Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Like this Lady!

I don't know anything about Dr. Laura Markham, but on the Aha! Parenting website, she poses the question "What's Wrong With Permissive Parenting?", then she goes on to answer that question with a very thorough list of exactly what is wrong with it.

She states that "most good parents hate the idea of causing their child grief.  They don’t want to incite a tantrum, and they certainly don’t want their child to be angry at them". This is certainly true, but sometimes you just have to get over it. I hate tantrums and whining and arguing, but I love my kiddo too much to give into to all of her wishes. I've seen rotten kids, and I don't want one.

The second item on her list is the one that resonates the most with me--giving in to your kids at the expense of someone else. One of Markham's examples is fellow diners at a restaurant, but it could apply to just about any situation.

A few weeks ago I was at a friend's pool and some of us were climbing up the steps to the water slide. One boy, about 10 years old, pushed past me and sat down at the top of the slide. The lifeguard, who was right there, said nothing, so I said, "Seriously? You are going to cut in front of me? That's not cool". (I know better than to touch someone else's kid.) He looked slightly sheepish, said "sorry"...and went down the slide. Then, his friend, about the same age, tried to push past me. I blocked him and told him to go to the end of the line. I even pointed to the end of the line, just in case his problem was poor eyesight rather than a lack of manners.  And the lifeguard? Still doing nothing, but this kid went to the back of the line. The rest of my pool time was fun and without incident, but I spent way too much time stewing about being the only one to point out those kids' unacceptable behavior. Yes, some people (most people?) don't want to be bothered, but, like I said above, get over it! Especially when it's your own kid.

As I said, that one item stood out the most with me, but I agree with Dr. Markham's entire list. I will have to continue my commentary in my next post. Read the entire article here:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Snack TIme

There hasn't been any need for me to be mean today, but I feel it coming on. The kiddo asked for an apple from our plentiful supply (CSAs rock!) and wouldn't relent. She was hungry. Since she was asking for a healthy snack, I couldn't exactly say 'no', except....we have to use up these apples before the next delivery. And, we are having leftovers for dinner tonight and I have to fill in the gaps, so I had planned on fried apples (a somewhat sweet side dish or a not-too-sweet dessert).

I expressed my concerns to the kiddo but she really wanted the apple. Then, I issued my ultimatum: she could eat an apple for a snack, but she wouldn't be able to have any of the fried apples. We will be having a bit of cantaloup as well, so it's not like she will be that deprived, but honestly, she eats so much fruit, I don't want her to have, uh, bathroom issues.

Though there was absolutely no argument when I explained the terms and conditions of the apple-snack--really, there was no sound other than crunching--I'm expecting cries of "it's not fair!" when dinner is served and there's an empty spot on the kiddo's plate.

For me it's a no-brainer: what's worse--a bit of whining and complaining and begging and pleading and bargaining, or a tummy ache and the aforementioned issues?

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Kid Needs a Mean Mommy

I am sooo glad that school has started! Not because I'm happy to see the kiddo go (I'm so proud of her, but I miss her during the day), but because I'm happy to see the neighbor's grandson go. Or rather, not go to the neighbors' house every day. He and my kiddo would talk and play through the fence, but his behavior was unacceptable--and it brought out the mean mommy in me.

First, he told the kiddo that nobody liked her. She has tons of friends and cousins who adore her, but in that instant she doubted everything. Then, another time, he talked her into climbing over the fence, but when she realized that she was going to get in tons of trouble, she started to climb back over...and he yanked on her leg to stop her, resulting in a scratch. Then he had the nerve to say "I hate you"!

So, I was believing my mom's advice, telling myself that he just liked the kiddo and wanted attention. Until he tried to hit her over the head with a hammer. I yelled at him and told him that the kiddo would not be playing with him anymore because he is not nice. That didn't stop him from talking to her, though, and later he said that the next time he saw her, he was going to kill her. I posted on my personal FB page my concerns about his behavior, and the overwhelming response was that he is a serial killer in the making.

The last incident, though, really made me mad. I went outside and started yelling for the punk to come to the fence. He ran and hid. So his grandmother and I had a talk about his threats and violent words, and she told me that the kid has anger issues. Really??

I hope that nobody reading this has a mean (or rotten psycho) kid, but hypothetically speaking, would you be mad at me for yelling at your kid if he or she did something rotten?

Friday, August 24, 2012


So, the admin/faculty/staff at the kiddo's school must think I'm mean (or crazy). We live in the 'burbs and the school is within walking distance, so we walk. Since she is in kindergarten, I wouldn't dream of letting her walk by herself, even though I would be able to see her almost the entire way. Actually, when I was a kid, my walk to the bus stop was almost the same distance as the walk from our house to the school! It takes us 4 minutes to walk there. Since our house would be the last stop, she would be on the bus for probably under a minute, so, really, what would she be missing out on? But while other parents are giving me the "good for you!" thumbs up approval, some people are acting like I am messing up the school's entire system and scarring my child for life. Really, with all the concerns about childhood obesity, you would think they would be thrilled that the kiddo is getting some extra exercise.

The kiddo herself asked (once) if she could ride the bus every day, so that she could see her friends. For all of that one extra minute. But when she realized that she could beat the bus to our house, and most likely be the very first kid to get home from school, she was all for it.

As for me, it's a serious commitment to get her to school on time and to be there waiting when she comes out the door, but it's worth it. Her daddy and I get to spend 4 extra minutes of quality time with her in the morning, and I get her all to myself in those 4 minutes when she's bubbling about her great day at school. So when she complains that her "legs hurt from all this walking", I suggest that she lay down and rest, not play outside, and go to bed early, since she's sooo tired. But I'm just mean that way.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Hi, there!
I'm a mean mommy--at least, that's my kiddo's opinion half the time. She is 5 and I do things and make her do things that are totally unreasonable! I brush her curly hair! I make her pick up her toys! I don't let her watch TV all day or eat tons of candy! Clearly,  I take my job seriously. She is either going to be a total rebel or join the Army and become a drill sergeant. As long as she is happy, healthy, kind, and responsible, my "meanness" will have served a purpose.