Parenting is complex. One seemingly impossible phase blends into another so quickly you don’t have time to even count the resulting grey hairs. It literally starts with a human being forcibly removed from your body, and every minute after that is a guessing game. Infants don’t sleep, toddlers don’t eat, tweens are obnoxious, and teenagers are…well, teenagers. Parenting is really just the ultimate game of survival, and you’re not even always sure you want to stay alive.
My daughter is precocious, which is a really nice way to tell you she’s devious. At almost 3 she relates more to 6-year-olds than her peers; she’s fiercely independent, and while loving, she’s also manipulative in the most heartwarming way. I’d call her complicated, but the real problem is she’s exactly like me. We’re exhausting.
She’s never been great at going to bed, and as she learns more about getting her way, we’ve had to become craftier in our methods. I used to just let her cry, but now she knocks on her door calling “ANYYYYBODY?” or she holds in trace amounts of pee she uses to go no less than 5 times before sleep. When the pee tricks fail, she’ll yell that she has a love surprise for you and when your mommy heart breaks and you cave, you’ll go into her room only to discover she’s cleverly disguised a request as a surprise “But Mama, you didn’t KNOW I wanted that blanket on, so SURPRISE!” She’s a bed stalling genius.
On one level, I have to hand it to her. On the other, I want to sedate her…and me.
All the wine in the world can’t quell the rage that comes from weeks of 2-hour bedtimes. Trust me; I’ve tried. And some days, mama just wants to eat her ramen noodles in goddamn peace when daddy is working late. And so sometimes (all times), mama pulls out the bribes.
Yes, I bribe her, because to be honest, sometimes I’m tired of actively parenting someone who acts like a tiny drunk. Sometimes it’s all too much niceties and silent swearing and crying to my husband. Sometimes, mama needs to feign some level of control.
And this is how we arrive at cookies for breakfast; my child has manipulated me into rewarding her with delicious treats for doing what a normal person just does–going to bed without a 3-ring circus. And then she sits with her smug, chocolately face as we drive to school, knowing she’s really the champion here.
And frankly, I don’t give a damn because instant ramen is best served hot, and without a side of rage.
About the Author
Babe_Chilla is an F-bomb dropping, mama blogging Canadian who started blogging at www.chillmamachill.com in an attempt to raise her sassy little daughter without losing her pretty little mind. It isn’t really working, which is OK because at least there is always wine, plus she heard crazy people are endearing to the general population. You can find her tweeting @Babe_Chilla when she should probably be working or saving her daughter from the dust bunnies she’s trying to grow into full sized rabbits.