It’s definitely no secret that parenting is a tough gig. It’s even tougher when you and your spouse or co-parent can’t agree on anything*. Sometimes, it’s great. Ying and yang, you know? Other times…it’s down right annoying.
I’ve blogged about Matt’s helicopter parenting before. Things haven’t really changed much in that regard. Matt still helicopter parents and it still drives me nuts…mainly because he gets irritated with me when I don’t cautiously chase the kids around to ensure that they get into absolutely no messes, danger or trouble. That ain’t my style, home slice. I am a watcher. I watch my kids. I let them explore and learn and play. I intervene when it’s needed.
Aside from that, I’ll let the kids have at ‘er. They want to play in the mud? Cool. That’s why they make rubber boots, splash pants, and soap. Matt hates when the kids get dirty. He tries to prevent it, then gets irritated because one of them tripped and fell and he then feels the need to immediately clean them up.
I thought I would be the parent with the mud issues. I thought that, since Matt is a) a guy and b) from up north, where they bathe in mud (pretty much), that it’d be me complaining.
I don’t mind mud, actually. When one of the boys falls in it and cries, I wipe his hands and say; “you have two choices. You can continue to cry about this and go inside, or you can continue to play.” The boys generally always choose the second option.
I used to build mud pies and cover my legs in mud. I used to get so muddy, they’d have to hose me off before I could come in for a bath. That’s the point of childhood. I don’t remember either of my parents obsessively standing by, watching and lecturing me on keep clean. They let me be a kid. They let me play and get messy and I appreciate them so much for that. I knew not to go in or near the creek without another person near by, but aside from that…everything else was free game. Hell, my mom encouraged us to dig in the gardens and pull out weeds. Less work for her.
For yard work, my dad would involve us. He’d give us a rake and we’d rake up the leaves with him. When we were finished, we could jump in them. But then we had to rake them up again.
Now Matt…Matt had a childhood full of reckless abandon. He was free to come and go as he pleased with his brothers. He lived up north, mud bogging and ski-dooing and climbing trees and having the childhood that would make even me want to helicopter parent. He was reckless and a little daredevil. He never stood still. Neither did his brothers. One of them got hit by a tracker when on his bike riding to join Matt and the other neighborhood boys. He walked his bike to to group and then fainted because he had broken his damn leg. Matt’s been run over by his best friend in every damn vehicle possible. Honestly, when Matt tells me about his childhood, I can’t help but marvel at how he’s still alive.
And I know that this is likely why he helicopter parents so much, because he is completely amazed by the fact that he made it into adulthood.
Of course, there’s a vast difference between a little mud and the kind of mischief he used to get into….
*This is an over exaggeration. Matt and I can and do agree on a lot, but our parenting technics are entirely different.