Oh, I’ll never do that!

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Today, I am participating in Monday Listicles, a weekly creation started by Stasha at The Good Life. The idea for today’s list comes from Greta at Not Enough Patience: 10 Things You Said You’d Never Do But Have Caught Yourself Doing.

Growing up, the ‘I never’ game was associated with drinking: an ‘I never” statement was made and if you had done it – you were to drink. Being a prudish wallflower, I always walked away from that game completely sober. The only way I could get a sip of anything was when statements like “I never ran a red light” were uttered.

Well, this is not a drinking game.

1. I will never have kids.
I am the youngest of six. My Mom took care of kids in our house. I helped in the infant and toddler room at church. I’ve been around infants, toddlers and kids my entire life. My Mom cared for at least 5 different kids with colic. (Fine, maybe only one of the kids was colic, but I swear – if you have experienced a colicky kid, it feels like twenty gabillion colicky kids.)

I knew what having kids meant. I knew the work. I knew the responsibility. I was smarter than the average bear, and I was never going to have kids.

Alas, I met Rob. I  married Rob, and Rob is hot. Suddenly, I had the desire to have kids with this hot guy named Rob. Best decision, ever. (I’m sure you’ve noticed my kids are good looking, right? Yeah, it is all Rob!)

2. I will never co-sleep with my baby. He will always sleep in his crib.
When we brought Joe home from the hospital, I put him to bed in his crib in his room, while I slept in my room (my husband’s room, too). I do not recall how long Joe slept – if at all – I simply recall being exhausted and hating to get out of bed. I didn’t mind feeding Joe (I breastfed him), I just hated getting out of bed. So …

I moved into the guest room, and I slept with Joe for the first 6 months.

3. I will never co-sleep with my second baby. He will always sleep in his crib.
I tried. Really, I did. But I knew I did not want to repeat the co-sleep thing again. I wanted to sleep in my own bed with my husband and no one else. But … again I was breast feeding and again the baby wanted to eat. (What is up with babies wanting to eat?)

I did keep to my word, sort of … I didn’t co-sleep with Charlie. When he woke to eat in the middle of the night, I got him up out of his crib and sat on the couch to feed him. And, I remained on the couch w/Charlie the rest of the night . . . every single night . . . for the next 6 months.

4. I will never take antidepressants. I can handle it on my own.
Hindsight 20/20, I  may have needed medication when I started college. I knew depression existed in the family, but I always figured I could handle it. Then I met Rob. Hot Rob, remember? Yeah, and remember – hot Rob and I had kids.

After the birth of Joe, postpartum depression hit me hard. Hard. Long story short, I take an antidepressant every day. Before taking the medication, many of my friends suggested I take the medication. Interestingly enough, none of my friends are suggesting I go off the medication. Apparently, the meds are working. (Thank goodness for friends (and family).)

5. I will never buy my kids any type of video games.
Video games are everywhere. Hand-held devises like Nintendo DSs rule the world! Coincidentally enough, ADD is also rampant. But, that’s a discussion for another day.

I was not going to let my kids get lost in the world of video games. Never. Enter a trip from Georgia to Nova Scotia, Canada by car… with two boys …

Before hitting the road, I purchased two Leapsters, several cartridges and tons of batteries. That was in 2009. I’ve yet to buy any other video games for the boys, and I have no intention of buying others. The two Leapsters still work – and the boys are still entertained during long car rides.

6. I will never get a portable DVD player for the car.
See No. 5.

7. My kids will never chew gum.
I am psycho when it comes to kids with candy. I just do not want my kids to eat candy, at least not when they are under the age of 10. Cavities, obesity, overall bad eating habits … candy is the devil. Fine, I may be exaggerating just a bit. Still, I draw the line, and gum was not on the right side of the line.

Then came Joe, good ol’ Joe. He is brilliant. Seriously. And, even at the ‘new’ age of 7, he still puts just about everything in his mouth. When whatever object is in his mouth, the object is chewed – and chewed – and chewed. In fact, his school had concerns about rodents, due to the number of erasers that went missing in his classroom. Mysteriously, the erasers were chewed off pencils.

Cutting to the chase, Joe now takes a pack of sugarless gum to school with him every week. The teachers approve of his chewing gum and the in-tact pencil erasers.

8. I will never be the Mom that counts to three.
My apologies in advance to anyone I may offend with my next statement. I cannot stand to hear Moms (or Dads) count to three and do nothing, while trying to discipline their kids.

First, counting to three annoys the crap out of me. I’m of the mindset, when a parent tells a child to so something, they do it. If a warning is needed, the warning is said – period. The warning is not said, followed by a second warning, followed by the dreaded ‘count to three’ threat.

Second, if one is going to count to three – then get up off your butt and follow through with whatever you claimed would happen if you got to three. Counting to three FIVE times does not send the proper message to the child.

Yes, well, while I still feel passionately about counting to three, I realize picking battles is important. For me, counting to three gives ME a chance to countdown (or up, rather) to a response/action. Counting to three gives me time to get my lazy butt up and follow-thru. Counting to three works for this 40-something year old Mom, who is inherently lazy (yes, I am) and needs to motivate her own lazy self to get up and do something. So yes, I count to three, but trust me when I say – I mean business.

9. My kids will never spend the night away from home without Mom and Dad.
Again, I’m psycho. I think kids belong at home. You have a kid – you raise the kid. You don’t go pawning the kid off to grandma at any given moment. I speak from experience, though not direct experience. I know of a child that will mistakenly call her grandma ‘Mom’ because of many overnighters since birth. (The child lives in a ‘normal’ home with two parents.) I admit that I harbored a bit of jealousy while this was taking place, wanting the same kind of free-time. Still, I vowed I would never do it.

I’ve mentioned my kid, Joe, right? Yes, he’s the brilliant boy that chews things. Well, as an infant, he was not a sleeper. If my boob was not in his mouth he would not sleep. (Sorry for the visual.) We tried. Yeah, I co-slept with him until he was 6 months old. Yeah, okay, so  maybe I am to blame. Whatever. The kid would not sleep.

Enter Grandma. She offered countless times to take Joe for the night. I resisted. My kid had to stay home. Had to.

Finally, Rob talked some sense into me, and we let Joe spend the night with grandma when he was six months old. I still remember walking in the neighborhood with Rob that night. We passed by neighbors (go figure – passing by neighbors while walking in the neighborhood), and they asked us why our son was not with us. I remember the my gut aching when I told them he was at grandma’s house. Being parents themselves, they got it, and they smiled.

Rob and I had a great night that night – and we slept – the entire night. When we brought Joe home the next day, he slept in his crib. And, he remained in his crib/bed from that point forward.

10. I will never let the boys watch Caillou. Ever.
I failed. Whiny-boy did make it into the house and onto our television screen. I still have nightmares of that bald-headed boy. “I’m just a kid who’s four; each day I grow some more; I like exploring; I’m Caillou. … Growing up is not so tough, except when I’ve had enough; but there’s lots of fun stuff; I’m Caillou…” [Shudder] Thank goodness the boys are beyond that stage.

.|.

Creating this list was tough. I asked Rob for suggestions, and he said I have pretty much stuck to my guns. (He’s a good man.)

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34 thoughts on “Oh, I’ll never do that!

    • Dammit Kim! I can curse! I swear! Look, I’ll make a deal with you – give the God thing a chance, and I’ll increase my cursing.
      P.S. Yes, I do think we are so very similar. Glad you noticed. 🙂

  1. Robin

    Before I had my second kid, I heard a Bill Cosby quote “Parents don’t care about fair all they want is quiet” I thought that I wasn’t going to be like that. I would talk to each kid and get to the bottom of things.

    I could not have been more wrong.

  2. I can relate to each and every one of these. (Well, the co-sleeping with my kids went on for years, not months) And the last one? OH how I feel your pain. As I sit here typing, Julia is already begging me to put a Caillou episode on for her. Yes, I DVR them. Yes, I have about 15 currently stored in our DVR. Yes, I want to punch that poor bald kid. I know, I am evil! And why why why for the love of God is he bald? Is there a story behind that? Even Charlie Brown had a few hairs.

    • Hahahahaha! The Charlie Brown thing cracked me up, Darla! And, I find it hilarious that you were just talking to Julia about watching Caillou. I can’t believe you DVR the show! I can send you are DVDs if you’d like. FREE!!! (Seriously. Free to a good home… please. Get them out of my house!)

  3. You kill me! I’m so glad you ditched the rules. Parenting is hard, especially when your bar is high. Sadly, my bar is low. Today very low….

    Not I don’t have things I’m wild about: reading, good manners, quality work, responsibility.

    It’s all a balance of sanity, I think.

    • The bar goes up and down, Julie – depending on the mood and energy level. (smile) Oh yes – and the balance of sanity. Though really, is there a balance? And sanity? What is sanity? (smile) Thanks for reading!

  4. This was fantastic and so, so honest; Loved it. We all thought we knew .. until we found we didn’t. And then you just figure it out and do the best you can …

    Beautifully done 🙂
    MJ

  5. I have my love hate relationship with Caillou. He makes my kid act all lovely but his mom makes me feel like rubbish. Does she ever get mad? Does she even raise her eyebrows? Must be botox…
    Anyhow I was bracing myself for a seventy page short novel but hey, you are brief and to the point. Love your writing and I let my kiddo play Leapster too. And my husband Xbox. If you knew how opposed to video games I am, you can only imagine how hard this was for me to type.

    • Truthfully, I think the parents bug me more than Caillou. Your botox comment made me snort. That’s pretty funny.
      I’m glad you braced yourself for a 70 page novel. By page 65 I realized it was time to cut it short. (Too late)
      I rationalize the Leapster thing – learning more than just playing. And, I have complete XBox and Wii envy …
      Thanks for the blog support, Stasha!

  6. I’d like to share some Mom wisdom with those mothers who are going to count to three, then don’t do anything. But I keep my mouth shut and mind my own business, and pray they figure it out before it’s too late. I wasn’t going to have kids either. So I just had KID. 🙂 My only child is now the mother of six. I did not see that coming.

    • It is so hard to keep my mouth shut, Patti. Alas, I realize we all have our different styles – and well, it’s not my kid, so I back-off (while giving thanks). 🙂
      Your ‘child’ is the Mom of 6? Wow, maybe her youngest has the statement, “I never want kids” in her future! (smile)

  7. LOL … but I am guilty of the one, two, three … but always follow thro … my sister in law on the other hand threatens her kids all day long and then never does anything – ever – til she loses it! drives me insane!

    ps, i err on the side of prudish too 😉

    • Inside my head, I laugh when I am about to count. Following through is key – otherwise it is just hot air. (smile)
      Welcome to the neighborhood, Musings. I appreciate you stopping by and visiting.

  8. I’m with you on the counting to three thing. I don’t have kids but my sister must have counted to a million by now.
    But we all have those “skeletons” in our closets of things we swore we’d never do. And then we grew up. And became our mothers. 😛

  9. Fantastic post. The reality isn’t always easy to re-examine, but I think this is a great testament to being a parent and the infinite number of choices/decision that you are called upon to go through every day.

    • Thank you, Steve. I think many of the choices/decisions I end up making are based (at least in part) on the number of hours of sleep I had the prior night. (smile) I do try to be consistent – both with discipline and sleep. (HA!)

  10. Ah Caillou! I swear sometimes its the only way I can get dinner cooked. And my kid is a few weeks from turning two and he just had his first sleepover. Coming from someone who raised her sisters kid, and she was never around them I vowed my kids would never have a sleepover….. now I am eating my words. Although it was my husbands Idea not mine. I’d rather have someone watch him during the day when he is crazy and moves, not at night when he sleeps

  11. I so agree with both MJ and Jackie. Everybody is a great parent until they actually have to get in the trenches for some hand-to-hand with the enemy. And by enemy I mean our wonderful little miracles who we love to pieces.

    We all tend to turn into our mothers – terrifying!

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