Sunday, October 12, 2008

Raising kids confuses The Hawg

My wife is better than me at many things and is undoubtedly superior when it comes to raising children.

We've got two of the little darlings -- an 11-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. My wife is simply better than me when it comes to dealing with them.

Why do I lack such skill when it comes to raising kids? I lack patience when it comes to the kids and I tend to put them up to things that I think are funny but that other people might think are terrible and corrupting. My wife does none of that.

Here are a couple of examples:

Case Study #1 -- The Boy


My son is in middle school and he typically calls my wife when he gets home in the afternoon. For the past week, however, he's had to call me at work because my wife has jury duty.

The following is a transcript of a conversation I had with my son on Thursday. I originally related all this in a comment to this post at Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars. A fellow Arkie, Paul over at Paul's Health Blog, saw my comment and suggested I make a whole post out of it.

Here's the thing -- one of the primary rules around my home is don't piss off daddy. My son got close to violating that rule when he called me at work the other day and I had the following conversation with him:

"Hey, dad."
"Hey, boy."
"My leg hurts."
"What?"
"My leg hurts. It really hurts. My leg. You know my leg? It hurts."
"How did you hurt your leg?"
"I don't know. It just hurts. My leg. You know my leg? It hurts."
"Where does it hurt?"
"In the leg! I just told you that. My leg. You know my leg? It hurts."
"But, where does your leg hurt?"
"The whole thing hurts. It hurts on the inside, you know? Not on the outside like a bruise or anything. It hurts on the inside. And it hurts. My leg hurts on the inside. Not the outside. It really hurts. My leg. It hurts."
"Son, is there anything you can do to make it feel better?"
"I don't think so. It just hurts. Oh, my leg! It hurts!"
"OK, is there anything I can do to make your leg feel better?"
"I don't think so."
"Then why are you calling me?"
"Just to tell you that my leg hurts. My leg. You know my leg? It hurts."
"I'm starting to get mad as hell, son."
"Bye, dad..."


I figured my son pulled the whole "my leg hurts" mess just to torment me. I figured I made him mad and didn't know it. He was just trying to get back at me for something I'd done, see?

So I talked to my wife later that day and told her about it. I asked her if he always carried on like that when he called her or if he was just doing special to me. Now, get this. She told me that he's always carrying on like that. That he's typically rambling on about something somewhat mundane and complaining about one thing or another.

The difference, however, is that I get annoyed by it all and she has the patience to put up with it. That all simply baffles me.

Case Study #2 -- The Girl

After demonstrating how I lack patience, I shall now demonstrate how my odd sense of humor has the potential to warp my kids.

My daughter is in the Brownies and, of course, they run around selling things. The most popular things they sell are Girl Scouts cookies, but they also run around all fall selling magazines, candy and nuts.

I figured that my daughter needed that edge to sell more products. So I instructed her to go door to door around town, look sad and say, "My daddy says if I don't sell a lot of stuff, I won't have a Christmas."

My wife dismissed that idea almost immediately, claiming that people would think I was terrible and that Brenda would learn a completely incorrect life lesson out of it all. I didn't think that far ahead and was just trying to come up with a sure fire way for my kid to sell plenty of items.

In retrospect, my wife was right.

Here's another story about my daughter showing how I've had a negative impact on her. When she was three-years-old, we were listening to Sirius satellite radio. LL Cool J's hit, "Mama Said Knock You Out" started playing.

My daughter and I developed a game in which she'd yell, "Mama said knock you out!" She'd then clobber me and I'd play dead. Great fun, yeah?

The next day, my wife went to pick our daughter up from preschool. One of the teachers came up to her and said, "I don't know what got into Brenda. She went up to this little boy, said 'Mama said knock you out!' and then hit him."

And I'm the one who got in trouble.

Conclusion


See what I mean? Parenting confuses me and I'm terrible at it. Thank God my kids have their mother around to help offset the damage I unwittingly do.

10 comments:

PaulsHealthBlog.com said...

Hawg,

You is a good daddy. Don't be so hard on yerself.

Jus' be thankful you have such a dang smart wife to pick up them there pieces when you derange yer youngins.

(By the way, we have a rule for the kids in our home. When we ask them why they did something stupid, they cannot respond, "I don't know.")

WindMill said...

LOL!

Hawg, that was an interesting read.

It's different strokes for different folks so I cannot have any claim to what is the right characteristic to parent a child.

However, taking this passage from Jesus of Nazareth, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven", I reckon that somewhere in that lies the answer as to what helps the bonding of the mindset between parent and child.

Just my two cents.

(I had to resend this comment because just as I had the first one done and sent, my ADSL modem went dead. So, here it is resubmitted just in case the first one failed to completely transact.)

Cheers!

lala said...

LOL...that's funny. I think dad's are supposed to do things like that tho. That's what makes them dads.

My husband did things like that, and my kid turned out pretty well. And he ended up with a pretty darn good sense of humor to boot.

Karen said...

LOL Kid's need a bit of humor in their lives. I think you are doing a good job.

tata said...

You are a great storyteller. By default, that makes you a great parent!

Da Old Man said...

You are doing a fine job. As long as the kids know you care (to some degree, anyway) it's all good.

Crystal Tackett said...

LOL! That was hilarious, and no it is not just you. I am beginning to wonder if it is an Arkansas thang (my hubby was raised there, in Searcy). J/K It's just a male thing. My daddy used to have me open my mouth at the dinner table when I was four to show him my "garbage dump" and also taught me the song "beans, beans, good for your heart. the more you eat the more you fart". I turned out just fine!

Marci Nobles said...

The Hawg is a good dad, yes he lacks patience.

And all these things he teaches the kids would be so bad if they came back to haunt him instead of me.

He left out the story about teaching our son something... and the story goes this way...

We were living in Fayetteville, and The Hawg and our son were driving down the rode, when a person on a bicycle was riding down the highway in front of them and as they passed The Hawg yelled "Get a car hippie." Now fast forward a few days, and our son and I were in the car and I was stopped at a stoplight, with windows rolled down in the car. And a man pulls up next to us on his bicycle, and our son leans up with his fist shaking in the air and yells, "Get a car Hippie!" I get glared at, and thankfully the light changes to green, and I gas it.

So I don't mind to much the silly things he teaches our children, I just wish he would be the one who gets it when we are out in public instead of me.

MKN

The Natural State Hawg said...

Paul -- Aww, shucks! I cain't hep being a little down on my parentin skills. They need a skool for sech thangs.

Yep, and thank goodness for that patient wife of mine.

Windmill -- Love the Christ reference and you may have a point there. Perhaps I need to do more when it comes to raising kids than saying, "God help me!"

lala -- That's actually encouraging. Maybe the kids will be OK, after all...

Karen -- Now, if only someone could convince my wife of that...

tata -- I hope you're right!

Crystal -- I do think dad's are the ones who are prone to goofing off. We can't help it, really. At heart, I'm still a college freshman, I think.

Marci -- Uh oh. It's the wife! And the "get a car hippy" is all too true. I have a lot of those I've forgotten.

She's been very patient with me, my wife. Fortunately, my hijinks haven't caused her to throw me out in the yard yet...

Grandy said...

My son (who is 12) calls me every day to tell me he's home. We do our quick little "How was your day-isms" and we're done. Then...90% of the time he will call me back within 5 minutes to ask what he can have for snack, where his book is, or if he can have a bandaid for his paper-cut.

My response: "Is their blood? No? G'bye. LOVE YOU!"

It's not just you Hawg.