Posts Tagged ‘Parenting
If you don’t know what twerking is yet, I’ll explain it one more time. To “twerk”, as the kids say, is not your average Jennifer Gray/Patrick Swayze dirty dancing. In fact, it makes their bump and grind look like the foxtrot. I was in Oklahoma last year hanging out with my cousins at a rodeo bar (yeah, I know it’s cliché but when in OK City, it’s A-Ok to go full-on cowgirl.) I was beyond perplexed when I realized I brought my red leather cowboy boots down hard on some poor girl’s fingers on the dance floor. What were her fingers doing on said dance floor, you might ask? Twerking. Imagine, if you can, what kind of position a girl must be in to have her hands on the floor, ass in the air, gyrating around like an acrobat on LSD. It’s not pretty. In fact, it’s pretty ugly. I can tell you that me and the 5 other people I was with had a great time discussing and laughing (as was the guy she was twerking on, btw.) No one thinks this is sexy. It’s a big joke. It’s as if the guys in the room (not men) are all waiting to see who they can fool into trying this “move” which is nothing more than a scene from a XXX movie.
Last August my parents gifted Mr. Fox and me with A Weekend To Remember for our eleventh anniversary. You can imagine our reactions were very different.
Me: “Cool! Two days with no kids!”
Him: “Crap. If this is one of those things where I have to hold hands with strangers and share my feelings I’ll hurt someone.”
A quick Google search assured him there would be no group sharing. It was a simple seminar with no small groups or embarrassing confessions. Instead we would listen to experts talk about topics we should be interested in like getting along, loving more, and parenting better; and then we could go out on the town in lovely Schaumburg, Illinois, and enjoy all the fabulous restaurants, of which there are many. None of this made Mr. Fox any more at ease. His jaw clenched so tight for the car ride out there I could see a vein throbbing in his cheek which, after eleven years, I have identified as a neon sign that says: “Don’t speak.” He was probably plotting his exit strategy.
Happily, it was nothing like he expected and we found ourselves laughing from the first minute it started. The entertaining speakers overflowed with advice we’d never heard before. Not only that, but it had been about five years since we had looked each other in the eyeballs without interruption. Was he always this funny? Have his eyes always been that blue? It was almost as if we had a chance to remember each other. Daily life with little kids is so fast and hectic that it is very easy to lose each other in referee mode. It’s pure survival.
I do not claim to know anything other than what I’ve experienced. Each child is different from the next and requires a unique approach. This makes a mother’s job much like guessing how many jellybeans sit in a jar.
There’s no guarantee of reward for your efforts. Further, any criticism stings like a knife in the heart — one of the most difficult parts of motherhood. Anyone with a disapproving mother-in-law or even a stranger on a mommy chat board can relate. It is not the intention, therefore, of this article to pick on mothers and their choices (especially methods that work for them) but to ask the beleaguered and exhausted, much like Dr. Phil would, “how’s it workin’ out for ya?”
Like shoes, methods for raising kids come in and out of fashion and each generation adopts its own style. Mine, Generation X, has embraced Attachment Parenting with engaged mothers (a record number stay at home) hyper-focused on positive discipline, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, nursing, and many other child-centered theories. I’ve practiced many of the Attachment Parenting principles and find most of them wonderful. However, certain aspects of this child-rearing philosophy are not always good for families and can result in unhappy moms, too much mommy-guilt and stress, not enough sleep, and husband-neglect. (All of which I am guilty.) The following are some of the roadblocks that keep me from completely embracing my generation’s idea of good parenting.
First, did you grow another appendage or is that a baby under your shirt?
A few days ago, I took my kids to one of those places with giant inflatable slides that sane people avoid. My best friend was in town for her once-a-year visit home and in order to show the kids a “good time” took them to inflatable kid heaven, otherwise known as the Jump Zone.
It’s always a mistake, with the noise level and the creeping panic attacks (“Is my kid ever going to come out of there and if not, will I fit because I didn’t squeeze into my Spanx today?”) This time was no exception. I had a truth-moment that will be forever etched on my soul that announced over the loudspeaker in my brain, “Society is doomed. Most people are idiots.” My father says he came to this conclusion many years ago and there’s no big news in it. I always held out hope that the majority of the idiots were the ones who landed on the news for tattooing their ex with depictions of excrement or on the Maury Povich show with a 200 pound eight-year-old. Most people, I thought, are your neighbors who are sane, decent folks. Not so! It turns out the world is littered with mopes and I have proof.