I am completely enamored with the fact that I am writing this at 37, some odd thousand feet in the air, aboard American Airlines Flight 2405 to Antigua. Even at the age of 45, that I can write and publish a blog post, mid-air, shall never fail to impress me, thus proving to all the world that no, I do not get out much at all! Today is our 20th wedding anniversary. 20 Years. T.W.E.N.T.Y. 20. 10 plus 10. 5 plus 5 plus 5 plus 5 more. Honestly, there were times when I was quite sure we would not make it this far, but today, I cannot, for the life of me, remember why I ever would have had that thought cross my mind even once. Today, as I sit on an airplane, beside JC, with no children, no phones ringing, no carpools, not a care in the world for the next 5 days….of course today I wonder why I ever let that thought ever cross my mind! (I actually laugh out loud) If I sit here and think about it, we have weathered a hell of a lot. But really, are there any couples who have been together this long who haven’t? We haven’t weathered the same storms, maybe, but we have all weathered storms just the same. This is our first real, all-out vacation that has nothing to do with work, nothing to do with a wedding, and sans children. So what am I doing? Writing about the children. This week was filled with last minute things that absolutely had to be taken care of before we left town. Mini Me’s locker has to be decorated today–a Senior tradition at his school. It’s also a surprise. I called Mothah to see if she could take care of it, but she had already committed to work at The Mart after taking The Baby to school. Damnation! My mother-in-law was working. I could ask my father-in-law, but God love him, there was no way in hell I was going to give the most important task of decorating a Senior locker to A MAN. I knew just who to call, though I hated to call her because I knew she was equally as swamped as I was, but I did it anyway: Mini Me’s mother-in-law. Of course she isn’t really his mother-in-law! Mini Me and her daughter have been dating for a year and a half. Mary said she would be glad to help me out, and I was most appreciative. I got to work, going through some pictures on Facebook. That is when I happened upon a random post about a young friend’s son losing his first tooth, and let me preface ALL of this by saying that I adore this young mother and her kids, and this blog post is not in any way, shape or form meant to be mean! I can’t even remember now exactly what the post said, but I think it said something about how appalling she found it that some kids get $20 from the Tooth Fairy. Welllllll…….I felt my face start to heat up….because, as you probably can imagine, the Tooth Fairy has left a $20 at my house more than once, and $10 more times than I care to remember! I see nothing wrong with these options. Frankly, my dears, I think it’s nobody else’s damn business how much money the Tooth Fairy leaves at my house or at your house or at the house down the street. I will admit that the Tooth Fairy has actually FORGOTTEN to come to my house MORE THAN ONCE, and that, my friends, THAT makes me feel like shit, sooooo, here is the dealio: if the Tooth Fairy is due at my house and I only have a $20 or a $10, and circumstances prevent me from going to get change, such as A: It is 10:00pm and I just remembered that said Tooth Fairy is coming; or B: It is January, JC is traveling, nobody is over the age of 9 but me, it’s 30 degrees outside, and after 8:00pm; or C: I simply do not feel like it…..then, my kids may get what others feel is not an appropriate amount of money for a tooth. And guess what? Frankly my dears, I don’t give a rat’s ass! So anyway, if I could just keep my big mouth shut, everything would be F.I.N.E., but that is becoming a bit of a problem the older I get. So……knowing better, I left a comment. Then, I felt the need to leave another comment–explaining myself, and I added a laughing, crying emoji thingy–to make it more like I was joking around and all. But dammit, I was not joking! I started thinking about how when Mini Me was born, I was going to do everything just exactly right—by the book. By what book? Certainly not Dr. Spock! I have done every single thing I said I would not do, and then some. I really think this young do-it-by-the book-generation really think they are doing this parenting thing so much better than those of us who have parented before them! Let me just stop here and ask, just what damn book is it that they are reading? I bet they have a secret book club and they are actually writing the book themselves….it’s probably called, “How to Parent Better Than We Think Our Parents Parented Us” or maybe “How We Think the Best Parents on the Planet Should Parent”….They are going to give Junior a quarter for his first tooth and call it a day. I am going to call bullshit on that one! Honey, my kids knew about inflation when they started losing their teeth, and remember…..Mini Me is almost 18! Are you fucking kidding me? There was no way we were getting away with giving that kid a quarter, or for that matter, a dollar! Even that was too cheap! My kids did not want to go to the Dollar Tree and buy any junk. They are no fools, I tell you! I thought long and hard about my parenting that day. I have been farrrrr from perfect. Like I said before, I have done every single thing I said I would not do, and then some–a thousand times over!!! Why? You may ask… Mostly, for some fucking peace and quiet! Why else?????? If you are NOT a parent, then you do NOT understand, and do NOT even pretend to TRY because you CANNOT! How have I failed? Let me counteth the ways……I have let them eat ice cream for dinner. Why? Well, why not? Because sometimes I would rather have ice cream for dinner, too! I have let them go to bed without a bath….sometimes several days in a row….Why? Well, because sometimes the fight is just not worth it! AND, a little dirt never hurt! I have let them go to bed without brushing their teeth. Why? Because sometimes I cannot bear to hear the whining and complaining! Of course I tell them that their teeth are going to turn green and black and rot and fall out–that’s some fine parenting there, too! I have let them sleep in their dirty clothes! Why? Because they fell asleep in them and it was too much trouble to change them into pajamas! I have let them go into the store BAREFOOTED! Why? Because I DID IT AS A KID, and I loved having “grocery store feet”! If you don’t know what “grocery store feet” are, then you aren’t lucky enough to and I’m not going to enlighten you. Guess what else? Mini Me slept with us until he was 3 and The Baby slept with us until he was almost 7. Let’s see….since this is a post of “true confessions”…..I have given The Baby his pacifier off of a public floor without washing it off–only wiping it on my pants or shirt. God Forbid. I nursed The Middle Child, out of her carseat, in the middle of the night, while we were going down a deserted highway in Texas–no, I was not driving! I used to let Mini Me drive Mothah’s car on the farm from the time he was about 8. I bribe all three of my children on a regular basis with money and material things for various reasons. I’m pretty sure that at least Mini Me has ridden on the back of my Daddy’s motorcycle. Here’s a big one: Mini Me has shot BB Guns. Yep. BB Guns. And, I cannot wait to go to my Daddy’s farm this summer so we can all shoot some BB Guns. So there you have it–and I am quite sure that those are just a handful of my parenting sins. As for the damn Tooth Fairy, she and I have a very personal relationship. If my kid tells you that she left him a $20 or a $10, there is a reason. The reason may not be a good one in your book, but remember–these are my kids, my book, my Tooth Fairy.
I have learned, over the past almost 18 years of parenting, to do what works for moi. There is NO book, NO manual. These little suckers come out and NONE of us knows what the right thing to do is! We are all just winging it. I try really hard not to judge other mothers, though I know I’m not perfect at that either. Hell, I’m perfect at nada… nada damn thing. My kids are all three turning out pretty damn great, if I do say so myself….in spite of having me for a mother 😉 I will never get “Mother of the Year”, and frankly, my dears, I don’t give a rat’s ass. I’m having wayyyyyy too much fun doing it wrong 😉