Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is it Bad that I Pushed Our Kids Down the Hill?

Wife:  You know, I used to be worried that I was a bad mother.
Me:  Really?  Hmmmm.  Why?
Wife:  What do you mean by "why"?
Me:  Oh nothing, I just think it would be helpful if you could narrow down the choices as to WHY you were thinking you were a bad mother.
Wife: ...
Me:  Is it the fact that our 4 year old called your a "FireCracker" because of your temper?
Wife:  No.
Me:  Oh, um, was it the fact that you lost our 1st born?
Wife:  No.
Me:  ... and when they found him, he was eating Urinal Cakes out of the toilet in the church.
Wife:  No.
Me:  ... and they had to rush him to emergency?
Wife:  No.
Me:  Hmmm.....  *pause*  Oh!  Is it the time that you let him eat over a cup of sand out of the sand box?  And we had to rush him to Emergency and have his stomach X-Rayed?
Wife:  No.
Me:  Hmmmm... see, I need some help here.
Wife:  Oh, you are going to need A LOT of help REAL SOON for SURE.
Me:  Was it the ti...
Wife:  How about you stop talking now.  For the love of PETE, what did I do to deserve this...
Me:  ... me that you just tossed them into the pool because you thought they didn't want to learn how to swim?

One of many... many... swimming lessons
Wife:  No, the reason I thought I was maybe a bad mother was because I pushed our kids down the hill.
Me:  Un-huh... ummmm... which time?  When the refused to go tobogganing because they were scared of the hill so you decided to just push them down without their consent?

K Crashing into a tree while sledding
Wife:  No.
Me:  Oh, cuz that would have been a good time to think you were a bad mother.  I don't think D will ever walk right again.
Wife:  No, the time I pushed them down the hill when they refused to learn to ride their bike!
Me:  Oh right!  That.  Really?  I mean, you've done much worse than that.  There are many other things you should feel bad abou...
Wife:  Shut it.  Look, it was 3 years!  They refused to learn! The boys had no initiative to learn.  I had no choice.  So yes, I took them to the top of a hill and pushed them down on the bike... thinking the speed would help them stay up!
Me:  But, it didn't.  All the speed did was help them hit the ground faster... and harder.
Wife:  But I DIDN'T have to do that with Gemma!  She taught herself how to ride her bike in 1 day!  She taught herself to be potty trained.  And I'm pretty sure that Ping is going to be the same!  She is fearless!  It was just the boys I had to push.

D, before being pushed down the hill

K, enjoying his ride
Me:  Ummmm... okay, so... Because you didn't have to push Gemma down the hill and almost kill her, that means the boys were at fault that you were absolved from any responsibility in injuring your children...
Wife:  Yes.  It makes perfect sense.  If the boys had a little more initiative, then I wouldn't have had to push them!
Me:  I think when parents talk about "pushing" their children, they mean it metaphorically.  You know, not... literally.
Wife:  30 HOURS OF LABOUR!!!  I know a thing or two about pushing.

Children.  What can you do?  I find parenting so very entertaining.  You think you just get it all figured out and then, WHAM!  You don't.  Each child is a unique experience and no two children are the same (even siblings can be so very different).  The way they see things, respond to discipline, praise, motivation, etc, are all different.  And even if you are only dealing with one child, you still won't ever have it figured out because at each stage of their development, it seems that all the rules you have figured out over the last 5 years are tossed out, and you start again from scratch!  Yes Teen-Years, I'm looking at you!

I also think it is somewhat re-assuring that we can be pretty inadequate parents at time, and yet, somehow... the children can turn out OK.  :-)  I am also glad that eating Urinal Cakes isn't going to kill you, just leave your insides "minty fresh"  according to the Poison Control Center.

I know I've been a parent for over 12 years now... and goodness knows... I'm still figuring it out... or at least trying to.

I'm still enjoying the "figuring out" of my children, and ways I can be a better father.

... cuz goodness knows, I've given up on figuring out the wife.

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