With the utmost love I refer to my youngest son as a demon sent straight from hell to torment me. With that in mind, I can’t afford to be one of those parents who suffers with shame when my child does the unthinkable because I would be continuously ricocheting off the walls of those long narrow parenting trenches. I would be too battered from trying to pound him into niches, and he would be too exhausted from his growing battle against me for either of us to enjoy these precious early years. The hit-and-run tactics of guerrilla warfare don’t work for us.
The result, for right now, is that my child comes with his own viewer discretion warning!
The following tiny person may display elements that are not suitable for his age range. Some parents may find this upsetting. Viewer discretion and vigilance on child interaction is advised. As such the following elements may be depicted:
- Nudity: completely without clothes or only partially clothed. He’s only child on the pre-school playground with his pants around his ankles and his tiny ass shaking as he dances freely to the music in his head. (He’s all mine.)
- Violence: physical force and strong emotion. Like the Marvel character Hulk, he emulates the ability to have increasing strength based on his level of emotional stress. Therefore, I am the parent running across the playground in what appears to be slow motion as I yell out the prolonged word “Noooo!” in response to a Hulk SMASH. (I embrace the reality of here we go again.)
- Language: words structured in a shockingly bad or offensive way. He is perhaps the only 4 year old that greets his friends with a smile and a “Hi Fucker.” (I try and find the humour.)
That said, I will never be able to claim just one or two big ticket parenting items that can cause parents to question their parenting skills. In addition, I will never be one of those parents who ducks their head with mild apprehension and says “Hi, my name is Shari Marshall and I’m the mother of a biter.” Instead I will be the parent holding my head high as I state with a smile, “The actions expressed by my pre-schooler, as well as his running commentary, are his alone and it does not necessarily reflect the parenting and teaching abilities of his mother, father, or instructional team. We make no representations as to suitability or conformity to rules or socially acceptable conventions.”
All things considered, I haven’t stopped parenting, but I have learned to be not quite so stressed by stupid shit. Children have their own ideas and we need to guide them. Hey little man its great you love to dance naked; next time practice it when you are at home in your bedroom. Unreasonable behaviour, turbulent emotions, and testing parental tolerance will pass, and if you look at it from a bit of a different perspective you can see great stories built into these experiences as well as precious memories.
Remember it all comes together eventually and a unique individual develops out of the rubble as the dust settles.
By Shari Marshall – 2018