This is in response to my friend who wanted me to write more about ‘good parenting’. Here goes.
It’s 7:48. The sitter should be here any minute. I am dressed and wearing an immodest amount of make-up, seeing that I am 35 and it would be much kinder to the world if I wore more. My child is upstairs. She came downstairs to read some educational magazine my mother bought her, decided there wasn’t enough to catch her fancy downstairs and went back up to bed.
There is no bread. I never told the sitter what to make for breakfast. She found bread and makes fairy wings (french toast with an exaggerated sense of self) but there is no bread today. I never told her about lunch. This meant nutella in some context. If I had left something, something at all, I’m sure the babysitter would have served it. I didn’t.
I work three hours five days a week. I think technically that is a good mom job. I do not homeschool, which causes me to lose good mom points in many circles, but my hours are during school time, so she never knows I am gone.
My little girl dresses herself. It used to be things like hot pink leggings, a purple shirt covered in glitter and a tutu. For kindergarten she wore a pair of jeans, a dress, and sparkly shoes every single day. The dress might be covered in paisley. Or flowers, or some other wacky print. She wore a smart little bob. Some of the moms sneered at me. I honestly didn’t care. Yes, their little girls looked cute with their curly pig-tails with ribbons matching their dresses. I didn’t judge them, but if a parent was lamenting their child’s choice of clothes – for example the superman outfit he wanted to wear, I’d advise them to just let him wear them. Wash ’em on the weekend, or more often if you need to, but who is it really hurting? For what it’s worth, she what she wears is much calmer now. She often tops her sedate outfits with hot pink patten leather shoes. Nothing too interesting. Sometimes she looks fashionable and sometimes she looks ordinary. The other day she commented how the older you get the less fancy you become, and I hold that to be true. In most cases. The woman who asked me to write about good parenting is pretty fancy, though. She knows who she is.
I have to think about the good parenting I do. Knowing what I do wrong comes so naturally. It’s good, in a way, because it gives me to impetus to change. So much of my parenting is marred by mental illness, but in some ways I genuinely think it makes it better. I know how to calm someone down, even if they are four, or two, or six, because I have learned to calm myself down. We never punished her for her fits and they went away the same time the punitive children’s did. We had a gentler time of it. We were not embarrassed…
I see that the whole ‘not embarrassed thing’ theme is appearing through out my blog. I think my husband and I can be embarrassing. We can embarrass each other and ourselves with ease. There is little a small child can do that embarrasses us more than we do each other. Maybe it is that my husband and I are both kinda freaks, so we’ve gotten used to it.