The Evolution of Parenting

Do you remember the episode of Little House on the Prairie when Albert Ingalls becomes addicted to morphine? It was a doozy complete with Albert stealing from Doc Baker, hitting his teacher and then going through severe withdrawals after Pa takes him away to a makeshift rehab at Mr. Edward’s cabin.

"Don't cry Pa. Albert will get over his drug addiction."

“Don’t cry Pa. Albert will get over his drug addiction.”

This episode shows that no matter the era, parenting is a really difficult job. Kids are kids. You will always have the needy infant, toddlers who throw fits for no apparent reason and of course, the rebellious teenagers.

The differences that come in to play between parenting during the 19th century and the 21st century, or even the generation before us is all of the technology and advancements to our world.

A lot of the technology and new inventions have made parenting in the present much easier. I feel bad that my mother’s generation had to use cloth diapers. I feel bad for the pioneer woman that had to wake up before dawn and start a fire in the house and bake bread even though she had probably been up all night with a baby. I know that dishwashers, microwaves and washing machines have made my role as a parent so much easier.

Technology is a double-edged sword though. It puts today’s parents in predicaments that Charles Ingalls never would have thought possible as he sat and cleaned up the vomit from one of Albert’s major puking sprees as he withdrew from that morphine.

The other day when I was in the shower, my 6 year old son came running into the bathroom screaming that my 3 year old son puked in the recliner while they were watching television. I quickly rinsed the shampoo out of my hair in a frenzy, horrifically anticipating the mess that waited for me when I got out.

I was happily surprised when I entered the living room and saw my 3 year old sitting in the recliner, watching his episode of Dora the Explorer with a blanket on his lap covered in puke. There was not one single drop on the chair or anything else. All I would need to do is deal with the blanket. As I lifted the blanket off of him I noticed something sticking out from the pile of vomit.

It was the remote control for the television.

Pioneer women may have had to make their own candles and hand sew all of the family’s clothes but they never had to figure out how to wash a remote control covered in puke.

Thankfully I got the remote cleaned up so my son can watch television again!

Thankfully I got the remote cleaned up so my son can watch television again!

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How I Became a Better Person

Hi Everyone!

We are all trying to be better people right? As we grow and age we try to be nicer, more generous, healthier, smarter, etc. Something recently came into my life that is helping me to achieve all of that and I am writing about it over at Sarah’s site called The Sadder But Wiser Girl. She asked me awhile back to be apart of her star-studded line up week of guest bloggers!

Please hop on over to Sarah’s site and read how I became a better person!

I should warn you it is shallow and silly!

Have a great day!

Melissa

Pajamas and Bad Breath Are Fine With Me

Today my 7 year old daughter, Iris woke up crabby and tired. She had no interest in eating the breakfast that was waiting on the table for her. She went directly from her bed to the couch and cocooned herself in a blanket.

I ignored her and waited a few minutes before requesting that she get moving.

She did go eat but then plopped herself back on the couch. I told her she couldn’t lie on the couch and that it was time for her to get dressed and brush her teeth.

In her whiniest voice she spewed, “But Mooommm, I’m too tired to get dressed and brush my teeth.”

In the sweetest voice I could muster I replied, “That’s fine honey, I have no problem with you going to school in your light blue footy pajamas with pink elephants on them and with bad breath. It doesn’t affect me either way how you present yourself at school but in 20 minutes you are leaving.”

She huffed off into the bathroom to groom herself but began sputtering, “I never get to watch television anymore. I’m tired and just want to stay home watching TV all day.”

I walked into the bathroom and in my sweetest voice said, “I understand sweetheart, let me shoot an email to your teacher today and request she let you watch some shows today at school.”

Iris’s eyes got huge and she came back with a slightly terrified voice, “But Moooommm, the teacher would not go along with that. Please don’t email her.”

While I was busy brushing my own hair I said, “No, I think you’re wrong. You’ve said yourself that your teacher is amazing and really nice. I’m sure she won’t have a problem letting you watch My Little Pony instead of doing addition and subtraction today. She seems like a very reasonable lady and THIS is a very reasonable request.”

Iris stood stunned for a few moments trying to come up with a reason I should cease and desist any of my further actions to possibly embarrass her for life. Her next statement was “Well, she doesn’t let us whistle. My older cousin said my teacher has let kids whistle in her class in the past and this has never happened. There has NOT been any whistling in class.

I looked at Iris, nodded my head and agreed that a teacher who does not conduct whistling sessions in class will certainly not allow the viewing of My Little Pony.

I told her I would scratch my intervention idea but to hurry up and get ready for school.

Five minutes later, Iris was ready to go to school with a smile on her face and a big hug and kiss for me!

The moral of this story is: If you want to be a superior teacher, allow whistling in your classroom. Your students will think you are amazing!

Picture of Iris wearing the pajamas I almost sent her to school wearing today

The Man In the Ugly Sweater Gave Me Some Great Advice

As a child, one of my favorite television shows was The Cosby Show. I’ve caught a couple of reruns in the past years but the majority of my watching happened 25 years ago.

Miraculously, the stories and plot lines of this sitcom have planted themselves in my subconscious.

I first realized this last winter when my son was sick with the flu and running a fever. He asked what was going on with his body. Without a second thought I began to spin a tale about “germs having a party in his body.” I told him the germs were in his tummy having a grand old time dancing and carrying on. The only way to rid him of the germs was to drink lots of fluids and basically rain on their parade. I also told him that the fever was heating things up inside of his body and causing the germs to sweat and want to find another place to have their party.

As these words were coming out of my mouth I realized I had learned this from The Cosby Show. Clifford Huxtible had spun this same tale for Rudy when she was stuck in bed with the flu. I was in shock that I had remembered this and I was grateful to Bill Cosby for giving me this wisdom.

Flash forward to this past summer. I am pretty strict on bedtimes at our house. Even in summer I put the kids to bed at their normal bedtime. The kids are pretty good with this but one particular night they questioned why they had to go to bed and why the parents got to stay up late.

Out of my mouth came, “Tomorrow YOU can be the parents. You decide what you eat, what you do and when you go to bed.”

I had no idea where this came from. My husband’s eyes got HUGE and he look horrified by this statement I had just blurted out. I was stunned I had said it too.

It suddenly dawned on me. The Cosby Show! Dr. Huxtible let Rudy stay up late one night watching late night talk shows and old cowboy movies after she complained about an early bedtime. Once again, my subconscious came alive and I was reliving my favorite childhood show.

The next morning at the beginning of our “experiment” the kids told me what they wanted for breakfast. I made it and they ate it. They then asked me if they could eat some of their candy they had received at a parade. This would never be allowed on a normal day but today THEY were the parents so I told them they could. Their mouths dropped open at this exciting prospect!

The rest of the day they had fun with the lack of rules and regulations placed on them and took full advantage of their new freedom.

When night fell upon us, my husband and I said good-night to the kids and told them to have fun. The looks on their faces read of utter disbelief that we had made good on our promise and that they were allowed to stay up as late as they wanted and watch tv.

The next day was absolutely horrendous!

I have never seen my children so grumpy and irritable. I’m sure they both had tummy aches after a day of consuming too much candy. I’m sure they were both so tired they couldn’t even see straight.

I never said a word and we somehow managed to make it through the day. Both kids ate healthy and were in bed at their normal time.

Flash forward 3 months later to present day. Neither kid has asked to eat obscene amounts of candy nor has either kid asked why they have to go to bed early.

Thank you Bill Cosby for lodging yourself in my subconscious and giving me some great parenting wisdom!

Iris and Bency eating candy after breakfast