Good Parent, Stupid Kids?

We’ve been talking about Martin Luther King, Jr. in our house lately, and it reminded me of this post from 2012 when I tried to teach my kids about race while they were hungry. Always a mistake. In honor of MLK day, I once again give you The Story of the Eggs:

In my house hard-boiled eggs are made by at least the half-dozen. Each kid would eat boiled eggs until explosion or yolk-asphyxiation occurs, so I have to cut them off at three each. This morning I had a mix of white and brown eggs. As I put them in the pot, the fighting started.

“I want just white ones!”

“Me too!”

“Actually, I want brown ones.”

“Me too!”

(I know this sounds like agreement, but trust me, it’s fight seeds.)

I decide this is a good time for a lesson. A friend of mine did this with her kids, and from her story it was a meaningful revelation for all short people involved. I was about to embark on an early morning good parenting moment. Go me!

Once the eggs had boiled and cooled a bit in ice water, I began my fantastic parenting, holding a brown egg in one hand an a white one in the other:

“Are these the same or different?”

“Different!”

“How are they different?”

“They’re different colors.”

“Right. The shells are different colors. This shell is white, and this shell is brown. Are people sometimes different colors too?”

“No!”

“Uh, really? Aren’t they sometimes different colors?”

“No!”

“Um, for this to work, I need you to think about all the people you know. Do they all look the same?”

“No!”

“Right, people come in different colors like these eggs, right?”

“Right!”

“Whew. OK. So, do you think these eggs are the same or different on the inside?”

“Different!”

“The same!”

“I want the brown one!”

“No I want the brown one!”

“Just wait. We’re learning something first! Let’s see if these eggs are different or the same on the inside.”

I crack and peel the eggs. The kids are fighting over which color they want. I hold up two peeled, perfectly white eggs:

“So, are these the same or different on the inside?”

“Different!”

“I want the brown one!”

“Can I have some salt?”

“PAY ATTENTION! We’re learning here! Do these eggs look the same or different?”

The kids have no freaking idea what I want from them. They just want to give me an answer that would make me shut up and hand over the eggs.

“The same?”

“Yes! They are exactly the same on the inside even though one was white and one was brown on the outside. So, what does that tell us? Did we learn anything?”

“Can I have salt, Mama?”

“NO! You won’t get anything until you learn this lesson! Does the fact that this brown egg and this white egg look exactly the same on the inside tell us anything about people?”

“No!”

URG! Remember, one was white?? And one was brown??! And people are different colors too!? But on the inside the eggs are the same??? What do you think different color people are like on the inside?”

“Yucky!”

“Bloody!”

“They have hearts!”

“They have poop!”

The kids are now in hysterics. I’ve lost my audience, which I never really had to begin with. Fuck it. Just eat your eggs, kids. Thanks for the learning moment.

Good Parent, Stupid Kids

 

The 12 Days of Christmas Mom

Here’s my ultimate wish list from my true loves three*:

On the first day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the second day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the third day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the fourth day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

four Colin Firths**

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

colin firth

On the fifth day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

five golden rings***

four Colin Firths

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the sixth day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

six hours o’peaceful playing

five golden rings

four Colin Firths

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the seventh day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

seven coffees brimming

six hours o’peaceful playing

five golden rings

four Colin Firths

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the eighth day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

eight maids a dusting

seven coffees brimming

six hours o’peaceful playing

five golden rings

four Colin Firths

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the ninth day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

nine nights romancing

eight maids a dusting

seven coffees brimming

six hours o’peaceful playing

five golden rings

four Colin Firths

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the tenth day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

ten hours o’sleeping

nine nights romancing

eight maids a dusting

seven coffees brimming

six hours o’peaceful playing

five golden rings

four Colin Firths

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

eleven days no griping

ten hours o’sleeping

nine nights romancing

eight maids a dusting

seven coffees brimming

six hours o’peaceful playing

five golden rings

four Colin Firths

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas

my true loves gave to me

twelve blog posts cunning

eleven days no griping

ten hours o’sleeping

nine nights romancing

eight maids a dusting

seven coffees brimming

six hours o’peaceful playing

five golden rings

four Colin Firths

three French wines

two kids I’m proud of

and a housekeeper who arrives each day at three.

 

* My husband and my kids. Nothing scandalous.

** What? I want four of him.

*** The original got this one right.


Originally published December 2012. 

Embarrassment

When I was a kid my parents embarrassed me, constantly and on purpose. I grew up believing that it was the parents’ right, nay job, to embarrass their offspring. So now that I’m a parent, it’s my job too, right? Well, it turns out I’m still learning that life isn’t fair, because I’m still the one being embarrassed. This time by my offspring – my evil genius Luke.

He’s embarrassed me in so many ways. Opening public bathroom doors when I’m, well, not ready. Talking about indelicate topics in front of other people (“My nipples are small, and so are daddy’s, but mommy’s are big!”) Or, my favorite, throwing an epic tantrum at age 3 because I would not buy him a training bra. That’s right. A training bra.

Here’s the scene: Target, tween girl section. A huge display of training bras in a myriad of attractive pastels. Think: a wall of Easter eggs. But soft and silky, lightly padded (wtf?) and smooth. Luke heaven. He wanted one. Bad.

He walked up to the display wall as if in a trance. Arms outstretched. He touched every bra he could reach. “They’re so soft and pretty. Can I have one, Mommy? Pleeeeaaaaaase??” I hear some snickering from somewhere behind me. “No, Luke, I’m sorry, you can’t have one of those. Those are training bras and they’re for big girls, not 3-year-old boys.”

Fast forward about 8 seconds. Luke is now on the floor screaming and kicking everything in sight. This was not your average tantrum; this one was turned up to eleven. Between the shrieks and sobs he shouted the following things:

“I want a training bra!”

“I am a big girl!”

“I don’t like you, Mommy!”

“Training bra!”

“Training braaaaaaaaa!”

I now have the attention of all Target shoppers. Most think it’s pretty hilarious, and really, I do too. I certainly would have enjoyed myself if this were someone else’s kid. But he was mine and I was expected to take him back home with me.

It’s OK though. I have a plan. I will win this one in the end. With just a little patience, I will have the last laugh. See, I’m storing this memory for future use. It’s a weapon. My embarrassment at the time will be nothing compared to his when I feel the time is right to retell this story. To a group of his friends? To his girlfriend? His future in-laws? All the guests at his wedding? Time will tell when it will come back out. It all depends on how well Luke treats me from here on out.

At last! I will have the last laugh! Revenge will be mine! Bwahahahahahahahahaha!

 

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