Before I had children, I had a lengthy mental list of things I would never do as a parent. My non-nos included things such as a never letting my children teethe on car keys, chew gum or sit on the floor in restaurants (gross, classless and impolite, in no particular order.) Needless to say, I’ve broken every single one of those self-imposed rules, and it’s only getting worse by the day.
Previous to having children, I thought a toddler with a Mohawk was as trashy as it gets. Now that I have my own little two year old, I think it looks adorable. Ben spent today at the mall looking like a pint sized delinquent.
I used to judge parents who made their children special meals to eat, rather than dining on what the grown ups were. Now, I’ll do just about anything to get dinner into them. Ravioli, grilled cheese, lasagna, chicken fingers and macaroni get rotated throughout the week. Kraft Mac & Cheese used to be epitome of all things bad, served up in a bowl. Now, when I cook my children delicious, homemade macaroni and cheese, they whine and ask for the “real” one in the blue box.
Parents who let their children dress themselves in clashing outfits they picked themselves used to be lazy and negligent. Now, they (I) are instilling creativity and responsibility. Princess dress to school? Fine. Mismatched shoes? Whatever. Character shirts used to make me cringe. Now, much to my dismay, we have Dora, Diego and Scooby Doo. Before, playing outside naked would have been totally inappropriate, Now, if it passes the time, it’s not only acceptable, but genius.
I grew up resenting having a camera shoved in my face at all times. Most of my childhood pictures contain me rolling my eyes at father. He was so annoying about it–why did he have to document everything? I swore I’d never subject my own offspring to such atrocities. Now, I’ll venture to say I’m even worse than he ever was. Want to know what Lily’s first phrase was? “No cheese, Mommy!” When my dad visits, I challenge him with getting the perfect shot of all three. I barely let him put the lens down the entire time. How did this happen?
I’ve learned, in the past four and a half years, never to say never where my children are involved. These little things are just not worth the fight, especially at six o’clock in the morning. I’ll leave the promises and judgment to the next generation of parents to be. Soon enough, they’ll be breaking all of their own self imposed rules as well. I think it’s a rite of parenthood passage. But please, please shoot me if I ever employ a child-leash or dress Lily in a skimpy bikini. That is where this mommy draws the line. And I really mean that.