“Oh, I just give him a lollipop,” said my friend a while ago, when talking about her second child – still arguably a baby at the time – in response to getting through the murky part of navigating opposing schedules for the kids in the afternoon.
BRILLIANT I thought! I don’t recall how old DD2 was at the time, I do recall wondering if she had enough teeth for a lollipop yet….but I didn’t care….I was about to find out. Can’t speak yet? Still cutting teeth? Can’t navigate stairs independently? Here’s a lollipop…now stop crying and try not to choke, kid.
My how far the mighty have fallen.
It’s true, I didn’t resort to pouring juice into her bottles but I didn’t wait too long to hand DD2 a juice box. Lord knows I was quick to give her a cupcake…so much for the rite of passage that is the first birthday party when the baby delights in the sweetness of the cupcake for the first bite. I’m thinking DD2 had her first cupcake by 4 months or so. By her first birthday, cupcakes had almost lost their luster. She practically yawned when we placed the lit cake in front of her.
I mean – DD1 might have been almost 3 before she had her first lollipop. I”m sure I judged others. She was probably over 2 before she had her first juice box. And she definitely had her first cake on her first birthday unless my mom slipped her some on other occasions (which I’m sure she did).
So what does it say about my parenting that I toss these restrictions to the wind so freely with the second? What happens by the time third and fourth children come around? They get tattoos by 8 months and light up like that Indonesian baby?
The truth is, I do have some experience with the lax standards of parenting and rules because I’m the second in the lineup of four kids. My dad was surprised and amused recently when I reminded him that me and my older sister were not allowed to watch “Three’s Company” because two women lived with a….GASP….MAN.
My mother would wax on about the horror of such loose women and how good girls don’t do that. I can remember this vividly. Naturally it only made us want to watch the show more but we were stuck with “Gilligan’s Island.”
Should I remind her now that my two youngest sisters “lived in sin” with their lovers before marrying them?
My older sister wasn’t allowed to wear a strapless gown to the prom. She is still fired up about this. Who knows, maybe my youngest sister was allowed out in a thong and a bra. But I know the youngest two went out in strapless gowns. Honestly, I think even I went out in a strapless gown to the prom…so they surrendered pretty quickly on that. But see, as a kid, you are enraged by the injustices of inconsistent parenting and how the younger ones get away with everything.
As a parent, it’s just surviving the day, right? Again, the rules are changing now, to suit me. I’m seeing a pattern.
It’s remarkable really. How judgmental and overly confident we are about parenting and rules until we become parents. Then we find the gray areas…then we have more kids and well…….we sorta toss caution to the wind and shove whatever we can find into their hands to find peace and quiet.
Who knows, if I ever have a third, maybe I’d just offer the newborn a lollipop instead of a passie. That could save one battle further down the road and just get us started off on the right foot…..