Thursday, May 19, 2011

Who is "everyone else"?

My kids are very concerned with everyone else. I was too, as a kid. I thought it was just me - but maybe it is everyone?? Do all kids struggle with what everyone else is doing? Or are my kids just so much like me...????

Now that I am a parent I am so over this. "But everyone else does it!" Oh. My. Goodness. Do I really care that everyone else stays up until 11:00, even on test night? Do I care that everyone else drinks pop and eats hotdogs for dinner, like every night? Do I care that everyone else wears a certain kind of clothing? Or that everyone else talks that way, walks that way, or acts that way?

Who sets these standards anyway?!?

Usually I try to take the parental approach and explain that everyone is different. And how boring it would be if we were all the same. They obviously don't buy it.

Tonight I tried a new approach. I had it up to here with the everyone else comments. So I told Luke, "Congratulations, it's your lucky night. You can stay up until 11:00! Go get a Coke out of the fridge and turn on the TV." He just stared at me. "What are you waiting for? Go ahead!" "No, mommy!" "Oh, you don't want to watch TV? How about your DS? Do you want to play your DS for 2 hours straight? Oh, make it 3 or 4, then you can stay up until midnight!" "Mommy, stop it!" "But everyone else does it, Luke." "I don't care what everyone else does, mommy!" And he started to cry.

Oh, really??? Since when don't you care what everyone else does??

So then I tried my new found parenting trick on Emma. "Guess what, Emma? Tonight is going to be a great night. Throw away your new toothbrush." She just stared at me. (Must be contagious!) "Go ahead, throw it away." "Why, mommy? Why?" "Because you won't need it anymore. I realized I'm the only mean mom on the planet who makes her kids brush their teeth. I know how badly you hate brushing your teeth, and how no one else has to brush their teeth, so we're going to be like everyone else. Throw it away." "No, mommy, no!" as she got out her toothpaste and started brushing like mad.

Huh. Maybe "everyone else" isn't so appealing after all... Until tomorrow, of course.

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