I am sure that most sets of parents have one parent that is more strict than the other. There is no doubt in my mind that I am the “harder” parent than Michael is. First of all, I’m around them more and have to hold a hard line to keep some kind of order in a house with three children between the ages of 2 and almost six. Second of all, I had a very strict upbringing. I like to believe I’ve tempered that at least a little bit, but still keep many of the “rules” I was used to as a child. I turned out okay (at least in the world in my mind! LOL!), so what was good for me, must be good for my kids, right? Michael’s parents were much more laid back than mine. How his mom managed with two boys who are 13 months apart, I have no idea. But she did, in a much more relaxed manner. Michael is harder on our kids than I think his parents were on him, but still not the strict parent in our house.
I’m pretty sure kids figure out this whole issue pretty early on. I don’t really like being the “strict” parent, but there ya go. I’m a mom, not a best friend to my kids. I’ll be their friend when they’re older. For now, I need to help guide and mold them, and keep them safe. That means rules and discipline, as well as a lot of love, encouragement, pride, and hugs. I guess in spite of knowing that I’m the tougher parent, I didn’t really want my kids to know it. Last night, the truth really came out. At first, I was mortified, but then I just started to really laugh. My children know what’s going on, and they are starting to figure out how to try to work the system, ie, go to Daddy if you really want something.
Ryley was across the street playing. Grace was talking over the back fence to the little girl who lives behind us. Grace got to eat her dessert out on our jungle gym – vanilla ice cream with sprinkles on top. Apparently, the neighbor girl was getting ice cream too, but her parents didn’t know about sprinkles and didn’t have any to put on her ice cream. I was inside cleaning up from dinner, but could still hear most of the conversation. Grace – “You don’t have SPRINKLES?!!” Little girl – “No, can I have some of yours?” and then Grace came into the house, and went right to her Daddy. I vaguely heard her ask for sprinkles, and didn’t hear what Michael said, other than “mommy”. I DISTINCTLY heard Grace say, “But I don’t want to ask her; she’ll say ‘no'”……This is where the mortification, and then laughter, came in. BUSTED!! My kids know I’m the tougher parent, they know to go to Daddy, and now Daddy knows that Mommy says no a lot. Michael looked at me to see my reaction, and saw me doubled over, tears running down my face, crying I was laughing so hard.
My children must know this is an emotional time for me. They are doing all in their power to make me smile and laugh. Say no indeed…..HAH!!!!! Grace got her sprinkles to give to the neighbor, in a tiny container, complete with lid, and the one-time-only allowance to throw something over the back fence. See, when I do get to say yes to them, I do it with style! LOL!!!!!