November 07, 2011

It's Little Debbie's Fault

When my oldest was born, my Granny gave me a copy of the Bible of child rearing for her and my  mother's generation, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care.  When Sadie was born, I would consult it from time to time to see if the spots on her legs were chicken pox, or if a hot or cold mist humidifier was better for croup.  It was before we had a computer, or the Internet, or Google.  (Seriously- how did people survive before Google?)

We sometimes have this parenting dilemma in our house.  We will tell a child to put their shoes in the closet.  Child picks up a marker off the floor.  "This?"  the child will say?  "No.  Your shoes.  Right there.  Put those in the closet."  It's a task that happens every single time that the children walk in the door and sometimes when we ask them to do it, they look at us like we have 6 eyeballs.  Kid then picks up the shoes and puts them on the couch.  "Here?" the child will say.  "Is that the closet?" I reply.  The kid then looks at me like maybe the couch will turn into the closet.  Kid finally decided that no, the couch is not the closet and walks away.  "Wait!  Come put your shoes in the closet!"  Kid runs back in and finds a ball of lint on his shirt and holds it up.  "This?  I put this in the closet, mom?"    Grrrr... even Dr. Spock has nothing in his book about this.  I've looked.  I even tried to look it up under different things, such as "kid develops inconvenient amnesia" and "kid attempt to kill parents with slow mind numbing idiotness."  Nothing.  Which tells me one of two things- 1) kids in the 60's,70's and 80's didn't do this or 2) Dr. Spock knows nothing about raising children.

This phenomenon of crazy behavior carries in to all other areas of parenting as well.  For instance, exhibit B- the bathtub.  When one is in the bathtub, nudity is fantastic.  When one is out of the bathtub, nudity is also fantastic, however, do not take your private parts and put them all over the couch. Or lay body parts down on the pillow that I sleep on.  I can tell the children a million times to please put on their undies and still, I find small kid private parts touching just about everything in the house 10 minutes later.  Or an hour later.  Now- I'm all for little kids being free and uninhibited with their bodies, but I do not allow them to do that at the kitchen table which seems to come as a HUGE shock to every one every single day that you don't sit nekkid at dinner.  Or that we have to wear clothes at all.  Truly, they act like they've never worn clothes before and act all blind sided when I announce that they need to get dressed before we go somewhere.  Their inner dialogue screams, "Clothes?  What are those?  Really, we have to put clothes on?"  Yes, tiny humans.  We do this every day.  Do you remember yesterday?

And then there is the homework.  "Did you do your homework?"  I will say.  "All but the reading" is the standard reply.  To which I always say, "Finish the reading."  Somehow this gets interpreted into- get out the crayons and draw, or make a sandwich or paint your nails or get nekkid so mom will scream about how we don't sit at the table nekkid and will forget that I'm supposed to be doing my reading!

I don't get it.  They are smart kids.  They are really sweet and good.  But, oh. my. gosh.  This "inability to process information" on purpose from all of them drives me up the wall.  If they were adults, I would blame it on the a a a a a alcohol, but since they are kids, I'm blaming Little Debbie.  She's responsible.  I'm scheduling her tarring and feathering as we speak. 

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