Cutting Corners

There are some parents who are really on top of things. I am not one of them.

I do what I can, but I admit, sometimes I don’t feel like suiting up. It’s not so much laziness as it is choice. My choice is to let some stuff go. I cut corners. Not on everything, but some things. Just thinking about adding more items to my “To Do List” or calling my kids out on every little thing makes me tired. Here and there, something has to give. Following is a list of some of the things that slide.

Item #1: Grammar
Last I heard, Harvard isn’t taking applications for 4 year olds, so I’m not all that concerned about correcting my daughter’s grammar. It will get acknowledged as she gets older because nothing says a future of minimum wage like bad grammar, but for now when my daughter boasts: “I taked it with me, mommy” or “Is this upside down or upside right?” I smile. Soon enough, she’ll start picking up on the rules and usage of language, and she’ll figure out how everything fits, and even though I may be smiling now, knowing that she won’t always talk like this actually makes me very sad.

Item #2: Clothes
I don’t really know what’s going on in homes with boys because I have two girls, but I imagine the struggle with clothes is pretty much the same depending on mood. The mood of the parent and the mood of the child. I have one daughter who is 20 months old and she couldn’t care less what she wears. She doesn’t care because she is still clueless. That will change and I will cry, but for now I have full creative control and I love it. I LOVE CLOTHES. My other kid, the one who is almost 4 years old, cares. And she cares a lot. I didn’t relinquish control unto her, she took it. I knew the day would come, but I’m still not completely over it. Because I love clothes, and I still feel the need to be a part of each outfit, I have made Sweet Pea meet me halfway. When it’s time to get dressed, we go into the closet and we build an outfit together. Quality time. I always start the same way: “What are you in the mood for: Skirt, dress, jeans, stretchies…?” and we go from there. I can’t say that she didn’t go to school the other day with a long skirt and pink shoes–SHOES THAT YOU WEAR IN THE WATER–but I’m OK with that. I’m not going to make myself crazy because she leaves the house looking like Punky Brewster. She carries it well and I love that she has her own sense of style. I wish her well and hope that she finds some puddles to walk through.

Item #3: Food
The food thing is really the only one I have ever second guessed myself on, but that didn’t last long. I have friends who are really good about what they feed their kids. They’re giving them all these crazy, exotic foods while I’m proud of myself for thawing a bag of broccoli and carrots and putting them out with some ranch dressing. I entertained the idea of pureeing food and being creative, but it’s not happening. I’m pretty conscious about a plate stacked with something from all four food groups and I’m all about “No dessert until your veggies are gone,” (or mostly gone) but that’s pretty much all you‘re getting with this mommy. I’m doing what my mom did, and although my kids might not turn out any better than me, I figure they can’t turn out any worse.

Item #4: Swear Words
My daughter, Sweet Pea, is the one who is almost 4 years old. Sometimes she throws down a swear word. It doesn’t bother me so I don‘t get in her face about it. She’s not one to walk into a room, pants sagging, hand held high: “What up, Mother F**ker?“ but every once in a while she might drop an: “Oh $h*t.” For some, it’s a huge deal. For me, it’s not. First of all, it’s funny when little kids swear. It is. Second of all, it just doesn’t matter right now. They’re little kids. It will matter one day and when that time comes, I’ll be on it, but for now–WHO CARES?

The kid stuff goes by so fast. We have such a short window for the “bad” stuff to be funny. It just doesn’t seem worth it to be all up in their faces about every little thing. Eventually I will have to listen to my husband and stop playing Eminem (probably not though) or I’ll have to get the parental advisory edition (gag), but for not now I hit the mute button during the bad words and most of the time I make it. Sometimes I don’t. It’s not my fault though–I’m probably half way up on a curb somewhere trying to cut a corner saying something like “Damn, who the hell put that there?”


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