Friday, November 15, 2013

The Jerk We Live With

Lately, my kid has been a jerk more than she has been charming. I thought 4 was going to be a party but so far, Edie's been splitting her time between being bossy and being whiny, with only the occasionally charming 15 minute break. What can you do but roll your eyes and write a blog post about it?

But Jeff says we are entering an age where posting gratuitously about Edie and her shenanigans will become inappropriate. Her privacy is to be respected. She can't enter high school with a record of her every move out in the public for her friends and their parents' to read. I'm rebelling against this idea while also knowing that he's right. Over the next month or two, I will make an attempt at cutting back on personal stories involving Edie.

I'd make my blog private, but I know for a fact that there are many lurkers out there reading my blog who never comment and I fear they wouldn't admit to their lurker status and ask for blog access once I made it private. And I kind of like my blog-lurkers. Occasionally I check my blog stats and despite my average of 1 comment per post, I can see that there are usually 60-80 people checking the site every day. Jeff is quick to point out that 5 of those are probably my Mom refreshing the page to see if anything new has been posted, but still!

So instead of going into detail about Edie's unbecoming behavior, I'll discuss how I feel about it. Because that's about me, and we all know I don't care who knows MY business. In a nutshell - I feel badly about it. Picking my battles is getting more and more difficult because my whole LIFE feels like a battle when I'm parenting. At least lately. I catch myself giving in and saying yes as often as I can, just to avoid a knock-down-drag-out fight. But even as I'm saying, yes she can have a piece of Halloween candy after dinner, I'm thinking - "No way in HELL has this kid's behavior earned her any kind of reward and what are you doing reinforcing this?!" At the end of the day, I often feel defeated and like I probably should have waded through a fight to make my point.

The other night we went out to eat and the experience was narrated by Edie with such gems as: "MOM! The waiter is taking TOO LONG. (dramatic, exasperated sigh)" and then 2 minutes after the food comes: "Can we GO now?!" We came home and Jeff commented, "It's sort of like we just have to invite a jerk with us every time we go anywhere now."  Which I found hilariously funny. Because that IS what it's like sometimes!

Recently, we put Edie to bed after much struggle over tooth brushing, quantity of bedtime stories, and a false claim that she was hungry right as I was about to turn the lights out. We came downstairs and I said, "I really thought 4 was going to be more fun than this. I thought 4 was the 'little buddy' age." Jeff rolled his eyes in agreement. I offered, "I've heard 5 is super awesome." Jeff laughed and said something like, "Yeah, I think maybe every age is just going to be like this - really hard with moments of greatness. I think maybe this is just what it's going to be like. Forever." (Jeff is going to read this and claim he is totally misquoted and he is right - but I think I captured the sentiment)

So here we are. In the thick of parenting - as Edie would say, "Four and quarter years" in.  And I think it's true - this is just what it's like being a parent. I was totally a jerk growing up. Karma is a BITCH.


sandralbruton said...

At 4, pleasing your friends was important...but so was pleasing your parents. And Jeff overestimates how many times I check your blog! You're making me worry we don't cave enough as her grandparents?

Darrah said...

I feel you Jill. Hang in there. This time of year is especially challenging, I think. Much easier for kids and adults to get grumpy when we're cooped up inside all the time!

lindsey. said...

I'm sorry but I laughed so hard reading this. And then I shared bits of it with Greg and he laughed too. Particularly over Jeff's comment about the jerk you have to take with you everywhere. Dying!

The truth is that we are laughing because we totally get what you mean. We are living with Edie's Coupeville twin, it would seem. Every day some inconceivably tiny thing disturbs the emotional balance within Marina and sends her over an emotional cliff. Most of the time I don't know whether to laugh or cry so I just walk away. It's insane. And annoying. But I suppose this won't last forever. Right? I'm right, right? RIGHT??!!

Unknown said...

Craig and I enjoyed reading this... we are no longer lurkers! :)

Adam said...

Why did it say I am unknown? That was weird! Oh I see, it's a button I'm supposed to push.