Since we’re smack dab in the middle of summer with long days and endless heat, I feel like my parenting game has gone down a few notches. What is normally an “A” game during the school year (just kidding, at best a “B” game), is now somehow down to a barely-passing “D” game.
There are many times lately where I’ve found myself looking the other way when the kids do something just shy of wrong. I get so tired of constantly nagging them not to do things that sometimes I like to avoid having to say no when what they’re doing is only partially wrong.
Here are ten times this summer that I’ve found myself looking the other way:
- I have looked the other way when the kids are jumping on the couch. You see, I believe that every kid should experience couch-jumping, but I shouldn’t overtly allow it. So, I pretend I don’t see it and then suddenly look shocked and aghast when I walk in. “Guys, stop jumping on the couch! Someone’s going to get hurt!”
- I have pretended not to see my daughter secretly eat three heaping spoonfuls of Nutella after making Nutella toast. Everyone should enjoy this blissful pleasure, but I feel like I shouldn’t let it happen in front of my face. While Nutella isn’t my cup of tea, I’ve certainly been known to hide in the pantry sneaking other forms of chocolate or snacks.
- I don’t say anything to my 5 year old when I know he isn’t wearing underwear. These days, convincing him to get out of his PJs and into regular clothes is such a challenge. So, when he finally does get dressed, I honestly don’t want to spend 30 more minutes convincing him to put on undies. Thankfully he doesn’t forget undies on a daily basis, but when he does it’s so easy to look the other way. I figure if he wants to let the boys fly free, I really shouldn’t have a problem with it.
- I have totally ignored the amount of times that the kids say variations of the word “poop” in any given day. I don’t know why, but the kids all find joy in saying this word. No matter how many rules we’ve established around it, they still say it. I sometimes think the more attention I pay to it, the more they say it. So, go on with your poop talk kids. Unless we’re at the dinner table or in public, I will probably pretend that I don’t hear you.
- I have pretended I am clueless when I witness the youngest slap his older brother for being a turd. While I don’t condone hitting, slapping, or punching in this house, there are times where I’ve seen the 3 year old slap his 5 year old brother for something that he is totally deserving of. I sometimes pretend I don’t notice and chuckle to myself because the 3 year old is finally able to stand up for himself.
- I have walked by their rooms quickly so as to not see them jumping on their beds. This kind of goes along with my theory on couch-jumping. When I was a kid, I loved nothing more than jumping on beds. I don’t think my parents “allowed” me to do it, so I guess I just did it when they weren’t looking. I figure as long as they’re not jumping from the top bunk (THAT I would definitely acknowledge), they are a-okay.
- I don’t say anything when I know they’ve only brushed their teeth for 30 seconds max. Honestly, just getting my kids to brush their teeth is a feat in and of itself, so I don’t even question the little one when he sticks his toothbrush in his mouth for a mere 12 seconds. Just the fact that it entered his mouth somewhere near his teeth with a dab of toothpaste makes me happy.
- I pretend not to see when they are drawing on each other with markers. When they are getting along, I will let most anything slide. As long as they’re not drawing on each other with Sharpies, I am all good. And once, I even joined in the fun and let them draw all over me. It was all fun and games until I realized that it would take 3 showers to remove all of it, but that’s another story.
- I often look the other way when one kid has had obviously more time on the iPad or computer than the next kid. I get so tired of being the fairness judge that sometimes, I just relinquish my judicial duties and let the kids manage their sharing abilities. Sometimes that ends up causing any variation of #5 above to happen.
- I sometimes pretend to be oblivious to the amount of nether-region touching and tugging that goes on with the boys. I get so tired of telling the boys not to touch and pull while watching TV that sometimes I just feign total ignorance.
I don’t think any of these things are really that bad (ok, maybe the brothers hitting each other isn’t the greatest) but I think all of these things are just part of childhood. And somehow, summertime is the easiest time to let these things slide a little bit.
Come the end of August when school starts, I guess I’ll need to make sure the boys are wearing underwear and my daughter isn’t inhaling Nutella for breakfast. Until then, I’ll keep looking the other way…
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