Monday, May 11, 2009

Parenting 101

I'm just going to ramble here. There as been no preconceived thought put into this blog. I'm working on two hours sleep, so please don't expect much. It amazes me what I can actually do on a few hours sleep. Before children I was no good for anything if I didn't get at least nine or ten hours. After you have a newborn in your life that you have to get up for every hour and half to feed, you understand what it's like to walk through life in a haze. You actually don't even realize how tired you are until they get a bit older and start to sleep a little more.

To catch me on one of these days is unpredictable. I could be energized, just to get through the day or I can be found sitting stunned and unable to communicate. Today I was functional, but unable to handle any deep, meaningful conversations. In short, I'm socially impaired.

Earlier, I took my daughter to get a new bike. She's not out of training wheels yet, but considering she's riding right now with her knees hitting her nose I thought we should take the leap.

So all the way to Toy R Us we (I say we because my daughter is now doing this with me) visualized the parking spot we wanted. Pulling into the packed parking lot, I saw our spot; she saw our spot and proceeded to remind me of this as we approached it, about a dozen times,

"There's a car in our spot, Mommy….There's a car in our spot, Mommy…There's a. …." And yes, indeed, there was a car in our spot, but just as we approached, the brake lights went on and it was backing out.
"YES!…We are going to get our spot," she says, and I nod, impressed by our inner power.

Just as the car is pulling out, another car comes racing around the corner and takes our spot. The Secret didn't mention what to do if an asshole in a BMW steals your spot, but I'm sure whatever it is, it would be positive. I would have failed the test because I was pissed off and nowhere near positive. My daughter, however, (in all her youth and innocents) continued to be optimistic.

"Maybe we weren't made for this one. Let's try another," she said. Sometimes I wonder just who should be parenting who. She is wise beyond her years. Sure enough, I took another round at it and there it was. The same spot, but only one row over. Classic.

Outside of Toys R Us were the bikes that were on sale in their flyer. She immediately took to one of the powder blue ones. Because I was behind schedule for the day and a little bit loopy from the night before, I took the sticker to purchase the item and ran for the entrance. As soon as we hit the store, the begging started. Forgetting the fact I was buying her a brand new bike, she started to beg me for the little animal things with big wobbly heads called, "Littlest Pet Shop, Pets" She collects them. I said, "You must be kidding, right? I'm buying you a bike here. I mean it's not even your birthday or anything!"

She looked at me with her big doe eyes, "I just want to look at them."

Okay, this I can understand. I've done my fair share of looking longingly in a store window, drooling over what can't be mine. As we approach the section of Littlest Pets, I hear a gasp. I look down at my daughter and her jaw is hung low and staring straight ahead. She just starts to walk forward in a trance and I follow, past the Littlest Pets, completely confused.

We get to the back of the store, back where the rest of the bikes are kept. The ones that aren't on sale. She stops dead in front of a rack full of bikes, her eyes resting on one and only one. I didn't need to know which one it was; you could literally see it from a mile away.

It was yellow. Not a pretty little pale yellow. I'm talking, "put your sunglasses on" yellow. If I've never mentioned this before; her favorite color is yellow. My least favorite color is yellow. This bike was the ugliest ass bike I've ever seen in my life. If fact, they were on sale the week before and they sold, zero. The bike is fucking ugly. It was FUGLY people!!

"I want this bike. Mommy, PLEASE. I really want this bike. I love it."

Now, I'm stuck. You see my daughter is unique. She's different, creative, follows the beat of her own drummer and I embrace this any chance I get. I don't want her to lose this quality, but at the same time, the social awareness comes out in me and I find myself trying to talk her out of this bike. I'm desperately trying to get her to pick another. Nothing is going to deter her. She wants this bike! This fugly bike.

So, as a responsible and loving parent what would you do? You wouldn't think such a thing should matter at all because social ridicule didn't start with me until at least junior high, but today it starts much sooner and this bike SCREAMED, "Tease me at the playground"!!!

I'll tell you what I did and sitting here now, I'm not proud of it, but I bribed my precious daughter. I told her the fugly yellow bike was exactly ten dollars more then the powder blue one she agreed to earlier. I gave her the option to either take the yellow (fugly) bike and only the bike, OR I would get her the powder blue one we agreed on and buy her a new Littlest Pet…and then I prayed.

She picked the powder blue bike and the toy and as I raised my head up to say my thanks, a slight bit of guilt crept in. I grabbed my cell phone and called my husband for support. Thankfully, he thought I did the right thing (which is probably why we are married), but I couldn't stop feeling as if I was stomping all over her self-expression.

I hung up and pulled her aside to try to explain to her in six-year-old words, what my concerns were. Have you ever tried this? Don't bother. I explained how I wanted her to be true to herself and all that crap and she looked at me and said, "It's okay, Mommy (she always reassures me). I want the blue bike." And with a slight grin, raised her head and looked me straight in the eye and said, "After all, two things are better than one."

She gets this from me.


  1. what a wise and amazing child!

    but what's wrong with yellow? it's such a happy color. i can't imagine an ugly yellow bike. in fact i think my first bike was yellow. however i hated it, but now i look back on it fondly. :)

  2. I *hate* yellow.../laughs

    This was a very cute story. She sounds adorable - and smart. So smart, I was starting to wonder half way through if she didn't pick the yellow one on purpose...