“Real” work calls (the kind that pays, as opposed to blogging) and I’m running a couple of conferences this summer. But to keep my seat warm in my absence, I bring you some of my favorite guest bloggers on Fridays in July. Maybe you already know them, and maybe you will find someone new to follow, but either way you are in for a treat.
In her every day life, Kymberli is a post-infertility mother to el Cinco: her four kids (all Clomid babies) plus her nephew whom she is raising. Kymberli teaches 8th grade English and her husband, Frank is a cookie-baking, dinner-cooking, house-cleaning, stay-at-home-dad extraordinaire. Kymberli’s alter-ego is a bad ass superhero who has tipped back into the waters of infertility, this time as a gestational surrogate. She’s helped one couple build a family with the birth of her surro-son Sam in 2007. In her blog I’m a Smart One, Kymberli discusses the continuation of her efforts to be a surrogate and parenting after infertility.
When THE Lori asked if I would write a guest post for her blog, my jaw dropped and I heard cheesy sit-com style “heaven” music. You know, the type that has harp glissandos set in the background of a chorus of angels harmonizing “Aaaaaaahhh.” Yes, I know – I’m an idiot. But I seriously felt like the little dweeb in the corner who’d been asked to go to Prom with the Most Popular Kid in Class, so I gleefully accepted. Then I had an “OH SH!T” moment once it sunk in that tons of people, including many who’ve never seen me at Smart One, would be reading my contribution. Oh, the pressure…first impressions, and all that.
Why on Earth would you have as.sholes for kids? I’m sure you could find plenty of other things that are more appropriate to have for kids. You could have toys and games and books for kids. A nutritolicious lunch, perhaps, with high fiber and no trans fats and a double dose of calcium would definitely be good for kids. But as.sholes for kids – nuh uh – those won’t work. They won’t play with them, and I can guarantee you that they won’t eat them.
Now if, in fact, what you really meant by your inquiry was “What to do when my kids are as.sholes,” that’s an entirely different thing. And oh so not special. Whose kids aren’t as.sholes? That’s what the whole business of being a kid is about! Even the brainy, mild-tempered, cheek-pinchable darlings have random, mad streaks of as.sholishness here and there.
One day you might be having a lovely chat with your mother-in-law over a cuppa tea. You look up just in time to see your two-year old whiz through the kitchen at warp speed with the string of cond.oms she found nestled between the mattresses, and she’s whipping them overhead like a latex, ribbed-for-pleasure lasso. Only an as.shole would do something like that.
Maybe you’ve taken your children to an all-day high school marching band competition. Your oldest son is just over three and he’s thrilled with having reigned his bowels under his control. At his request, you’ve trekked down the bleachers four times in the past thirty minutes to take him to go potty. Twenty minutes go by without another pee break, so you settle back to observe the current show, assured that your son is now content to play a few rows below you with his twin sister. As the next performance begins – a fiery Latin show – you glance down for a kidcheck and realize that your son is now halfway down the bleachers. The company front of trumpets and other high brass instruments are wailing fortissimo con fuego, so you yell to be heard above them – “Son! Get your butt back up here!” He stops in his tracks and as if on cue, the band hits a sforzando, bringing their blast to a sudden shushed pianissimo. In that quiet moment, your son answers your yell with one of his own – “BUT MOM, I GOTTA GO POOP!” The dance team and parent chaperons sitting in the surrounding bleachers erupt in hand-covered giggles as they turn and look up, and you can only sink your head into your knees. As.s. Hole.
Or, you’re in the local mega-mart-with-a-capital-W, accompanied by your 5-year old daughter. You’re in the hair care section selecting new barrettes for her when further down the aisle, she pipes up and says, “You should by a box of this perm because your hair is kinda nappy.” Everyone within earshot casts glances in your direction, obviously assessing that yes, your hair is quite overdue for a straightening relaxer. Need I say it? As.sssshole.
It could be that your other son – the one they call angelic – has suddenly refused to remove his own clothing even though he is nearly four and is more than capable of doing it himself. He moans in agony, wails, and sobs until snot runs in slippery streams down his lips and chin. He scream-choke-cries himself into hyperventilation. He follows you around the house at a tortured snail’s pace until you relent and remove his clothing for him. He’s playing you. This continues for three weeks and only comes to an end after you devised and enacted a plan to break him of these ridiculous tantrums. Should it have come to this in the first place? No – but he’s a kid, and that makes him an as.shole. A stubborn one, at that.
So you think your kids are as.sholes. So what? It’s inherent in children’s nature to have as.shole tendencies. They don’t know any better. Don’t act like you don’t remember being an as.shole yourself. Parenting is all about how to extract said as.sholishness and shape your children into…well…non-as.sholes.
Look – I don’t really believe that children are as.sholes (most of them, anyway). The reality is that parenting is tough. Gird your loins tough. No matter how much you prepare yourself for it, you end up still flying by the seat of your pants with not much more to go on than a wing and a prayer. It’s a challenge
and they the are challengers. So when things get so tough that you start wondering if you’re raising your children to be as.sholes, just remember that no one said it would be easy. You are not alone.
One last thing – you’ve seen Nanny 911 or Supernanny, yes? If your kids act like those kids, I regret to inform you that the kids are not as.sholes. You are. Grow a set and get control, or else one day you might find your children Googling “what to do if you have as.sholes for parents.”
To the readers of Weebles Wobblog, if you’re still trying to make it through to the other side, whether through adoption, surrogacy, donor egg, sperm donor, IVF, IUI, or any other options in the myriad of ways to overcome infertility, I hope and pray that you will make it, and soon. If you’ve already made it over, give your little as.sholes (the kids, people, not the ones you’re sitting on) an extra squeeze today.