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Optimistic? Or just plain ol’ dumb parenting?

It’s amazing how dumb we can be as parents.  I mean, seriously.  It’s as my good friend Iryna always says; insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.  I’m pretty sure I’ve gone way beyond insane…a long time ago!

For example, I’ve learned time and time again that no matter what toy the kids get (and regardless of how much they loved it at a friends house) they will only play with it a few times and then it will sit in the toybox.  The only exception to this rule is Clayton’s toy trucks.  All the other toys, including the kid computers so he will stop banging on my keyboard, collect dust.  Yet somehow, in desperate times of bribery, I will purchase Callie another barbie, almost identical to her other 600 plastic dolls, in hopes it may buy me quiet time or whatever it is I need.

Or, for example, the playset we have in our backyard.  It cost a pretty penny, and took many man-hours and a lot of effort to get put together.  Shannon even made a sandbox out of the area, and to me, it looked like kiddie-playland heaven.  I just knew they’d play on it for hours and hours…I’d have to drag them off of it.  Of course, the excitement lasted a few days, and now, we have to urge them to play on it.  They’d rather scale the huge, dangerous boulders behind the playset.  Of course!  How predictable.

Another great example is our most recent trip to the library.  I knew Clayton would be a handful (as he always is in new environments), but figured he’d get excited about the animal books, like he does at home and calm down enough to maybe even get Callie to be able to do pre-school reading time.  Ha!  He was so excited about the “new” funland, he screamed and ran around like a wild barbarian, climbing and jumping off chairs. I couldn’t get him to look at a book, let alone let me read him one.  Luckily, Callie got a few books picked out before we got kicked out.

And, the other day I was taking both kids to see a dear old friend with my mom.  She has horses, and Callie misses having horses so much.  I knew Clayton would be super excited as well, and expected a fun-filled day.  When we got there, both kids took off immediately to explore.  Clayton fell down and hurt himself, crying for at least ten minutes.  Callie hadn’t slept well in days and was snarky, talking back and exhausting my patience.  Clayton didn’t want me to hold him around the horses- Mr. Independent wanted to pet them like sissy was, all by himself.  So I was constantly on edge, wondering who would get stepped on first.

For the fourth of July, we are going camping with some friends.  I picture us hiking and fishing, making smores (somehow, there is a fire ban…) and swimming together in the lake.  Only the slightly intelligent side speaks from somewhere beneath telling me that the heat is going to wipe us out (it’s been in the 100’s); the younger girls aren’t going to go down for naps and thus they are going to be nightmares…and that the dust and grime caked on my kids is nearly going to be enough to send me over the edge.

Is it my optimistic side that comes out or are other parents like me and we just continue to practice dumb parenting?  I’m not sure, but I do know one thing; I always see the glass as half-full, so to be realistic when it comes to child-rearing could only mean being negative…which just isn’t in my blood.

I’ll continue buying Callie her barbies or whatever when she deserves a toy, because that’s what she wants, no matter how often she plays with them.  The smile on her face and her excitement is well worth the stack of growing plastic in our toys bins.  I’ll keep taking Clayton to the library, hoping practice and discipline brings better behavior- and look forward to the day he’ll sit and let me read him that book, a day I’ll cherish.  I’ll continue to look forward to these camping or other family trips with friends – as though it will be the time of our lives, regardless of how the previous trip might have went.

Parenting is insanity, period.  Let us at least continue to be optimistic and look forward to each day, regardless of what experience might teach us.  ~Trina

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