Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bad Parenting Confessional: Mini Me

When people meet us and our children they tend to remark on how much the kids are like us. My daughter is really a miniature version of her Dad and my son "looks sooo much" like me. In a myriad of ways we have one of each.

These days the attitudes and actions of our kids (ages 1 and 3) are not always beyond reproach. And we certainly find moments of complex self-reproach when we see our own behaviours reflected back at us, made acutely annoying in their pint-sized and toddler-aged tempo: the back-talking, the know-it-all, even the bossy and the smart Alec. Where once we of the Roadrunner/Bugs Bunny generation were so smug about our smart, smarmy, wry, snark sarcasm, once secure in that identity, now there are moments when I'd give my right arm for a personality transplant.

A month or so ago I thought I would be going to work and saving my children from an overdose of the fallible role model I am. Remember, Burton White is unequivocal when he says that in the second year of life children should NOT be in the exclusive control of their mothers; there are good reasons for that. Now the occupational therapy I had in mind for our fall from graces has evaded me. Now I simply have to try harder. Smarten up instead of smarting off. Sheesh.

For the moments provided by my kids climbing furniture at a dinner party or shoving friends, being late for everything and calling nanny a fool, I am glad to have the words of other parents. I am glad to share reservation and reticence about this youthful impetuousness which is, at times, soundly euphemistic. Thanks to MetroDad for his commiseration with us parent hacks. And, thanks need be cast east for more words on how to forgive any boundaries of cuteness a 3 year old might push when a time comes to dominate the scene. It helps... a lot.

And, in conclusion, here's a vignette of the daughter of p-man as lawyer man. The cardinal rule here, never -- and I mean NEVER -- allow an error in fact to go unpunished. The context is Ms. Fancy's long drawn out refusal to wash her face at bathtime. The exchange concluded as follows:

Daughter: I am not talking to you. I am talking to mommy.
Father: Please, wash your face.
Daughter: I will NOT. I am TOO BUSY!
Father: Wash your face. Or I will do it for you.
Daughter: You are not listening to me!!
Father: So what do you have to say for yourself?
Daughter: I am NOT saying TO MYSELF, Daddy.

Insert sounds of Mo laughing.

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Blogger kittenpie said...

God, but they are humbling. And funny. And frustrating. And cute, thank goodness.

2:50 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom LOVES to point out how my kids sound JUST LIKE US....yes we is all our fault and will be till the day we die!

9:48 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When pedants attack!

I've noticed my semi-verbal son performing the "hmmmmmm" of a crisis line counsellor when I explain to him why he can't do something right then. But he also says "booty" if I ask him to, so at the moment it's fair trade

10:48 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

teehee! your post made me chuckle. My mother warned me I'd one day have a child exactly like me! lol Thankfully my children are much more behaved when I'm not around so I must be doing something right!

8:36 p.m.  

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