The other day I fished half a corn muffin out of the trash and allowed Paige to eat it. It’s not the first time I’ve done that either. Let me be clear though – first of all, it wasn’t touching anything gross and more importantly, it was obvious my two year old was going to have a record breaking meltdown if she realized I threw the muffin she had abandoned over an hour ago in the trash. So I surreptitiously plucked it off the top of some recently tossed noodles, gave it a quick once over, and presented it to her on her Dora plate. Crisis averted.
I am way too lazy to force my kids to brush their teeth every night. I try. Really, I do. But some nights it’s just not worth the fight and when they do brush, I have to admit, they are probably just sucking the pink princess toothpaste off the completely destroyed bristles rather than actually scrubbing their teeth. But they’re baby teeth right? Surely when their permanent teeth come in they’ll care a little more about fresh breath and hygiene and take it upon themselves to brush twice a day. Maybe they’ll even floss!
By no means do I save all my girls’ art work. In fact, the majority of their scribbly little pictures and sticker covered bits of colored construction paper wind up in the recycling bin. I mean, seriously, if I were to save everything, I’d have to build a new wing to house all the projects that accompany them home from school on a daily basis. I save a few standouts because undoubtedly, one day, I’ll find myself alone in their vacated childhood rooms as they venture off to dormitories , pouring over boxes of memories, dabbing at my eyes with a hanky as I recall the days of the scribbles and stickers. But right now, to be honest, they are just another thing to organize.
So there you have it. I’ve broken many a parenting rule during my three year stint at this occupation. And quite frankly, it feels good to go against the grain. If we follow every rule, whether it is in parenthood or life in general, we lose a certain power to make educated decisions that work for us. Hell, if I listened to every piece of advice I was ever given, I wouldn’t have taken many of the risks that have led me on a road less taken, but one that works for me. Listen to your gut – even if it means your child may ingest some old coffee grinds or their breath may be a bit rank. They’ll live.