It’s a funny thing being a Parent. It’s a constant tightrope walk. You have to bend, guide, nurture and love. You can’t be too firm or too soft. You have to be kind, patient and calm. You have to have a black belt in distraction technique. You want to encourage expression of feelings while suppressing your own darker ones. You have to let them make mistakes even though you can easily right the wrong. You have to be a living example for your child. I’m exhausted and I’ve only scratched the surface.
Television is a parents’ biggest test. Television is the greatest example of the obstacles a parent faces. Television can be an incredible tool for teaching. Television can turn your kids brain into mush.
The Wiggles were on in our house this morning. We try not to do the TV in the morning but we all love The Wiggles and in a weak moment I put them on. This meant breakfast at the dining room table was out of the question. This meant Beautiful Bride and Daddy could not talk or we would be told “No Talking PLEASE!” in a rather emphatic tone. Usually the three of us dance and sing along with The Wiggles. This morning Ryan did not want to dance or sing. This morning Ryan sat like a zombie on the couch transfixed by the colors and movement coming from our oversized boobtube. It got worse! The Wiggles are usually twenty minutes in length but the one I put on was an hour long special with Kylie Minogue. I almost became a zombie myself at the sight of Kylie but she had more clothes on than I am used to and I was busy with the whole live by example thing.
At 8am it was time for BB to go to work. Ryan did not race to kiss her before me. I had her all to myself. I didn’t know what to do. It felt lonely. I tried giving her some Class-A Smooches to make up for this unfortunate break in our routine. I even made a big show of it to arouse the boy from his wide-eyed hazy glazed slumber. Nothing! Not even a “no talking PLEASE!” was uttered. BB couldn’t leave under these circumstances. She had to be late this morning and that was all there was to it. It was a lesson learned.
At 8:15 The Wiggles mercifully ended their reign of color over our home. Ryan instantly snapped out of his hypnotized state and ran to kiss BB. First he had to tug lightly on her lips and then press the same hand against my lips. This is his way of taking away my kiss and assuring that he has first kiss. Our boy was back.
As soon as BB left, Ryan outright demanded that I put The Wiggles back on again. I said no and he threw a terrible tantrum. I tried to distract him by pretending to fall and hit my head. Tantrum continued. I tried to get him excited about going to Daycare, which is his favorite place in the world. Tantrum continued. I told him I understood that he was upset but there would be no more TV for the day. Tantrum worsened. I started to feel some major aggravation and frustration. Why would I ever put the TV on again considering the reward I get? Tantrum continued. I went upstairs. I breathed slowly and deeply in my bedroom. After about a minute I went back downstairs. I held out my arms for him and he fell in to me and wept. I whispered, “Let’s go to Daycare.” And he answered, “No Daddy. Audition.” I said, “You want to go on an Audition with Daddy?“ and he replied, “Yeah.” An Audition is his least favorite place in the World. I squeezed him as close as can be.
The best morning of my life!