Three truths I brought to my kindergarteners last year

| 11 Comments

Image via pixabay.com

Image via pixabay.com

My twins turn six in the beginning of February. To me, that still isn’t “big kid” time. For some reason, I consider seven to be “holy shit who are these big rotten kids in my house” time.

I’ve been reflecting on our fifth year together, and thinking about the fact that as your kids get older, you get to be more and more honest with them. There’s a lot of, “…yeah about that…” and “so, here’s the thing…” I also get to teach them that their mother is a human being — a person who gets frustrated and hungry and sleepy and doesn’t necessarily want to get up and get you that cup that you are fully able to get yourself.

It’s about independence. And it’s about Mom and Dad going from a 1.00 without vacation or benefits down to a .99 without vacation or benefits.

It’s time for some truth, little ones.

Here are three truths I have brought to my kids during their fifth year of life:

1. The fight you are having is stupid. I am not going to get involved.

What’s that? Your brother got into the car first today, and it was supposed to be your turn to get in first? Holy crap, you guys. I don’t even know the word that describes how little I care about this. I mean, there are a lot of things I care about: your safety, world peace, equal rights for all…but which of my children gets into the car first? Nope. Don’t see it on the list. Let’s check the list of things I don’t care about: the happiness of chickens, “Who Wore It Better?”, whether or not the snow is just right for skiing…huh. It’s not there either. It’s almost like it is so insignificant that it doesn’t even make it on to the list of things I have thoughts about.

So you guys go ahead and battle this one out. I’m going to sit here in the driver’s seat, sipping my coffee and listening to that Miley Cyrus song again.

2. If you decide to play a game that consists entirely of beating the shit out of each other, someone is going to get hurt. There will be tears, and I will not be as sympathetic as you’d like me to be.

I just don’t get it. I mean, I kind of get that when you’re five pushing your physical limits is fun to do, but do you need to hit each other in the head with light sabers to do that? And then, when one of you actually gets a good smack upside the head, why do you then get angry at the one who hit you? YOU WERE HITTING EACH OTHER IN THE HEAD. Not only does that make you complicit in your own injury, but it should also go into the old “learning vault” that when you play a game that involves hitting and kicking, there is a good possibility that it will end in tears.

At this point, I feel like you have been sufficiently warned about what happens when you play this way, so I am going to look away. You know where the band-aids are.

3. If you insist on wearing a tee shirt and no jacket when it is 30 degrees out, I advise you against it exactly once and then I will stop fighting you. When you are shaking and furiously angry (at me, mind you) less than two minutes from now, I will feel terrible for you. But also, just a little happy.

There was a time when I fought them on this. There was a time when I didn’t want to be the mom whose kid wore a tank top and no coat in December. But guess what, wee ones? I’m done. No more temper tantrums and time outs before I have had my cup of coffee in the morning. Now when they decide they want to have a snowball fight without gloves on, I will question them once, maybe twice.

“You know it’s super cold out right?”

“Yeah.”

“You know that the snow is going to freeze your hands and make them hurt if you don’t wear gloves?”

“Yes, Mom. I’ll be fine. I’m wearing long sleeves!”

“But that doesn’t — you know what? Fine. Go ahead. I would highly recommend gloves, but this is a choice you can make yourself.”

“YAY!”

And then I will sit there and drink my cocoa, and wait to be proven right. It’s a delicious feeling. It’s not that I want my kids to freeze and hurt, but it’s not like I didn’t warn them. This is how kids learn to save themselves from themselves. This is how they learn that sometimes parents have rules for really good reasons, and that they are not just trying to inconvenience their children.

So often as parents we don’t get to reap the fruit of our lessons and labors till years down the line. But when your child comes running back inside crying because their feet hurt from walking on the hot concrete without shoes on after you told them they should probably put on some sandals? That, my friends, is some instant gratification.

Author: Meredith Bland

Meredith likes to write the funny at her blog, Pile of Babies (http://www.pileofbabies.com).

11 Comments

  1. I love this! This is EXACTLY how I feel. Yesterday, the kids were chasing each other through the house and I told them it would end in crying. They kept running. So when the 10yo flipped over the baby gate because the 4yo slammed it shut, all I said was “Can you move your legs? Yes? Then go up stairs because I don’t want to hear any crying.”
    There’s a certain rush that comes with witnessing a predicted consequence, as long as it’s not loss of limb or death.
    Kim recently posted..The Weekend in Crappy Pics – Holiday EditionMy Profile

  2. Oh, do I love this. Like really love this. I could hang out with you and Kelly, too. It’ll be all of us, dressed appropriately (’cause we’re smart like that).
    Amy Rodriguez recently posted..New Year’s Resolutions. For The DogMy Profile

  3. OMG i have brought all of these truths to my children as well! i just thought it was because i was an old mom who was over all that crap. i seriously have one of my kids at the bus stop in shorts in 20 degrees, and i’m like dude, go to town, you’re too cool for the cold. whatever. and you’re telling on your brother for hitting you in the head right after you punched him in the stomach. yeah, i’ll go back to book now! haha.
    thanks for a morning laugh that I totally identified with! happiest new year.
    Ice Scream Mama recently posted..Rabbi, we have to stop meeting like thisMy Profile

  4. Having an only child, numbers 1 and 2 don’t occur that often. Number 3… ALL the time! Having a sensitive child though, I found that the amount of sympathy plummeted like a skydiver without a parachute the second he turned six. Crying about no desert? Whatever! You only got an hour of Wii time… you’re lucky you got any! Your cousin didn’t want to play with you? OMG! I find that I absolutely hate sitting there for fifteen minutes explaining something that a goldfish will remember better than him.

  5. I love this so much! My kids were raised much the same way and guess what? They all lived to be adults. I told them repeatedly when they got hurt doing something stupid that “stupid should hurt”. That way maybe it will stick next time they get the bright idea to tie the razor to the back of the bicycle and drag each other down the street.
    GunDiva recently posted..I Have *Zero* Complaints From 2013My Profile

  6. I wholeheartedly agree with you on all of these (my kids are 21 months apart and the exact same size physically and on the same level developmentally as well, so pseudo-twins). Especially #1 and #2. My big thing is “work it out yourselves”. I feel that’s an important life lesson for adulthood. And I’m with you on the not even remotely caring, so it saves time as well. As for #2- that made me laugh! My kids are constantly playing games called “tackle” or “wrestle” and then coming to me crying about getting hurt. Seriously?
    Carrie recently posted..Review: Powerocks Magicstick Charger!My Profile

  7. I love this list. It’s so true. All three of these I have going on with my 4 and 2yo. I’m still a little sympathetic, but not for long. Happy New year!

  8. I love this!! Let me tell you, the “Wear a coat for God’s sake it’s only 1 degree outside” arguement doesn’t go away even when those kindergarteners turn 18!!! This I know from experience. It’s a losing battle :) I will hope your babies don’t freeze and learn their lesson. Mine never did!!
    Aimee recently posted..2013 in reviewMy Profile

  9. My kid is 8 and there are times where he seems so big…trying on new forbidden words or acting like I’m a nerd and he is too cool. Sometimes though, he shows me that he is still a little guy…wanting to hold hands, hugging or reading together :)
    Mytwicebakedpotato recently posted..2013 in reviewMy Profile

  10. Very true. I am at that stage with my three teens. Fortunately, my 4 year old is just so cute and innocent that we just can’t help but love on him…but the three teens??? especially the 14 and 16 year old brothers? ya, they can go.
    kavenson recently posted..Coffee with ConnieMy Profile

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