Monday, March 23, 2009

Parenthood is hard

I saw something in a gossip rag the other day about how Kim Kardashian had sincerely claimed she wasn't a spoiled brat, and neither was her sister. I'm ashamed, frankly, that I know who Kim Kardashian is, and if I have to explain to you why it's nearly tragic that she can't see how spoiled she is, well you're just a better person than I am.

Suffice it to say that she and Paris Hilton are contemporaries.

I was thinking about Kim Kardashian the other day when I was talking to Karin about how our children are not always as grateful and selfless as they could be. Now all of them are far closer to saints than sinners, but I had a moment this weekend when I thought they were little ingrates. I was more annoyed than angered, but after a day of fun, they were slow to perform a simple little task for me, their happy benefactor.

So I asked myself, "Self, what's wrong with these little rats?"

Nothing was wrong with the little rats. They were having fun. Being kids. But it occurred to me that you must have to actually teach children to be grateful -- much like you have to help them to walk and read and brush their teeth. If all you do is give them stuff, they'll expect to be given stuff all the time. And who could blame them?

I was likely a little heavy handed with my debut of Gratefulness 101, but I'm going to refine my instruction. I think it's important that kids have fun and goodness knows my husband thinks I'm too quick to indulge. But I think it's just as important that they understand why you say please and thank you and why you should be grateful for life's pleasures.

I'm pretty sure I'll need an advisor myself along the way. This parenthood thing is hard, man. You've got to be on your toes all the time!

I suspect Kim Kardashian didn't take Grateful 101. And that's a shame.

In other news, Alison's friend Dominic came over for a play date last week. He's the boy who declared his love for her publicly last year at school, embarrassing the heck out of her.

While I worked in the yard, they worked the Wii. Jeff came home to find us and was horrified that I'd left them alone. "Geeze. They're 7 and 8. What could they possibly be doing? If we can't trust them now, when can we?" I asked.

Silly, silly, misguided me.

After we'd taken Dominic home, Alison and I were chatting. She got all shy, ducked her head and said she wanted to tell me something.

"What is it? You can tell me anything," I said.

"Well, Mom, Dominic told me he wanted to ask me something," she said.


"He said he wanted to kiss me."

I know I screamed really loud in my head. But thankfully I kept it there.

"What did you say?" I said.

"I told him I thought it would be inappropriate touching," she said.

I nearly got down on my knees and thanked God and Christ the King. But I maintained my cool.

"Well, I think that was a good thing to say," I said. "Did you want him to kiss you?"

I held my breath. She ducked her head, then suddenly looked right at me, suddently intent on knowing the answer to one, burning question.

"Mom, is it true that when I'm 8 years old I don't have to sit in a car seat?"

"Uh. Well, maybe," I stuttered, suffering deeply from whiplash.

"Dominic says he doesn't have to so maybe I won't have to either," she said.

"Uh-huh," I said. "Maybe. Hey, I have an idea. If you wait until you're 8 to not have to use a car seat, how about you wait until, oh, maybe til you're 10 to let a boy kiss you?"

"That sounds about right," she said.

I think I lot 10 pounds in sweat. The adrenaline has yet to abate.

Parenthood is hard, man....


ddlube said...

O ye have yet to experience. Aaron made me explain sex to him at 11. David was out of town and he wanted to know now. Adam however on the other hand gets embarassed about using deoderant. He brought home body part education papers from school a couple of weeks ago. He could get 30 extra percent on his grade if I signed all three papers. His quote to me, "Mom, just sign the papers, but don't look at them!"

Cheryl said...

OMG. This is why I have one child. Two would kill me.