"Let's disband...This family is a failed experiment." That was my husband's words of wisdom tonight. My reaction? To burst out laughing while reading "Going on a Bear Hunt" to Anna. It is so true!! Marriage and procreation in essence is just a study in sociology. An odd social experiment if you will. I agree with Chuck, most times I feel like I have failed. Not through any fault of my own. My kid's mission's in life is to make me feel like I know nothing. I know deep down that we are good parents...I am going to go out on a limb and even say very good parents but as with any scientific experiment their are control groups and variables. We have two very volatile variables. Their names are Sara and Anna.
I was a preschool teacher for a number of years, I have worked with moms in prison, facilitated parent nurturing groups and worked with children and families in the health care setting for about 13 years. When it comes to kids...I got this. YEAH RIGHT!!! When it comes to other people's kids I got it. When it comes to mine all bets are off!!
Typically the girls and I have a good routine. Our days lately have been filled with playing school, enjoying the last bits of nice weather, sewing projects and just enjoying each others company. Notice I said "our days..." Our evenings are a bit different. Once the sun goes down all hell breaks loose. I have never seen any of the Twilight movies, Walking Dead or any of those other vampire movies so I am not sure how it all works, but, I am not entirely convinced my children are not demons. We have a pretty standard routine that starts at 7 p.m. Last snack and a show until 7:30. I read them each a story, bathroom break and brush teeth and off to bed at 8. Anna is almost always on board, some nights she even asks to go to bed before 8. NICE!!! Sara on the other hand turns into Sybil. She constantly interrupts dragging out the whole process, she insists EVERY night that she doesn't need to pee. She slams the bathroom door EVERY night when I tell her she needs to try then, she grumbles about not being tired, she isn't ready for bed etc, etc....when she finally realizes I am not going to back down she stomps up the bunk bed ladder giving me the stink eye. Then it is another few minutes of her complaining out loud about the atrocities committed against her. I am lucky in the fact that both of them are asleep before 8:30 99% of the time and they sleep until 7 a.m. It is all the drama that precedes bedtime every night. It is exhausting!!
Tonight we strayed from our nightly routine. What the hell were we thinking? We "ruined everything" according to Sara. What was our crime you ask? We were trying to make them happy. Shame on us!!! They wanted to play school for a few more minutes and I let them. They each had a turn being the teacher and Chuck and I were the students. Sara read her book to us and then Anna. Well, Anna was ridiculously funny and cute when reading her book. Chuck made the ultimate faux pas and laughed. Well that was it...Anna gets upset and puts her head down and crumples with embarrassment. I suggest she pick a different book after she complains Chuck ruined it. So she does and I smiled at one part in the story and she goes off on me for smiling. My kids love to put on elaborate shows for us and they really get into it. They are so cute but if we pull out the camera, show any sign of enjoyment they immediately scowl and look at us like we are the A-holes. I have learned to keep a poker face in order to keep the peace but Chuck has yet to learn that lesson. We are 5 years in and he hasn't made the connection...laughing results in a 20 minutes cry fest.
So we recover from Anna's meltdown and I start to read them their bedtime story. I had previously stated that we could play school for a little bit longer and then I was going to read 1 story that I was picking and they both agreed. Silly me, I believed they would hold up their end of the bargain. Once Sara realized (about 2 pages in of Bear Hunt) that I was not reading a book she chose she fell apart. If anyone had walked into our house at that exact moment you would have thought she was reacting to finding out she eventually will grow up and have to move away from mommy and daddy. It was THAT dramatic!!!
So long story short...I agree with Chuck. This experiment has disproved our hypothesis that we would be the BEST PARENTS EVER. Turns out we are exceptionally adequate...but I think we should hold off on disbanding just yet...because in my non-scientific observations I think that is better than most parents I have seen lately.