I try very hard to be a good parent.
But it is just so difficult sometimes.
I would like to share with you some of my mistakes so that maybe you won't make them yourself.
When Amber was a baby she learned to walk at a very early age.
She was only around 10 months old.
Anyone who has children knows that this is an exciting but also an annoying time.
The reason it is annoying is because now you have to chase this little bugger all over the place.
And they are fast!
As a young single mother, Amber and I lived at home with my parents and some of my siblings.
My brothers Billy and Mark along with myself got tired of chasing Amber all over the place.
We were tired from work and we just wanted to sit down for a second and watch some television.
I am not sure which one of us discovered her fear.
Or who decided to use that fear against her......I am voting Mark.
But I took her fear of the Koosh ball.........
In case you aren't familiar a Koosh ball is a rubber ball that has been kind of frayed so it has all of these tentacle type of arms.
The Koosh ball in Amber's case was red and it had a hard plastic face and hands also protruding from its rubber tentacle body.
So I took that fear and we used it.
We would place the Koosh in the hallway to prevent her from leaving the living room.
We would place the Koosh at the bottom of the steps so she wouldn't try to climb the steps......a toddlers favorite thing to do.
We would put that Koosh on anything we didn't want her to touch, move or look at.
It was great!
I mean it was terrible lazy parenting.
It made my life easier but......It traumatized her for life.
We recently saw one in a store and Amber still had the same reaction after all of these years.
My other example is the annual summertime showing of the movie Jaws.
When I go to the beach I like to sit back and relax.
Catch some rays, read a good book, people watch and talk to my sisters.
Having children ruins this experience completely especially if they want to go in the water.
It's fine if they are content digging in the sand under the umbrella but when they want to go down by the water you have to get up.
And stand down there.
So my solution was to show the movie Jaws at the beginning of the summer.
It helps when they are young if you throw in that the movie was shot at (insert your beach location)
The movie must be shown every year.
Children very easily forget so it needs to be fresh in their minds.
Treat it as a serious safety film.
Not a this is a cool movie.
More like a public service announcement.
Amber always had a tendency to be a little bit of a chicken......I mean she was afraid of a red rubber ball.
The boy on the other hand liked the movie from the very first viewing.
He thought sharks were awesome.
He wanted a pet shark.
He wanted to watch shark week and go to the aquarium to see the sharks.
So in order to break him
I took him to the water.
As he splashed and jumped over waves.
His back to the vast sea his face happily facing me.
I suddenly made an Oh my God face and pointed.
He flew to my side and I was like oh never mind I just thought I saw a shark fin.
He was done after that.
Happy to bury himself in the sand and build a nice sandcastle.
Relaxing day at the beach....yes guaranteed
but terrible parenting.
One last example.
For I fear if I give you too many you may turn me in to social services.
The Pinky Promise
The pinky promise is a sweet innocent thing.
You hook your pinky to someone else and say "pinky promise"
its very sweet.
My twist to this is that I told my children that if you break a pinky promise an evil spirit will come in the night and steal your mother's soul.
She will live for all eternity knowing that you are the one who caused her torment.
So for instance.
I promise I won't do (insert whatever here)
When your child knows that the promise they are making is not something they plan to keep they will retract the promise.
You pinky will sit hooked in the air until they revise the promise to something more reasonable.
The boy is especially sensitive to the pinky promise.
He is a Mama's boy and would never send his mother to torment over a broken promise.
The minute the words pinky promise escape my lips he is backing away.
Stammering and coming up with a new plan or promise.
This helps when you really want them to do something.
Mom: I will let you play your video game if you promise to clean your room after.
Kid: Ok Mom I promise
Mom: Pinky Promise?
At this point you can almost see them thinking.....Shit she got me again.
Please do not try any of these at home.
They are terrible
and I just wanted to confess that I am not a perfect parent.
I am currently reading: Summerland