable. It’s like the unbreakable vow (Harry Potter Fans)! For most of us our “nevers” are fewer and farther between, because we have learned our lessons. There is no one right way and there are certainly no actual wrong ways. I’m finding everything about Motherhood is a learning experience even this second time around. I’m sure that there would be lessons a third time around. That’s no big deal since I’m never getting pregnant again.