Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another example of how I'm apparently very different

When Wifey and I heard that our second pregnancy (I love that guys use "our" in that way - we are soooo inconsequential in that whole equation it's just absurd to say we/our/us) was going to "result" in a baby girl we were absolutely thrilled. For years all we heard was my Mom wistfully say how she wished she had a little granddaughter in the family (wonder where all that went?). We knew that it would be so wonderful to bring some balance to the equation in our household and raising a little girl would be a fantastic experience to share.

When other people found out we were going to have a little girl the smart-a$$ed comments started rolling in. "She'll have you wrapped around her little finger" people would tell me. "Uh-oh, just wait until those eyelashes start fluttering, you'll melt like butter" was another of my favorites. I heard that type of crapola non-stop. I looked back in disbelief. Did these people know me? Had they ever seen me interact with JAM? Did I ever give in when his cute little face whined or smiled or pleaded with me? I'm proud to say that Wifey and I have always been of the mindset that giving in when that started meant the kid would learn that whining meant we would eventually give in. We'd see it all the time - in the mall, in the supermarket, in Wifey's school... the little kid would make enough fuss and the parent would think it was easier or better to give the kid what they were after. Then, the next time, the kid knew that no really wasn't no, all they needed to do was make just a little bit more noise.

We hated that.

With a passion.

So, we promised each other that when JAM came along there would be no backing down once a decision was made. It was tough though. It made us become extremely thoughtful in our decision making. It made us learn to anticipate what the other was thinking so we didn't give different answers. JAM hated that. He learned that our answers would always be the same. He also learned, the hard way, that if he asked one of us then he should not ask the other and expect a different answer. Wifey even wrote about a funny story where he admitted that same thing when we weren't around to hear (see "number 2" in that post).

Where the heck is all of this coming from?

Twice in the last few days I've been reading other Dad's blogs where they've related stories about how they've dealt with Daddy-daughter interactions. The expectation, to different degrees, was that the Daddy should melt at the first sign of cuteness and the daughter would (of course) get exactly what she was requesting. Now there is no telling the actual outcome of these interactions because said authors were not that forthcoming. I can guess they folded faster than the speed of light but we'll at least pretend to give them the benefit of the doubt. :)

So how does this make me feel?

I've tried to find some graphical representation for my feelings....

This is how I think I should feel.

This is how I usually feel.

Did I miss something? Is there yet another chromosome missing from my DNA chain? Am I legally or morally required to forego all rational thought when the mere threat of a tantrum raises its ugly head? Trust me, it would really be easier. Tonight, for instance, I had to bring Red up to sit on her bed YET AGAIN for screaming her fool head off because she wasn't going to get "azert" - dessert to the rest of us - because she hardly touched her dinner. Nice relatively calm dinner torn apart, yet again. We had told her, nice and calm-like, that she needed to finish her dinner if she wanted dessert (which really means make at least a half-hearted attempt, including eating at least one of her two baby carrots). We calmly said it a second time. Then a third. And I think about 342 more times. Then my ears literally ruptured from the cry of this little banshee. Sorry... when the scream happens it is time to visit the bedroom. Would it have been easier to say "Sure! You can have a Hershey's kiss just please, for the LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY PLEASE DON'T SCREAM AT US ONE MORE EVER LOVING TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!"? Yeah, it would have been easier. But what would have been the point in saying no in the first place? What would have been the point of at least attempting to teach her good eating habits, what a proper dinner is, and our expectations that good for you food comes before snack food?

I know I missed something. I know I'm supposed to be the one to give in. My little girl wants something!

But still, people still don't believe me when I say that s&%t don't fly around here.

We'll wait to see how this all turns out for us. Well-adjusted or shacking up with "Killer" and his kicking El-Camino. I'll let you know.

And I think it is safe to say that poor little, unsuspecting, Pudge... is screwed.


Hugeness said...

Yes, you are missing something. You're missing the lazy, irresponsible, my-kids-can-do-no-wrong-no-matter-what gene.

Unfortunately, both of us are on the tail end of people raised to believe actions have consequences and the world doesn't owe you anything.

It's unfortunate because the people raising the kids our kids will play with DO think that way and they're kids are the ones we need to stay away from. Never thought you're kids (and mine) would be a good example did you?

Amanda said...


I don't even HAVE kids and I can tell you that when/if I do, I don't care WHO they are, actions DO have outcomes, I don't care how much they whine.

I'm a couple of years behind you, but I agree with Steve that we are definitely the tail on this mindset, unfortunately...