Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Favorite "Before I Became One" Fantasy

As the parent of a toddler I'm continuously shocked by my misconceptions of what kind of parent I was going to be back when I was yet to have one. It's something we all go through when we start thinking about kids. I remember seeing a parent lose control once at a retail store and thinking "If that was my kid there would be none of that. No sir my child will know who the boss is" Which didn't turn out to be too far from the truth, because let's face it we both know he's the boss. I'd visit friends with children and look around in amazement at the warehouse of toys that dared to take over their entire home. Again I'd say, "My child will know the joys of playing outside. Forget video games and personal DVD players. My child will like to read and will be able to carry on an actual conversation without referring to Pokeman or Yugi-o" Two years later Blue and Steve seem to be on an endless hunt for the latest clue and it's a wonder the wonder pets ever get turned off.

My favorite "before I became one" fantasy revolves around dinner. When you're married without children dinnertime rarely ends in somebody crying, never is the scene of a crouton-throwing contest, and typically only one set of silverware is needed per person . Nowadays I find myself wondering if we should stop by that "Clown" place on the way to where the rest of us plan to eat because for some reason clowns make better chicken tenders than those so called professionally trained chefs at the lobster house. Not to mention somehow clowns have found a way to charge less for their efforts.

To say I have a fussy eater would be an understatement, but it's not so much he doesn't like eating different types of foods rather it's the fact that he's very moody about it. I'm to the point where I'm keeping a mental journal of what he's eating at every meal in hopes of predicting his next change of tongue. Don't get me wrong there's nothing bad about having a favorite food, but what do you when your child eats chicken seven nights in a row and then on the eighth night looks up at you like you've just committed a crime. "How dare you feed me chicken eight times in a row. What kind of parent are you!!!" Of course we all know the answer to that question, we have learned to be parents that come prepared with not just plan A's but also B's, C's, and even D's. Unlike the parents before us, we don't just send our kids to bed if they don't like what is being served. We realize that doing that will only result in us having to make fried bologna at 2:00 A.M. because Jr. knows that the best way to get what he wants is to deprive mommy and daddy of sleep. We are parents in the year 2008 and that means if Suzie doesn't want the hamburger we bought her than no big deal!! There's a granola bar and a banana in the diaper bag. Plus, they are 10 times better for her than some greasy hamburger.

I know some people think that parents of my generation are doing nothing but spoiling their children and depriving them of the tough skin they will need to survive on their own. I disagree. We simply have the financial means to provide our children with more than our parents provided us. After all that's what we were always told by our parents wasn't it? "These two jobs will be worth it someday when I see you working in some cozy corner office with three degrees on the wall." The way I see it, by giving my child choices as dinnertime I'm simply fulfilling my parents wishes. Besides he won't act like that when he's a teenager...

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