Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"You're not the fun parent"

One night, while The Man snored and I was on Heathen Patrol, Bug told me, "You're not the fun parent. Daddy is. You always make us do chores."
This was said because I'd asked him to pick up the 4000 Legos in my living room floor, his dirty clothes, and his various other toys before bed.
I know--bad mommy.
But as I stood my ground, my heart broke a little.
Nights that The Man doesn't work are fun. He takes them outside and gives them candy and plays with them. He's an overgrown child himself, so its party time at our house.
By the time I get home, its bath and homework and get ready for bed. We have a few hours in there while I try to organize our lives for the next day.
But hearing those words, I realized how different The Man and I are as aprents.
The Man is fun. He disciplines the kids, yes, but when he hears about a carnival, a movie, a parade, anything that sounds like fun, he immediately wants to go.
Whereas I immediately consider if its a school night and how the kids have been behaving and what the repercussions will be for the next day.
The Man lets our children climb trees while I get ready for a trip to the ER with broken bones.
He lets the kids have candy right before bed, or wrestles them while I'm trying to settle them into sleep.
He doesn't think about doctors appointments, dental exams, or parent teacher conferences because he knows I will. And I'll let him know when he has to show up and where.
He doesn't fill out permission slips or send money for field trips and pictures. He just schedules his day so he can hang out at the pumpkin patch and watch his boys run amock.
I'm the foundation on which our family functions. But he's the part that makes it warm. I hold us up, and he makes sure the kids have those extra scant inches needed to touch the sky.
Its an uneven parental partnership, I know. I would love to be the fun parent, but I just don't have it in me. What they find fun makes my skin crawl. While I love my kids laughter, I don't love dirty, snotty kisses and hand prints on my clothes.
So I guess Bug is right. I'm not the fun parent.
And I'm accepting that.
And with no few tears.
I admit.
I'm a fuddy duddy.

1 comment:

Tara said...

Had the same feeling today when I had to tell Little Man yet again that no we couldn't go outside the second we came home because I had to make dinner and he'd have to wait for daddy to get home. Even worse when the weekends roll around and he tells me after breakfast that it is time for me to go clean while he plays with daddy. Occasionally I have a moment of brilliance and choose to ignore the dust, dirty dishes, piles of laundry and other horrid things that make my skin crawl.