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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rethinking Our Parenting Style Entirely

Sunday, February 21, 2010 By

Augusta, Ga. - Scott has been working all day, and I'm not sure he's eaten a thing. He's really tearing into dinner that I cooked (asian pork with edamame and baby carrots). Emmie's sitting at the table with him, and suddenly she exclaims:

"Good God, Daddy! You really eatin' da CRAP out of dat food!"

Whoa. There is a moment of shocked silence as Scott and I lock eyes, and then I do the worst thing possible. I burst into laughter. I laugh so hard that I send myself into a coughing fit.

"Mama, why you laffeend?!" Emmie says.

"Good God, did you hear that?" I ask Scott with a chuckle, and then stop. Oh. So THAT's where she got it from.

Aw, crap.

We're just a small family, the three of us, and we've always had a close, attachment kind of parenting style. We're not slack on the discipline, but we focus on helping Emmie make the best choices, as opposed to requiring that she do what we say. (Of course, at the end of the day, the best choices are the ones we'd have made FOR her, but it's all in the presentation. I hope...)

We have always involved Emmie in everything, having her tag along wherever we may go - work, friends' visits, community events - desiring to expose her to as much as possible, within reason.
We want her to be knowledgeable, comfortable, and confident. We don't want to expose her to things that will confuse her. That's one of the reasons I rolled up the car windows today, despite her protests, when some dude pulled up next to us on Wheeler Rd. His car stereo was crooning, "Ah, birthday sex... Yeahyeahyeah, birthday sex," and he bought the car stereo system THAT GOES TO ELEVEN. (Thanks A LOT, dude)

But maybe we still aren't being the role models that we could be. Because I remember when saying "crap" got me a pop on the bottom. I didn't understand it then, but I am within reach of comprehension now.

So, for Lent, I'm giving up a few of my favorite words and phrases: "crap," "good god," and "mother of god." I'll consider giving up "son of a biscuit," but I haven't made up my mind on that phrase, yet. I'm definitely keeping "for crying out loud."

I'm sure I've forgotten some things that I should stop saying. Mother of God, I'm sure there are other aspects of our crappy parenting that can be improved, for crying out loud. Like our constant sarcasm, and our inability to take things seriously.

But happy Lent, everyone. Here's to all of our efforts to change the bad habits we've fallen into. Good God, I hope you beat the CRAP out of them!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


  1. Well that is just great. If you are going to stop saying 'Crap' in front of Emmie, then I will really need to stop calling various public officials 'scumbag', 'idiot', 'assmunch' and other variations of those.
    That may be why Anna Harper was made to stand at recess... she said to her teacher in front of the class 'My momma says that Obama has his head up his butt'. Yep, that was a nice note I got from the teacher.

  2. That's all kinds of hilarious!