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Bad Parenting Moments: Much Ado About Nothing

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing




I am the most boring person alive.

Apparently, the sound of my voice is so unappealing, uninteresting and unremarkable that it can disappear into thin air. I am the David Blaine of speech. There was a full movie made about the trials and tribulations of King George VI. A full, 118 minute film centered around his and a speech therapist's struggle to make an unsure monarch worthy of his title through bold speech. I have my own movie, that takes place daily, where a woman in sweat pants and slippers from a company titled "My Friend" beats a dead horse with words that can only be heard if you are over 4 foot 8 inches tall. The matinee offers the most bang for your buck as all four children are home. You can see slow motion running and several mouthed, "I thought I told you not to..." as another child runs to me holding a first-aid kit and a mid-size to large-ish clump of their own or a sibling's hair. It's not all glamour and glitter, though. Even if I'm wearing a real bra and regular pants, my words are still magically as light and soft weighted as a single feather in flight. As useless as a Snuggie. As unreasonable as attempting to put on Spanx fresh out of the shower. As hopeless as my deep desire that Footloose be remade with the original cast. Kevin Bacon would reprise his role and be the town's aging and heartwarming shoe salesman; happily selling Capezio dance shoes to all the children he's freed to dance out loud. The kicker is, they wouldn't even KNOW that he is the hero and wouldn't be able to appreciate that they are buying jazz shoes from a legend. It has so much potential. Call me, Fox Searchlight.

I digress. I spend all day speaking and saying nothing. Because, if you aren't heard, does a bear still shit in the woods? Exactly.

But, to wax philosophical, am I really saying anything worth listening to? In between the "gentle reminders" to get up, eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, go to school, get in the car, stop eating glue, no you can not have another snack, clean up, stop riding the baby, if you were hungry you'd eat an apple, no more t.v., did you finish your homework? and, time for pajamas!; Did I say anything fascinating?

On the other hand, IF YOU WOULD JUST LISTEN TO THE WORDS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH, WE COULD START DISCUSSING COOLER SHIT LIKE LED ZEPPELIN AND WHY PRINCESS MOMBIE HAD SO MANY HEADS TO WEAR IN RETURN TO OZ. Ahem, does anyone have a paper sack handy for mild hyperventilation. Please and thank you.

Really, it's not that I don't have anything to offer, it's that the children and I are in the prime of our parallel living. They are trying to test boundaries. I am trying to set them. They are trying to break barriers. I am trying to duct tape a five-point car seat harness. They are trying to LIVE. I am trying to keep them alive. They are trying to break the barrel lock to the basement door and eat the candy I've hidden there. So am I.

When our parallel travel becomes a four-way stop, I wish on stars, full moons, sleeping bedheads and all of the words whispered and left unsaid, that we've made moments of and spoken of substance; that more often than not, our words were worthwhile and important. I pray that our future conversations, be they mundane or magical, all fall on listening ears.

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56 Comments:

At November 25, 2012 at 8:24 PM , Anonymous kim @the fordeville diaries said...

Amen, sister. Times 10 million.
{Oh and call me if you want to talk Zeppelin. My kids aren't ready to discuss the real meaning of Black Dog yet, either. Sigh.}

 
At November 25, 2012 at 8:32 PM , Blogger Laura said...

Crap. I was thinking my 14 month old daughter who doesn't listen to me because she is too young to understand would soon start to listen. Now I'm realizing that as soon as she's old enough to understand, she'll also be old enough to CHOOSE not to listen. Oh boy, I'm in for it.

 
At November 25, 2012 at 8:42 PM , Anonymous Sue at Wub Boo Mummy said...

My almost three year old daughter's ears appear to have fallen off recently and I'm desperately trying to find replacements before I completely lose the plot.

 
At November 25, 2012 at 9:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like you are inside my head and thinking my thoughts. Thank you! Some days I just stop talking - and they either don't notice (!!) or suddenly want ALL of my attention immediately, simultaneously, indefinitely. There isn't too much eye rolling yet, but they are not teens yet either...

 
At November 25, 2012 at 10:01 PM , Blogger Keesha said...

Oh you brilliant, brilliant lady. I am still looking to improve my Toddlerese. Do they have a Rosetta Stone for that?

 
At November 25, 2012 at 10:20 PM , Blogger AJ said...

My favorite is my 9 year old boy. I say something to him (it's just the two of us in the car) and he says "Huh?". I repeat myself and he laughs (it's not funny) and says "Wait, Huh?" Die. DIE DIE DIE DIE! (I mean that kindly... I really love my kids.. but OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS)

 
At November 25, 2012 at 10:21 PM , Blogger AJ said...

New follower... BTW ;) You're welcome!

 
At November 25, 2012 at 11:06 PM , Blogger fishducky said...

I'm sorry, what did you say? I wasn't listening.

 
At November 25, 2012 at 11:50 PM , Anonymous kristy said...

Thank goodness for your post! I will try to remember it during the week and all the comments too! That way when I really want to get on a chair and scream no chocolate forever if ya'll don't answer me right now, I wont! I mean I don't want to fall or anything, lol. But I swear unless chocolate or a few other random 'key' words are coming out of my mouth, I might as well not even speak sometimes, ok most of the time. I think it was cruel joke no one told me how much it was going to be 'normal' behavior to feel disrespected by my kids! =-)

 
At November 26, 2012 at 12:59 AM , Blogger Barbara R-G said...

Yes. Oh, yes. Oh, dear gawd, I HEAR you!
You know it's bad when the phrase itself, "Please respond," has become too repetitive to repeat any more.

 
At November 26, 2012 at 3:30 AM , Blogger Cat in Denmark said...

Whyyyyy does it have to be like this???!!!???

 
At November 26, 2012 at 7:26 AM , Blogger Janine Huldie said...

I ask myself this one question everyday it seems, "Does anyone listen to me?" Sadly I can totally relate and then some!!

 
At November 26, 2012 at 8:03 AM , Blogger Gigi said...

Apparently, no one can hear me either. Even those that are much taller than the 4 foot 8 inch crowd. I spend the majority of the time thinking I'm talking to my husband only to discover that I've been talking to myself, again. I think he may be getting a hearing aid for Christmas!

 
At November 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM , Blogger Lady Megbeth said...

HILARIOUS, honest, and heart-warming as per usual. I look up to you in every way.

 
At November 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM , Blogger Robyn Welling said...

This post is so full of genius, I don't know where to start. Maybe with, "I am the David Blaine of speech," perhaps? I laughed so many times at this, I lost count. Do me a favor and stop writing awesome stuff, or the people I pimp it to will get wise to how starry-eyed in love with you I am.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM , Blogger Nicole Shaw said...

You're a comedic force.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM , Blogger Nicole Shaw said...

Yes, that was a fave for me, too. And "Don't ride the baby."

 
At November 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM , Blogger Jessica Watson said...

You are hilarious, do your kids not understand how funny you are? Is this the point in life where WE think we are funny but our kids do not?

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:48 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

I have so much to teach them about getting the Led out. And, they are going to think I'm instructing them on removing the lead they have in their elbows from stabbing each other with pencils. Kids just don't understand.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:49 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

On the flip side, I've named all of my pots and pans and they appear to be listening to me. After 2 or 3 glasses of wine, it starts to not matter that you're talking to pots in the first place.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:50 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

I've already lost the plot. The solution is clear. Move in with me. We'll listen to each other and every so often referee a Lord of the Flys fight in the yard. Deal?

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

I have an eye roller too. I have even asked her how she can be rolling her eyes at words that she hasn't ever heard? She rolled her eyes to that question as well. Thank you for reading and for the support!

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:54 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

I believe they do make something that makes speaking to children possible in any language. Wine.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:55 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Oh, the car! I like to black out during long bouts of car travel as I've found there is very little worth remembering.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:55 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Well, Thank you. Welcome!

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:57 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Precisely, my fair Fishducky. Precisely.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Kristy, I have, in fact, stood on my living room table to try to get everyone's attention. Shocker, it didn't work. Hang in there! Thanks for reading! xo

 
At November 27, 2012 at 3:59 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

I love how you say, Please Respond and I just stand in the playroom and laugh-cry. Or, as Aaron would say, "Craugh". Miss you, B!

 
At November 27, 2012 at 4:01 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

I don't know, but, why aren't there telethons collecting money to help support our wine habit directly related to the CNLS (Children Not Listenting Syndrome)?

 
At November 27, 2012 at 4:02 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Janine, I know it doesn't make the small people ignoring you any better, but, I HEAR YOU! Loud and clear.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 4:03 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

OH yes, I should have included my 40 year old child in this equation. That's a separate post altogether. It's not nagging if you ignored me the first 50 times. Amiright or amiright?

 
At November 27, 2012 at 4:04 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Love you. Thanks for drinking the kool-aid. <3

 
At November 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

After I wrote this, I thought of so many more David Blaine jokes and I think that David Blaine comedy is a field I could really excel in. But, really how invested is anyone going to be in a blog that is all David Blaine ALL the time besides you two? Oh, and the 4 year old is in time-out currently for...yep...you guessed it....riding the baby.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 4:08 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Coming from one of my favorite comedic forces! I'm totally going to do an awkward, overbite, fist pump dance in celebration.

 
At November 27, 2012 at 4:10 PM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

My kids think I'm the least funny person around unless I wear an owl hat or stuff too many grapes in my mouth. I think those two things are the only reason they even keep me around! Thank you for the love, Jessica!

 
At November 27, 2012 at 6:02 PM , Blogger toulouse said...

This is why there's screaming. I don't wanna scream but by the time I've repeated something 20 times with no response nor reaction, I just can't help but think it's a volume issue. Also, since he's screaming "mommy, mommy, mommy" at me constantly, I figure I'll have to match it.
Love the last paragraph so much.

 
At November 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM , Blogger Roshni AaMom said...

If I say things 4 times in quick succession, I am heard, but only to be asked in an irritable voice why I'm nagging?!!

 
At November 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM , Anonymous Heather c said...

As a mother of 3 successful adults who now have beautiful children of their own, i can tell you that you're speaking the wrong language. "clean your room" sounds like "blah, blah, blah" to them until about age 20ish.
Sign language is the key. Taking them by the elbow to their room, pointing at the mess(es) and making a threatening gesture with your fist is much clearer.

 
At November 30, 2012 at 3:19 AM , Blogger TNMom said...

I loved riding the baby too...I snorted!

 
At November 30, 2012 at 3:20 AM , Blogger TNMom said...

GAH! I LOVE YOU! That is all.
Devan

 
At November 30, 2012 at 3:25 AM , Blogger TNMom said...

No, no, that is NOT all....until I started reading you and a few others like you, I thought I was doing it wrong...saying it wrong...Doing. Something. Wrong, for the love of David Blaine!! Like I was FAILING, hard. Now I just feel like, meh, maybe its not me...maybe kids are assholes, really. And I feel much better. So to you I say, CHEERS - just fucking, CHEERS! (now that is all) Devan

 
At December 1, 2012 at 1:45 AM , Blogger abby said...

Just came across this post while nursing baby to sleep.....read "stop riding the baby" and woke him up bc I couldn't control the laughter/ snorting ---- thanks a lot!!!!! ;-)

 
At December 1, 2012 at 10:54 AM , Anonymous Shannon said...

'MOMVOICE' is one of the few parenting skills I fell into with an easy grace - when I bark an order even the neighbor kids get up and clean their rooms ;) All the rest of it? Well, not so much...

 
At December 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM , Blogger Paige Kellerman said...

"I am the David Blaine of speech" I'm just glad there's a name for our condition.

 
At December 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

I hear you and do you know who can hear me? All of my neighbors. Even with the windows closed and doors locked.

 
At December 3, 2012 at 10:19 AM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Heather, at first I thought, "uh-oh, where is this comment going?" and then I laughed. Uproariously. Thank you for that.

 
At December 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

This is the best comment I have ever received. Ever. Thank YOU.

 
At December 3, 2012 at 10:21 AM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Of course, it's nagging if you say something a million times, but, it is also "douchebaggery" to make you say it one million times before listening. Amen, sister. A-freakin'-men.

 
At December 3, 2012 at 10:22 AM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

I can not tell you how many time-outs have been initiated after failed listening after screaming, "Don't ride the baby! GET OFF THE BABY'S BACK!"

 
At December 3, 2012 at 10:22 AM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Shannon, I need to hear your tips and tricks over a bottle of wine. Deal?

 
At December 3, 2012 at 10:23 AM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

Mutual appreciation for David Blaine jokes. MFEO, Paige Kellerman, Writer-Humorist.

 
At December 4, 2012 at 2:39 AM , Blogger hilljean said...

You know, my hubby is a philosopher and I bet he would argue that there is a parallel universe where everything and everyone is the same, EXCEPT your kids LISTEN. So, rest with that.

Oh, and I'm listening here :) But maybe not there. Hmmph.

 
At December 4, 2012 at 2:40 AM , Blogger hilljean said...

Oh, and by the way, I was totally in Much Ado About Nothing in high school :)

 
At December 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM , Blogger Meredith said...

This was just too much fun! And so helpful--"parallel living" explains why I'm so tired at the end of the day I could just fall asleep at the dinner table. Let me know if you figure out a duct tape that actually holds them into the car seat...I must be buying the wrong brand?

 
At December 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

You married a philosopher! That must be highly annoying when it's time to argue and he gets all serious and you just want to throw a plate? No? Just me? Oh...ahem...carry on. Thanks for listening, Hillary! xo

 
At December 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM , Blogger BadParentingMoments said...

I personally like to buy the really shiny duct tape. The shinier the stickier. I clearly have this all figured out. ;) Love you, Meredith!

 

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