Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
During the summer, my philosophy is that if I have to leave the house in the morning, so do the kids. Everyone must have somewhere to go. If I have to go to work, no one gets to stay home and chillax.
This year, my son is working as a camp counselor at a basketball camp. He is there at 7:30 am and does not leave until the last kid is picked up by their parent. Why this kid chose to be a camp counselor is a mystery to me. I’ve seen how he is with his younger sister. He has no patience at all! Unfortunately for him, he works with the 6 year old kids and they are really making him earn his money! Here’s a sampling of some of the things he has said to me (remember he has only had this job for about five weeks now):
“Mommy, I just don’t know how you did it with two kids!” (Mind you, he and his sister are still kids and I’m still doing it!)
“Mommy, why do people send six year olds to basketball camp?”
“Mommy, these kids just don’t listen!”
“Mommy, I was telling these kids that LeBron is the best, and they told me that Stephen Curry was better than LeBron. I told them that some people think that Michael Jordan is the best, and they asked me, who is that?” (I think that one was one of my favorites!)
“Mommy, Kid X was misbehaving, so I told him that I was going to call his grandmother and tell her that he was being bad. All of a sudden, Kid X gets all serious. When I turned around, his grandmother was right behind me!”
My daughter is volunteering at a preschool from 9 am to 6 pm, where she works with 3 and 4 year olds. Now, I can see her doing that because she loves little kids. Every time she sees babies/preschoolers in the street, she comments on how they are soooooo adorable. Now that she has been working, she still thinks kids are adorable, but now she is learning that dealing with kids all day is exhausting. When I ask her about her day, she just sighs and tells me about how tired she is. Apparently, these kids don’t want to follow directions either and some of them aren’t potty trained, so there may be a surprise or two waiting for her when she wakes them up from nap time. Some of the things she has said to me are:
“Mommy, they may look like little kids, but they act like grumpy 70 year olds!” (I found this statement to be interesting because the only 70 year olds that she really hangs around regularly are her grandparents)
“Mommy, it just makes me appreciate how you put up with me even more.” (This just warmed my heart)
Luckily for me, when they come home, they are too tired to go out. They are home, and I don’t have to worry about them hanging out in the streets. Also, I’m hoping that spending time with these little kids will be a sort of pre-emptive birth control for them (I can’t be a parent that buries her head in the sand when it comes to teenage sex). Anyway, luckily for them, they get the last two weeks of August off. My son has already told me that he can’t wait to go back to school!
So, if you don’t want your kids hanging out all night during the summer, or if you want them to experience caring for children, make them get summer jobs working with kids!
So now you know … Consider Yourself Warned!
When I was kid-less, I had a romantic idea of what kind of mother I was going to be. I was going to be kind, loving, and most of all … patient. I was going to have the patience of the Biblical Job and I was going to be the perfect mother. After all, these were my precious babies. I would love them so much. How could I ever be unloving, inpatient, or unkind to them? Well, let me tell you. All you need to do is spend a day with a tired and cranky toddler, a stubborn pre-teen, or an attitude-ish teenager and your patience and loving feelings will go right out the window.
I remember one day before kids, I was walking around lower Manhattan during lunch. I remember seeing this lady on the street with a young boy who I assumed was her son. I don’t know what that kid did, but this lady was just YELLING at him. She was so loud … and she didn’t even care that she was making a scene! I was so embarrassed for her and I felt sorry for him. I remember thinking to myself, “How could she do that? How could she be so mean to that poor little boy? I would never do that to my kids!” I was sooooooo righteous and judgmental. Can you imagine? I had no kids, but had the nerve to judge this lady. But I’m sure I’m not the only person who does that. Its so easy to have all these grand ideas of what kind of parent you will be when you don’t have kids yet.
Unfortunately, I have found that for some reason, yelling is the most effective way to get these kids’ attention. For the life of me, I don’t know why these kids can’t respond to a rational, reasonable voice. They just don’t. But, once I start yelling, that’s when I get their attention. Maybe it’s the loud noise. I don’t know, but I have found that yelling can work wonders with kids. Now, I really do try not to yell at them often. In fact, I will try to reason with them first, and sometimes that works. But, most times, it doesn’t. And then I have to resort to yelling. I really hate that it has to be this way. I don’t want to be known as the yelling mom, but sometimes I have to yell just so that they can hear me over their own arguing. I don’t know what it is about teenagers, but they are constantly arguing about something. Its just so annoying! Anyway, I digress. Oh yeah, yelling. Sometimes I hear other mothers on the street yelling at their kids. I see the kids staring at the mom with a blank look on their face, you know the look where everything is going in one ear and right out the other? My kids give me that look too. That really frustrates me and just makes me yell even more. Anyway, I see that poor mom yelling at her kid and I don’t have any symphony for the kid anymore. I just say to myself, “I wonder what that kid did to push her buttons?” I actually feel good because it just affirms that I am not the only mom out there who yells at her kids (but, not being judgmental here, I don’t start yelling at my kids until they are in the car or at home. Loud talking, that’s another story).
But seriously though, we as parents (myself included) really do need to try to control ourselves when it comes to yelling. Its one thing to yell to get their attention. But its another thing to yell with the purpose of demeaning our kids with abusive language. That’s not cool.
So, if you are living in this la la land, WAKE UP! And, don’t judge me.
Until next time … Consider Yourself Warned!
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.