August 21, 2013
It's ok to fail. But failure is not an option!
For fucks sake, my head is spinning. One minute we were at the beach trying to decide whether to eat the watermelon now or at dinner, and the next minute I’m careening through the air, having been shot out of a live cannon. This is how I know it's the first week of school.
When I put the kids to bed last night baby darling hugged me and said, “Thank you for being a good girl today.” That obviously means I stayed on green all day, without once moving my car to the yellow or red portion of the stoplight behavior chart. This is more than I can say for my beloved mini-me, who is now in first grade and already missed a recess for misbehaving in music. “He’s nothing like his older brother!” the teacher chuckled. Lady, I’ve been trying to warn the establishment of this for five years.
I swear to all things that are holy that I will be a good mom this school year. Which means that I will now embrace the popular bipolar parenting strategy, otherwise known as “ruining my kids.” This morning after an hour long conversation with the #2 mutha, it was decided that we should write instructions to ourselves on index cards, for handy reference when that first “D” or “F” test is found hidden in the back of the folder.
Apparently screaming, “Do you want to live in a filthy ditch under the interstate when you grow up?” is not good for the children’s self esteem. These types of comments should always be followed by the mixed message goodnight tuck-in, which might go something like this: “Look, so what, you made an F. You’re an awesome, smart boy. Everybody loves you. Try your best and you’ll pull your grade up in no time. We’ll study together.” That’s right. And if you don’t, you can just live with mommy forever. Who cares? I’ll be a lonely, cat lady by then anyway.
Getting this stuff right is so hard. Especially when ‘what is right’ changes every day. One day you are to push and encourage and demand that they stand out from the pack. Be the best! The next day you are to be accepting and allow the child to establish his own personality and identity. You are to study with them, and teach them good studying habits. Oh no! That was last week. These children are old enough to be responsible for their own lessons. Studying with them will make them unable to study on their own. Just take the video games away so they won’t have violent tendencies. Great! Now they don’t have any friends and can’t pick up M&Ms because their hand/eye coordination is so horrible. Feed them whole grains! That white bread will make them fat and stupid! Don’t you know anything, moron? Grains are the devil! Stop eating all grains. Try quinoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa! I’m sorry I must draw the line with quinoa. Especially now that I know it’s not even pronounced kwin-o-a. It’s keen-wa. Which is why I can never eat it. Because I’m not saying “keen wa.” It’s too stupid.
Honestly, I think I'll just keep flying by the seat of my pants. My parents didn’t have a fucking clue what they were doing…and look at me. I’m the sanest person I know.
The only thing that’s really easy is loving them. I’m good at that part. It's easy enough to apologe when I yell out the ‘f’ word and say that thing about living under the interstate. It really is ok to fail. I’ve failed a lot and I’m still not living under the interstate.
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