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1. I bribe my kids. We have a deal, the kids and I. If they get up each morning during the week and get ready without tantrums, constant reminders to brush their teeth or brush their hair, I give them a candy bar each Friday. I can hear the dentist cringe. While grocery shopping, I sweeten the deal with those free cookies from the bakery. I owe each kid a brand new car on their sixteenth birthday for potty training before they entered high school. I let them stay up late if they let me sleep in.
2. I talk about saving the earth and going green, yet I have been known to wash the same load of laundry four times in one week because I forgot to take it out of the washing machine before it soured. I've also re-dried the same load of laundry left in the dryer several times to get the wrinkles out. I used disposable diapers and I have failed to teach my kids not to use a whole roll of toilet paper in a single bathroom visit. I take long hot showers to hide from my kids when I have nowhere else to go.
3. Fast food for dinner? Yeah, we have it more than I care to admit. Something about the summer makes me not want to use the oven. Or plan meals. Or wash dishes. I swear I'll start preparing healthy, home cooked meals. Tomorrow. Next week. Eventually.
4. My youngest daughter learned to sing and read her ABC's by watching T.V.
5. I have yet to throw away a single toy that was not put away before bedtime. I have not followed through on lifetime groundings. The kids laugh at me when I tell them I'm selling them to the gypsies. We're still in the age where punishments include time out, early bedtimes, no TV... it's still pretty effective. I know. I'm lucky.
6. "When was the last time you took a bath? Nah, you smell okay. Just go to bed."
7. I forget to bring a camera with me to major kid events. I only filled out a few pages in my first born's baby book. My second born's baby book is still wrapped in cellophane. I have boxes upon boxes of mementos taking up an entire closet.
8. I've had daydreams of confronting my daughter's summer camp bully and her mother. I'd put them both in their place using nothing but quick wit and sarcasm. In that daydream, there's a crowd behind me and someone slow claps when I have the last word. I've watched a lot of 80's teen movies.
9. I purposely brainwashed my kids to despise Barney, Justin Bieber, and Caillou.
10. I forget sometimes what it was like to be a kid. I hush them too often. I tell them I'm too busy to play when I'm simply not in the mood to play with them. I worry about the mess rather than marvel at the masterpiece. I threaten to run away even though I miss them the minute they leave my sight. I forget to count my blessings that my kids are healthy. I focus on the naughty behavior at home, yet take their best behavior in school for granted. I don't recognize as often as I should, just how wonderful my little monkeys really are.
I'm not proud of all of these things. But, parenting is not easy and can sometimes drive you to the brink of insanity. I've found the best thing to do is try to improve whenever you can and forgive yourself for not being the "best mom on the block." And I'll tell you... even the best mom on the block has her own list. She's just not sharing it.