Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Book Ends

I have come to the conclusion that parenting is a huge waste of my time.  Not entirely, of course and I do mean this in the most positive of ways. 

Let me explain.

Eldest Weasel is 16.  She is a talented athlete, a gifted scholar, sharp witted and self challenging.  She spoke in full sentences by the time her 1st birthday rolled around and was running circles around the neighborhood by 10 months of age.  She would engage me in logical debate by the age of 3 and all to often win the argument.  She learned to ride a two wheeler within 15 minutes of her first attempt and taught herself to read at age 4.  She was reading at a high school level in the first grade.

I was Mom extraordinaire!  All of her meals were well balanced and her schedule was very disciplined.  I would read to her constantly and we made regular treks to the park.  PBS was the only television that she was exposed to.   I went out of my way to do everything right and my return on investment was my just desserts.  I could hold my head high with a superior pride in my parenting skills.

I had my own hobbies, that led to having five more Weasels.  Of course this led to much less one on one time with individual Weasels and I started loosening my tight grip on the bubble world that I raised them in.  Priorities change, time constraints change and eventually the kids break you much like a wild horse.  You burn out on some things and toss others into the 'whatever' pile, meh.  In the 16 years that I have been parenting, to a degree I have stopped parenting.

I now proudly wear the moniker of Slacker Mom.

I do not check backpacks.  I do not get involved with homework unless specific assistance is required.  The Weasels spend unconscionable amounts of time online and in front of the television.  I let them eat hot dogs for breakfast if they like.  Bedtimes are only strictly enforced on school nights.  I let them play Rock Band and Halo.

Of course I am always here for them emotionally.  I help to guide them through life and give them rules and responsibilities that they are held accountable for like chores and schoolwork.  I am always around for them to hang out, joke around or prepare a meal together once their responsibilities are fulfilled, but other than that I have burned out taken a more hands off approach and refuse to micromanage anything.  I just allow them to be themselves and they thrive.

Smallest Weasel is 6 years old.  She is a talented athlete, a gifted scholar, sharp witted and self challenging.  She rides a two wheeler, has a vocabulary that blows her teachers away and reads well above her grade level.  She can do more chin ups a day then most gown men I know.  She never had much time for Barney but loves Jaws and Mythbusters.  She has a sense of humor that is so sharp and dry that the jokes go flying past most adults because they can't grasp onto such a young child having the complexity of thought and to make references with speed and timing that most adults don't have.  I love having adults look at me quizzically and ask "Did she just say what I think she said?".   

So much for my superior parenting skills having anything to do with her accomplishments.  I have now learned that I can't take the credit for return on investment.  All credit goes directly to them for just being who they are naturally.

This works to my benefit too, you see.  If I can't take credit for my two books ends, neither can I take blame for having screwed up the Weasels that came in between them!

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