Monday, October 5, 2009

Supressing Laughter Cannot Be Good for My Health

My biggest problem with parenting to date is that I have to actually discipline Beckett. I would MUCH prefer just to laugh at how amusing he is and send him on his way. But seeing as how being rude is not something I'd like him to get used to, I must suppress laughter, find a way to not fall out of my chair in doing so, and tell him why the hilarious thing he just said is wrong.

Exhibit A:
We were watching the end of the NASCAR race on Sunday. Stage set. I told my Dad that NASCAR was like baseball to me -- Horrifically boring on TV, mildly amusing (thanks in part to rednecks) in person. I turned to Beckett and said, "Oh, B, we should go to a Braves game next season!" And I kid you not, this is the response I got. Exasperated sigh, head up, eyes rolled. Then, "BOOOOORING. Try again." Head back down, looking straight at me, unhappy grimace on face.

So, as his mother, I was obligated to explain to him that we shouldn't presume bordem in situations we know nothing about (a Braves game being something he knows NOTHING about). Now, the "nothing is boring" argument is akin to the "math is important" argument in my eyes. Children, adults are going to tell you that math is important. They lie. God created the calculator because being able to rattle off 45345 divided by 67 is something only Rainman can do. And even then, it's not important. Similarly, children, adults will tell you that we shouldn't say things are boring, because we can make anything fun! Again, lies. Things are boring. Baby showers, bridal teas, Con law.....this list goes on. And, incidentally, math is boring.

I'm not going to lie. It took everything I had in me not to give up half-way through the "Come on, B. Life's fun!" speech and just say, "Screw it, you're right. It would probably be boring. And totally not worth my time and money. See if I try to do anything with you again." At this point I would have burst into laughter because, let's face it, he's funny. And, he's also right. Can I fault him for these things?

Exhibit B:
Later that same night (I must have spilled some snarky in his Corn Flakes that morning), we were sitting down at dinner. Now, this evening was filled with much bargaining (as any good meal with a 3 year old does) and begging and near hair-pulling-out. He was having chicken fingers and cantaloupe. This is where the details get a little fuzzy. I know I was getting on to him about something, but Lord knows what it was. I'm not even sure he was listening because the first breath I took, he interjected, "Mom, let it go." "Let it go?!?" You're 3. You do not get to tell me to "let it go." And this lovely phrase got repeated no less than 4 times. Cut to me grabbing a 3 year old, wiping doughnut off of his shirt, and taking (well, dragging) him to his room to sit in time out. I will admit, my first response to this situation was infuriation. However, after explaining to him (over crying and screaming, after all, I had taken half of a doughnut away from him -- what is wrong with me?) that "let it go" was extremely disrespectful and we need to respect our mother (insert the laughter of everyone I know), I walked out of the room. I had barely hit the door frame before I realized that my 3 year old had just used the phrase "let it go." And if he meant laughter, then mission accomplished. I almost hit the floor I was laughing so hard. Meanwhile, he is screaming for help. Because what's more like prison than a little red rocking chair? And what more akin to torture than being made to sit in it for 3 minutes?

Welcome to my life. The things I would tolerate in my friends, I have to watch out for. This "teaching children how to be respectful and useful adults" is not for the faint of heart.

But, the weekend was not all about discipline and respect, We managed to have fun, too. Dusty has been asking if I blog about him, and until today, the answer was, "no." But, alas, Dusty, there is something to say today. This weekend, Dusty asked me to help him fix Eric's stairs. And by "fix," he meant rebuild. And I had to explain that by "help," I could offer only conversation. Because, let's face it: I am NOT handy. At all. So, Saturday afternoon we went to Lowe's (big day) and bought the necessary supplies. But I had to go get B at 5. Dusty asked if I was going to come back and help. I said I could, but B would have to come, too. And if anyone was going to be less help than me, it's B. Because I am aware that I can't help and therefore stay out of the way. B, however, thinks he IS helping and will stand under your feet and ask 237647 questions. Having been fully warned, Dusty suggested that I bring B. So, I went and got Beckett and his tools (you know, because nothing builds stairs like plastic tools) and headed to Eric's. About 30 minutes after we arrived, we realized that 2 of the boards needed to be cut about 1/2". Dusty looked at Beckett, who at this point has all of his tools out and is "fixing" anything that will stand still long enough for him to hit, and asked, "Do you want to go to Lowe's?" Response: "No." Shocking. He was in heaven, no he didn't want to leave. So, Dusty offered to watch him while I ran to the Lowe's up the street (we were in Wetumpka). After explaining to Beckett that he had to listen to Dusty and do what he said, I left. While I was gone, Dusty and Beckett broke down the old stairs. I can imagine Beckett had a ball. Actually, I know he did. He keeps asking me when we are going back to Dusty's.

The thing with other people watching Beckett is that I don't particularly like other people's children. And so I always assume that no one wants to be around my child. I think this is a fair presumption. So, after Dusty assured me they would be fine, I left. And, to Dusty's credit, they were both alive when I returned. Happy, unscathed, and laughing. Mission accomplished.

Well, that's about enough for right now. I am sure, however, more will follow this week.


1 comment:

Lyndsey said...

Your kid is so.... you.

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