The sound of parenting…

The kid's art

There might be two types of parenting styles.

There might actually be more than two, but I am beginning to see deep lines cut in the sand in two different worlds of parenting. Sure there are other styles littered around and among said drawn line, but for my purposes here, there are two distinctions.

You see, I was staying at my brother in laws house this past weekend for a last-minute visit. We had ourselves a lovely visit. Got to ride horses and the cousins got to know each other a little better. However, at the end of the day, I believe my kid and I were beginning to put a sort of strain on the household.

This particular house hold was run smoothly and lovingly. I would kindly call the parenting style of my sister-in-law the Sound of Music parenting style.

Now, were there songs being sung about everything from waking up to eating a healthy meal to bed time? No, at least not while I was there. I mean, you never know what happens behind closed doors, though do you? Still, I think it’s safe to assume there is no singing about doe’s, teas, rays of sunshine and the like.

There was a sense of calm among her children, though. An ease and simplicity. There was tranquility and cartoon birds chirping as pancakes were made in the morning. There was a general sense of spinning around, arms thrown out wide as the world seemed manageable and delightful and alive with the sound of music.

By the way, when I say that her parenting style was The Sound of Music, I mean that it was all the good parts. There was no impending doom from a regime of any sort on the horizon. Just to put an ease to questioning minds.

Now, my parenting style, oh my style that has come to pass over the past few years has been more, the Gladiator meets 300.

I stand at the end of the day of parenting, a beaten mess, arms tossed wide in a show of question and anger as I scream for the crazed walls, “Are you not entertained?!!”

The kid and I are not quite and calm. There is a lack of tranquility in my parenting style. Hell, there is a lack of tranquility in me. I could call it the Italian side of myself. But one thing is for sure, there is definitely a lot of emotion in the whole process. Loving, hysterical emotion, but a whole hell of a lot of emotion.

Is that good or bad? Eh.

Growing up there was a hell of a lot of emotion running rampant in my own household. The only way to get three loud, rambunctious, always arguing, loud-mouthed kids to listen was to yell. Or did we learn the yelling from our loud rambunctious parents?

Chicken and eggs my friends.

I mean, if I’m a product of my environment, then my parents were products of their environment and their parents were products of their environments…so then, wouldn’t it be safe, in this instance, to blame a group of people with whom I share DNA yet no nothing more than what a forced smile in a sepia toned photograph can tell me?

I digress.

This parenting thing…there are all these books and crap and theories that a person might read and could use as a sort of map in guiding themselves. But just as these books continue to proclaim that each child is different, well so is each parent. No one style is going to work for everyone. I must admit, I don’t read these books, I get the cliff notes from friends who read them. I read the paragraph description in the Pin on Pinterest and I’ve read the one line pitch on book jackets. So I’m a veritable expert here, right? There does seem to be one main theme among all the books however, and it’s the idea of love and logic.

So I’ve given it a whirl, come at parenting from a place of love and logic. I’ve tried to be calm and loving and logical. Using a soft gentle voice as I point out how much I love my child in order that they not continue the behavior that might harm…

…“Now junior, I love you too much to allow you to traipse through the yard with a machete at a running rate of a squirrel who can’t figure out if he should go left or right. I fear you might fall on said machete and damage yourself, brining woeful damage to a main artery in your body. If that were to happen, I fear that I might not have the proper knowledge to figure out how to stop the bleeding of said artery and I love you too much to allow you to wallow in screaming pain in the middle of the yard while I go and look up a quick YouTube on the proper care and pressure points to assure minimal loss of blood. I also love you too much to allow you to continue to hold the dog by the tail as you gallop through the yard with the machete. I know you are attempting to wrangle horses and kill the unicorn slayer who has done you and your people wrong, and I applaud your imagination. I love your imagination so much that I actually fear those who might stand in the way of you and your lovely imagination. I fear that my unending love for you will one day put mommy in a very precarious position if someone ever slights your amazing imagination. But please love of my life, I just worry that if you continue to misuse the dog he won’t want to play with you anymore and I love myself too much to have to listen to that crying hailstorm…I mean, I love you too much to allow you to continue to balance on the concrete wall with the machete and the dog on the off-chance that you fall from that height. Falling from that height has possible horrific outcomes, my darling, for one you might break an arm or a leg. That is if the machete is thrown from your hands first, that’s the easiest outcome. A broken bone would hurt very badly and then you would have to be in a cast for several weeks until the bone is healed. You see, as soon as you break your bone the blood will clot and special cells called phagocytes clean the bone and try to kill germs that find their way around the break. Then a soft callus made of collagen will gather around the break, this process takes about three weeks…it’s a long process.”

But let me be honest with you, this isn’t me. It isn’t what my kid reacts to. Instead, I go with my gut instincts and in the most loving way I can summon, I scream, “are you kidding me? Get off the damn wall before you kill yourself.”

*Insert back talk from darling child here.

“Oh, you’ll be safe alright, safe enough for me to wring your neck if you don’t break it from the fall first. And where the hell did you get a machete?”

*Insert another bout of screaming back at me here from the love of my damn life.

“Get down, let go of the dog and if you’re going to run through the yard like an idiot with a machete cut down that tree in the corner.”

*Insert the tried and true “but mom” whine here.

“I’m the mom, I make the rules. Don’t give me any lip.” Angrily I storm out of the arena, away from the crowd that boo’s the rules I’ve set down. So in a last-ditch effort to be a better parent, I turn and peek my head out of the tunnel and scream, “I love you, you know.”

Needless to say, my “Gladiator” parenting style did not mix well with the “Sound of Music “one. In the end, I felt it was best for everyone if the kid and I took our loud dramas and acted them out in the comfort of our own home.

*Note: I don’t really own a machete.

One Comment

  • John

    My parenting style seems more, “Go ahead. You’ll learn.” followed by breaking out the first aid kit and explaining to the emergency room staff that there is nothing wrong with experimenting with dinning utensils and electricity. I build two kinds of kid; real smart, or real tough. It’s their choice. 😉

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