Monday, September 28, 2009

Why I Don't Want Danyo Doing My PR

I was telling my cousin the other day, that as much as I know it's a dumb way to think, I can't help falling into the trap of believing my kids are a walking advertisement for me and my parenting. I'd say "us and our parenting" but memories of J laughing uncontrollably at Avee when she stole a beanbag by way of her undies comes to mind....

My cousin, who knows me very well said, "I'm really surprised, I wouldn't have thought you would be that way."

Sometimes I can get my head clear, and just let it go. But other times I find myself harping on Bo incessantly or mortified when Avee loudly exclaims her love of my armpits. Well, smelling them. See, now that didn't make it any better.

Every finger up the nose, every dirty fingernail, every loudly exclaimed, "Oh cwap!", every blank stare of incomprehension, every unreturned library book, every squirmy child in church....is like a C- or even a D on my report card of life.

But why? These kids CAME this way! I had no idea how much of a concerted effort it took to keep kids from being disgusting, socially inappropriate, weirdos. I thought that kind of stuff was learned behavior. Turns out, being normal is learned. Who knew?

It is one of my goals to let go of this societal or self-imposed pressure to present perfection. It's almost laughable that I even have this is as a goal. For myself, personally, I feel no such pressure---but when it comes to my kids, I want them to be a walking neon sign touting my exemplary parenting.

With that said:

Danyo just may be the death of me.

Bo was born smiling and used to crain his neck, reach his body in unnatural ways to make eye contact and smile at people. He LOVED people. Still does. Yesterday at the church potluck he sat a table away from us, chatting away with all the kids from one family, and another adult in a different family. He didn't want us, need us, and was in heaven surrounded by lots of people.

Avee has spent the better portion of her life, staring boldy at people, silently daring them to tell her how cute she is. Yesterday she was doing an Avee-version of a handstand. During one of them, her elbows must have given out because she faceplanted. I saw the whole thing and while I kept my expression the same, I was fully prepared to comfort her wounded pride and possibly, nose. She sprung up, swung around to anyone who might have seen and declared, "That was AWESOME, only I can do that!" She, aware of the public, wants to please them.

Then there's Little D. When he suspects someone might address him or even look at him, he snarls. The other day he stood at the door like a guard dog and growled at the UPS man for putting his hands inside our house to hand me a package. At the store he points at people menacingly and yells, "NO! STOP!" and a few other unintelligible things that I'm certain are expletives.

Last night I told him to be quiet and lay down. He barked, "Ut up!"

We have a rule in our house. It's an unspoken one, but it's there. The rule is, you have to be smarter or more well-spoken than the person you are bossing around.

He broke that rule. Whatsmore, we don't say shut up. Really, ever. I suspect Avee mutters it in defiance when sent to her room, and that's where he's learned it.

When I didn't "ut up" right away, and insisted that he lay down, he scrambled for his bottle of water and aimed the top of it at me like a gun. Um, what?!

In the privacy of our own home, I have a hard time keeping a straight face. This kid still has chubby cheeks. He can say about 8 words clearly. He's mastered the little puppy dog look with his eyes. He's a little small for his age. The combination is all very entertaining for me.

But put this naughty little cherub out in public, and I'll be mortified.

It doesn't help that he is fascinated with trucks, has the classic impediment when saying "truck" and loves to yell every time he sees one.

Between that and Avee's mispronunciation of the word fog, I think Bo's convinced we're all going to hell (or the skills room).

16 comments:

Adolescent Family said...

First! :)

Adolescent Family said...

I think your pretty funny, but 'skills room' just sent me into hysterics! :D

MommyJ said...

Oh dear. Henry has the same impediment when it comes trucks. Oh, so embarrassing. I want to meet Danyo. And I can't believe Avee's social awareness. Only I can do that. ha!

Okierivermama said...

some days our kids are less an advertisement for our stellar parenting and more an advertisement of our tremendous self control. they are still alive and there are days i am pretty sure thats more than they deserve....like the day i found the 6 year old showing the baby to color on the wall....with an explanation that though the babe could not begin to understand the 6 y/o most definitely KNEW better
steff

Heffalump said...

I think that each day that my kids are ALIVE is some kind of an endorsement for my parenting skills...
Is there a difference between hell and the skills room?

Carrot Jello said...

Danyo's twin brother lives at my house.
Come pick him up.

Cindy said...

I feel the same way about Parker...we should talk. I don't know what to do with him sometimes....

I miss telling Avee how pretty her dress looks every sunday in church. Her face just lights up...she makes me laugh!!

Klin said...

Danyo is not antisocial. He makes friends with the kitties and takes M&M's from a certain strange lady you know ;)

Let me tell you a story about speech impediments. Well that classic one you mentioned anyway. MY Monkey Wrench had that when singing "where is thumkin" in church nursery. NURSERY!!!! I could never help him fix it because to this day when I think of it I am literally LMBO and nearly ROFL. I kid you not! YOu don't believe me? You just remember to ask in 2 weeks when I meet you at the kid museum that I haven't emailed you back about because I only remember such things when I am driving. :P

S said...

I wanna go to the kids museum! Finally you have a kid with your favorite impediment:)

Sarah Tilley said...

hee, that's so funny. i have the same hangup with parenting henry. somebody once told me you have to disconnect your ego from your kid's performance. although i think that's a great idea it still doesn't change the fact that sometimes i don't even know what the heck i'm doing and everyone in the world knows it because my kid is running amok. then i just have to laugh and say to myself, who cares? as long as he's still alive, clean, and fed. nobody else in the world could do a better job with this kid. then i feel okay.

Yvonne said...

I don't think you're alone in your feelings about parenting and "your report card of life". I remember teaching a couple of young men in school who were INCREDIBLE and the mom said to me, "Believe me it has absolutely nothing to do with anything we did" and I realized MAYBE NOT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, but it isn't about us.

Love Avee's "only I can do that" ; )

Sherry said...

greta used to make a loud sound that was like a snort and a quack put together... but only to people she decided that she liked

Sister Pottymouth said...

SO awesome. J Boo has that speech impediment when she says 'frog.' It's adorable. She had our Home Teachers in stitches a week ago because she wouldn't stop saying it.

Charlotte said...

Matthew has that same problem with truck. Being the good parents we are, we encourage him to say it as often as possible for our own enjoyment.

he learned shut up from his older sister, Matthew learned "butt face" (One we quickly stomped out of existence in our home, but I had to admit it was a little funny to see my barely talking 2 year old say it).

Andrea said...

Thanks for the laughs.

Code Yellow Mom said...

Ummm...Danyo sounds a LOT like my first two. And I thought they were normal. :) I had to teach them to be a better kind of social normal. We're still working on it. Then there's Charlie...Perhaps you and I got our third children mixed up?! Because it is a total mystery for D and I to have a pleasant, people person. But sorry, no trade-backs! ;)

Avee's handstand response is the best thing ever.

And the first part of this post is so well-put. I wish I didn't think all the time that people were looking at my kids and seeing all my parental flaws. Worse, I wish I wasn't looking at other people's kids and sizing up their parental flaws...I'm getting better the longer I have kids, but sheesh...it's a battle both ways.