Monday, June 6, 2011

My Kids Aren't Bad! how dare you!

On Sunday my kids got into house paint in the garage and painted a wooden table stored in there while I was watching a movie on the sofa.  Dude!  I was pissed.  But I handled things really well.  I took them into the bedroom, sat them down, explained why they can't paint things without asking me, why they can't ever play in the garage alone, and why they always need to stay in my sight.  Then I made them wash themselves and help us clean up the mess in the garage.
The ordeal was effectively under control.  But, I was pissed at the fact that I can't just have a lazy cloudy Sunday watching a movie any more.  No, something so simple in a kidless world, is now a self-indulgent, unattainable luxury.  And so I did what I usually do when I'm pissed: vent on facebook and then delete the post when I feel better.
And I posted, not purely to vent, but also to send a message out to all the no-kid friends out there: enjoy your laziness while you have it.  Relish it.  Do it for me.

My post went something like this:
Ugh, the kids got into the house paint and painted furniture in the garage.  I can't just watch a grownup movie on a lazy Sunday anymore?  No, my life revolves completely around them now.  I'm so mad...  I'm venting,  I don't mean it.  Just last night I was considering having another one.

And I really had been seriously considering having another baby.  Mari's brought the idea up a few times lately, and I've noticed that I'm way too cuddly with the kids.  They need their independence but I'm always squeezing and hugging them.  I think it's a sign that I need another little one to hold close.

So it was super ironic that my two sweeties had pulled a Denise the Menace the day after I start internalizing that I'm ready for no.3.

Then my brother starts posting some funny comments about how I should sell them or trade them in for a new car.  And then Jerry posts that: Krissee, this needs to be said. Kids are only made bad by bad parenting. My girls were never bad.

And I've been obsessed with how to respond since!

Responses cycle through my mind incessantly, 'Oh I should of said that.' 'It would have been so cool if I'd said that.'  'That other thing would have really gotten my point across!'

So I'm going to post my dream response here and hope this provides me closure.

My kids aren't bad. My kids are great.  They're just a handful.  And that's what I meant in the post.  I know that you're an awesome dad Jerry.  But I'm really not interested in any parenting advice.  Especially since I know you worked full time, so much of the leg work was done by your ex-wife, and I don't want to be a controlling parent like she was.

And wouldn't it make me feel better to point out that she is totally psycho insane woman who left her daughters with issues, phobias and OCD tendencies.  Not to mention that she has completely deserted them now and has not contacted them for the last two years after she cheated on and divorced their dad, liquidated all assets and ran off to marry an internet lover in Egypt.

So yeah.  I don't want any parenting advice from that family.

What I really said was this: Jerry, I'm going to delete you comment.  Your daughters have really different personalities than my kids do.  I parent both Kaio and Nene the same, and Kaio's a handful but Nene's a little angel.  I'm sure the painting was his idea.

Then I went on to flail and add things that sound stupid in retrospect.  I probably affirmed his belief by admitting to being a bad parent and then trying to explain what lead up to the situation: Mari left the garage door open, and I was just watching a movie instead of taking the kids to a park.

I ended up deleting the whole thread shortly thereafter.

But not before a few others saw it and came to the rescue.  I received notes from friends I haven't talked to in over a decade, "I don't know who that Jerry character is, but never feel like you should never have to quantify your parenting abilities to any other parent. I haven't met your kids, but I am sure that they will grow up to be well rounded adults who can empathize with anyone. Jerry should take a look in the mirror to realize more than likely he is raising two more entitled white kids."
and, "You are a good parent that person is crazy. You also have amazingly smart and creative kids who as a result find more creative ways to be. Which sometimes go against the norms of keeping a clean house."
and, "I sure hoped you're joking Jerry. Or else I might just have to open a can of developmental theory on you"

It was really sweet to get those folks standing up for me.  parenting is really challenging.  I'm not really prepared.  Not sure if it is possible to be prepared

Like just today the neighbor told me that Kaio scratched her car with his bicycle yesterday.  I offered to pay for the detailing (even though we don't have that kind of money), but she said she feels like it was her fault for not watching the kids while they were playing.  I knew that she wasn't out there when I let him go play with the other neighborhood kids.  So I do feel partially responsible for the damage.

Ironically, just Saturday morning Mari and I were talking about being chill parents with a sense of pride.  And agreeing not to chase the kids around with a wet nap, or let paranoia about messes get in the way of enjoying life.  We let the kids figure things out for themselves a bit.  Learn through experience, not by being ordered around.

I never claimed to be a good parent.  We all have our flaws.  I have plenty.  But I make up for them with some positives.  And my kids are good kids dammit!  They're incredibly sweet, loving, well meaning, and generally well behaved.  They're just a handful.  Kaio especially, but in an endearing way.  I don't really know how to stay ahead of all the things that could go wrong.  I'm climbing up the slope of a gigantic learning curve!

I still feel like slamming Jerry with a piece of my mind.  He called my kids bad. punk.
could this basis for de-friending? lol.

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