Saturday, May 24, 2008

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN

When you become a parent, you sit awash with the fragrance of baby powder and the feel of soft, puffy baby feet unaware of what the future holds. But you're sure it will be sunshine and rainbows and you will have the happiest child in the world for you will love them and teach them well.

Then they get feet. Those lovely little baby feet become wheels. The bases upon which they will explore a new world, a few feet off the ground, where candy and houseplants and other fascinations live. You scold gently as they test the waters of defiance then, after countless tender admonishments, you drop your voice an octave or two and say "no". Those sweet baby lips pinch into a pout then....tear flow. Oh my God, what have I done? She hates me now. You remind yourself that it was for her own good but it still hurts to have caused your baby to cry.

The toddler years fly by with more scolds and tears. Teaching them that they must hold your hand to cross the street, explaining how much danger awaits until they learn to look both ways. As they enter their school years, you have less control over their daily lives and can only hope the lessons you've taught thus far will stay with them and keep them safe. Look both ways. Don't stand on folding chairs. Don't stand on chairs with wheels. Don't run with scissors. Don't. Don't. Don't.

There are ups and downs and it seems that the older they get, the more extreme the highs and lows. Until a day comes when you don't think you're getting through. As the judge, you meet out punishments then, fearing that in your anger you were harsh and they probably got the point, you allow furloughs. But the furloughs give way to the prisoner taking incarceration too lightly. Finally, you have to find something, an event, an occasion that must be taken away in order to get your point across. You hand down the decree. There is horror. There is devastation. You've made your point. They finally get it. Why don't I feel the power they think I enjoy? Why doesn't it feel better? Why didn't someone tell me parenting was this hard?!

I leave you with timely addition to the morning paper:

2 comments:

Kym said...

You said that really well. I hate being the mean authority figure.

Monica... Media Professional said...

Is that, by any chance, a photo of my youngest sister? Wow.... How come they don't make fuzzy things like that for adults?