All the words that are fit to eat

Sometimes I wish I were still single. No, not because I don't love my husband, or anything like that. (I know he sometimes comes off as kinda snotty on the Times and Seasons blog, but he really is quite a lovable guy.) It's not because I was really that wild about dating, either. I mean, who wants to go back to the meat market that is the Single's Ward? No, I want to be single again because it was then that I knew everything about children. When I was single and childless, I would look at other mothers and think, "I will never do that. Why do they do that? Can't they control their children?" Here are some examples of things I said, single and childless, I would never do when I had children: My child will never eat hotdogs. My child will never watch T.V. My child will only eat organic foods. My child will never drink soda. My child will never want to be dressed in any kind of character clothing, because he will simply not be exposed to that kind of commercialism. And I will never, never, give in to my child's silly demands for a specific cup at dinner. I mean, who does that? Now that I am a mother, and no longer know everything, here are some examples of things my child does: My child eats hotdogs so often that he knows which brand he likes the best (the "green ones", FYI). My child has seen "Finding Nemo" so many times that he has it memorized, almost word for word. My child has eaten many a Chicken McNugget, which I'm pretty sure has no ingredient that even vaguely resembles something organic. My child woke me up this morning, carrying a bottle of soda and a sippy cup, asking for the soda to be put in said sippy cup. At 8am. My child' s favorite shirt is his yellow Batman shirt. He wore it for 3 days straight once, and cried for about 10 minutes when I finally pried it off his stinky little body to wash out 3 days worth of grime. At my sister-in-law's wedding, he refused to get in the car to go in his nice church outfit until we put the Batman shirt on over the church clothes and promised him he would only have to take it off for the pictures. My child drinks out of a different cup every evening, according to whim and mood. He also has to choose what kind and color straw goes with the cup. This is non-negotiable. I have been told by my sisters that they are watching with glee as I frantically eat all the words I ever flung at them in the name of good parenting as I raise my own son. They feel mollified. Plus, they all have kids older than my son, so they have already gone through it, and get to giggle as they watch me bribe my son to eat oatmeal with a promise of a cookie right after breakfast. They've all been there. So sometimes I long for the days when I knew it all, told everybody I knew it alll, and didn't have to put my money where my mouth was. Yes, the glory days of ignorant, arrogant singlehood. Plus, when you're single, you get to sleep in a lot more. I could use a little more omnescience AND some extra shut-eye.


Anonymous Tess said...

My husband and I are one of the only childless couples in our ward, so we have ample occasion to evaluate and discuss (between ourselves) the parenting skills of our friends.

Most of the time, we laugh and joke that it's a good thing we know everything there is to know about the proper way to raise children. Being in Primary, however, helps me appreciate all the hard work that goes into loving and caring for a child. I really appreciate all the work that the parents do to raise their children with love and kindness, so if this means giving in to a whim for a Batman shirt, so be it.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your stories. I hope one day to be able to put all of my superior parenting skills to the test. I think the biggest test will be to resist the urge of the fast food drive-through. Those Happy Meals are so seductive.

3/25/2005 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

Wonderful post, Heather, so true, so true. I was like that, too. Boy, did I learn kids aren't little mounds of clay. You are a good writer.

My neighbor (that one I write about) is always criticizing people who have teenagers. I just can't wait till her kids get to be teenagers. That is going to be really funny.

3/25/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous claire said...

tess, the happy meals have seemed a lot less seductive after watching "super size me" the movie and reading "fast food nation" the book. I can't say we've never eaten at a fast food restaraunt since, but I've been a great deal more selective about which ones we eat in and what we order.

3/28/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So funny. One of my pre-mom comments were: "My kids will never eat in front of the TV!" Haha! And: "They will never scream in the supermarket."

3/29/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Amy Lynn said...

I have to eat so many of my words every single day that I am STUFFED by day's end. My favorite single line was, "I will never use candy or treats as bribes." I panic if I don't have a bag of candy in the cupboard. Life doesn't function without bribery. I figured it was better they just learn that little life lesson now.

3/31/2005 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Amy Lynn--

Sadly, I have bribed my child with food way more than I should. He also almost always falls asleep in the car in the afternoon, so sometimes I have to tell him we are getting in the car to go get a treat, just to get him in there so he will fall asleep. We rarely actually get a treat, so now I guess I'm lying AND bribing. Well, at least I know why the people from "Mother of the Year" aren't knocking down my door!

3/31/2005 12:45:00 AM  
Blogger Zayeh's Mommy said...

I have a two year old. I was sure that he would be so well behaved he would never have a temper tantrum. It's funny when you become a parent and realize that there are certain things that every child does regardless of parenting styles. I was in Toys R Us with my son and he was screaming and a mom with about a 4 year old was giving me nasty looks. I hope I don't forget that quickly what it's like to deal with a toddler! Oh well, there were other moms giving me looks of sympathy!

4/02/2005 11:09:00 PM  

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