Every woman who has EVER had the pleasure of the plague that is pregnancy has propped herself uncomfortably in her 25-pillow nest on the bed and dreamt of the control she will regain when that little bundle of joy is finally evicted.
I won’t let my child eat things off the floor.
I won’t let my child sit in a wet diaper for more than 5 minutes.
I won’t ever lose my temper.
My kid won’t watch TV or become obsessed with an iPhone.
I’ll patiently explain everything. Over and over and over.
Sure, things go well for a few months. “I’ve got this parenting thing down cold” you think smugly to yourself while you watch your little bundle of joy lying there like a swaddled slug sleeping.
But BAM! Before you know it, that swaddled little slug morphs into a lightning fast, free-will exercising, squirmy-worm toddler and you find yourself less in control than you have ever been in your entire life (Yes, even more out-of-control than your booze soaked early twenties). It’s BAD.
At first you don’t want to accept the situation. Not only is your wee one growing up. He’s growing into an ocassionally obnoxious, assertive, tantrum-throwing, smart as a whip, pain in the rear.
You tip-toe around him in fear and trepidation. What will set him off next? How will you distract him from whatever unsavory or dangerous behavior he’s engaging in without inducing the mother of all meltdowns?
Eventually you are forced to admit all your delusions about control were a JOKE.
You have approximately as much control as Michelle Duggar’s bladder. And none of the benefits of adult diapers.
It’s just terrible. You’ve failed.
I’m here to tell you, you are not alone.
I’ll just bet what I’m about to reveal is shameful enough to make you feel a little better about yourself.
I swore to myself in the early days of parenting, I wouldn’t allow our kid to watch TV but these days?
I’ve been letting my kid watch a movie.
Like sometimes during his breakfast if he’s on a grumpy hunger-strike and if he’s really disagreeable, sometimes in the afternoon during his snack too. (GASP!)
And it’s not a kid’s movie. It’s the extended version of The Big Year. It includes one PG make out scene, someone giving another someone the business finger, and a smattering of curse words.
But the kid LOVES it. The minute I reach for the remote his eyes light up and he begins happily stuffing his face with whatever I put in front of him.
He doesn’t throw food all over the floor. He doesn’t whine. He finishes his milk without protest. There’s zero drama. He eats, smiles, and watches a comedy about birding.
I’m trying to justify the situation by telling myself he’s eating more when the movie is on (this is absolutely accurate), and that he doesn’t watch TV any other time during the day and I’m not using it as a babysitter, and he’s probably only seeing about 30 minutes of the movie total on most days.
Do I have a nagging guilt that I have somehow failed? That this has spiraled a tad out of control? Yes. And YES.
But the drama-free eating and the nearly spotless floors make it very difficult to stop.
Let’s keep this our little secret ok?