December 14, 2008 - Sunday
Now that Lila is spending a considerable amount of time with her Grandma and Ben because I am working, I no longer have 24 hour control over her. I am finding that my kid is turning into that asshole kid that I was absolutely adamant not to have.
We went to the grocery store yesterday and as I saw all the other young children sitting quietly in their prospective shopping carts, my kid proceeded to scream, kick, cry and grab at every item that came within 3 feet of her. She yelled for balloons, for meat, to get down and even for the signs hanging from the ceiling demanding to me, "GO GET".
The reason my kid behaves like that is NOT just because she is at that age. The reason that my kid is like that is because all the other adults in her life seem to think that the best way to get her to behave in the grocery store (or Target, or at the mall) is to give her whatever she asks for to play with, and Ben even lets her get out of the cart and run around. I mostly blame ben.
I dont believe I need to explain to you all why this is not okay. But apparnetly Ben doesn't see the danger of a kid who will suddenly be old enough to out run him, or grab things off the shelf and break them, or get hurt in an insanely busy grocery store on a Saturday afternoon. Ben also doesn't see why she can't play with pennies (choking factor) chew on crayons (he says they're non-toxic) or climb up our bookcase (it's anchored to the wall after all). Ben cannot conceive that what he is doing is laying the groundwork for how she is going to act in the future. She will not behave out in public. She will run around with crayons, pencils, pens, in her mouth and fall and stab her brain. She will think it is okay to climb up on anything and pull something onto her.
Maybe it's a dad thing. Maybe it's only mothers who foresee the worst possible outcome and decide that they must protect the kid at all costs, even if it means that they cry and beg to do what they want. Perhaps dads cannot think far enough ahead to predict that she is going to be an asshole who has no boundaries. Maybe this is normal. Maybe I need to quit my job (which I love) and go back to being the 24 hour gate keeper so that she can know that there are rules and that she cannot under any circumstances do whatever she wants. Because although I have told both Grandma and Ben what the rules need to be, I am finding that they both subsccribe to the "just keep her happy" method of childcare with no regard to the fact that at her age she should not be deciding what the rules are.
I want to have a polite, functional and NORMAL kid. I want her to know what is and is not allowed. Even if she has to test the limits to learn this. Even if she has to throw tantrums and cry and think it's the end of the world because she can't have a balloon. Because what I do know is that when my kid turns out to be that asshole, no one is going to say "It's her Dad's (or Grandma's) fault for spoiling her." The concensus will be that Lila's mother did a shitty job of raising her.
Shit. My kid is turning into an asshole.
On a seperate and totally unrelated note:
My parents have officially moved out of my childhood home. Ther neighborhood has long been on the decline and they had to get out of there as stabbings and armed home invasions were becoming the regular around there. They purchased a nice 2 family house with my aunt and uncle in Solvay. My mom loves it.
Here's the thing. somehow I am so emotionally retarded that I cannot actually acknowledge it in real life. In the several weeks leading up to the move, I never once mentioned it. I never wanted to go see the new house. I wouldnt even offer to leave work early to pick up Lila in the days leading up to the move so that my mom could pack, simply because I would have to acknowledge it. Yesterday Ben helped them move. I was going to stop by to see how it was going and maybe help out a little, but I got half way there and decided that I could not bear to see my old room empty. So I went home. I know that I should go to my mom's new house and help out however I can. Maybe bring over dinner. I know that's what a grown up would do. But I just can't emotionally deal. It's ridiculous, I know.