Kaiser had a diet coke with dinner tonight. Ok, it’s a little worse than that. He had a Diet Coke, chips and cheese dip, two bites of a quesadilla and an orange safety pop. But the soda, that’s really questionable judgment, I know. But I’m done fighting the inevitable: The kid loves Aspartame and caffeine as much as I do. He had his first sip around 18 months. He reached for it (at a Mexican restaurant, you can be certain) and I obliged, putting the straw in his mouth, certain he’d hate the bitterness and fizz. He didn’t. Ever since then it’s been dirty, pudgy hands reachin’ for my beverage. Yes, I’m a Diet Coke enabler.
Stop giving me the stink eye.
We went for dinner tonight. Corona’s. They have crayons. They have booths so I can lock the little poopmonkey between my arse and the wall. I ask him, “Would you rather have a Sprite or water?” I think I’m safe because he pretty much thinks Sprite tastes like worms and fail.
The waiter comes and I have to ask for a Diet Coke in a kiddie cup. Yes. Just like Momma Spears. It comes. Kaiser is thrilled. Over and over, he repeats to our dinner companions, “I gots a special treat!” Our server definitely gives me the, “What-kinda-mom-are-you?” look. Whatever.
Conclusion: I’m coming face to face with the realization that I’m a loosey-goosey mom.
I tend to say yes more than no. If it doesn’t matter, I let it fly. And really, most things just don’t much matter. See, I doubt that a heckuva lot influences what sort of person Kaiser is going to become. Sans extremes, I might just argue that we are who we are, that unless you’re raised in appalling conditions — you’ll be you, no matter what.
Talking to my mother about this last weekend, she agreed. Amazingly. See, my sisters and I were raised in the kinda home where —what hair bow I wore to church was perceived as significant in how other families viewed ours; children (even the 17-year-old sort) weren’t allowed to get a snack without asking; we had to be in bed by 9pm without fail and without chatter. My mom, she’s great. She was always great. Do I think she was a tad too, er, nuts? Yep, I do. Boundaries are important, but do we need to be stern to be good parents? Nah.
I try to choose my battles wisely. An occasional Diet Coke is a-ok with me, but candy every day isn’t. Cool if Kaiser wants to dawdle for 20 minutes as we walk from school to the car, but when I’m ready for him to brush his teeth, I’m ready. Fine with me if he breaks all his crayons, but he knows me well enough to know that we’re not going to Walmart to buy replacements.
It’s all arbitrary, isn’t it? We do the best we can, the best way we know how and we hope, well, for the very best.