We're introducing a series here at mom.me called "7 Parenting Mistakes I Made This Week." Our intrepid bloggers are being brutally honest, and allowing us to laugh, or cry, along with what went down in parenting this week. Enjoy!
Last week was spring break at our house, which apparently means it's also a break for every single rule. Here's where I messed it up, in a big way.
1. Sure, have a meal of high fructose corn syrup.
We always avoid unhealthy, fat and sugar laden foods. You know, unless we are on a seven-hour road trip and we're stopping at McDonald's and it's going to be a VERY UNHAPPY MEAL if you don't get to have Sprite.
2. Breaking my promise to never make "special" meals for kids
That same road trip to see family in Berkeley where goat cheese is used as frequently as high fructose corn syrup at truck stops, and if I don't make some mac & cheese my kids will starve to death. Or at least be really cranky and only eat bread for a week.
3. Using TV as a babysitter
This grand parenting moment went down as we were visiting the 88-year-old great aunt. We were trying to have a conversation at the breakfast table, but she refused to put in her hearing aids and simply cannot hear anything with the two kids circling us fake shooting each other. In those circumstances, Nickelodeon sounds great!
And why not get out in the chilly air with a wet head, too?
4. Playing fast and loose with bedtime
Bedtime is 8:30 on the dot. Unless you are in Northern California and you get offered a chance to get in a hot tub at 8:30 p.m. ... then go for it. And why not get out in the chilly air with a wet head, too?
5. Oops, that paint all over my kid is totally toxic.
Say your kid has his own $50 gift card to an art store, and the only color blue marker that will make his hand puppet exactly the way he envisions it is made by a Japanese company with no sense of smell or regulations over fumes. Then yes, you can buy it, but you have to use it outside.
This one is really, really, really bad. I KNOW. But it was parking lot traffic and I just had to respond to one life-changing e-mail. P.S. My life stayed the same.
7. Disrespecting the elders
I completely undid that whole "respect your elders" lesson when I lost patience with grandma (which I know they can hear) because she is refusing to get help despite the fact that she lives alone and has early stages of Alzheimer's and refuses to get me a list for her 80th birthday party. At the same time, she insists that I sell my house immediately because, "After all, I still know how to close a deal and mortgage rates are at an all-time low, and God knows you can't live in that tiny house forever with the boys." Caveat—kids, if I ever do any of the above, you actually do have my permission to yell at me a little. Or a lot if I refuse to put in my hearing aids.