Rocking Chair Pattons Stand Down

As a parents we are constantly criticized by those around us. Hell you could say as a human beings we are, but as a parent others usually focus on how we are shaping the lives of our children for better or worse not that we’re just screwing up our own lives. For first time parents it’s even harder, everyone (even people without children – “Rocking Chair Pattons”) has insight. It’s either from experience, from something they read or their own warped methodology – it’s enough to make any first time parent scream.

With two kids of my own, I have taken plenty of advice from others and even more that I have ignored. For me it has always been about staying honest to myself (and Mad Dog). Our parenting style (some might think “lack thereof”) is very us. We have a laid back look at life and so we take the same approach to parenting. This is not to say that our children have no discipline or that they have no structure, but we have learned it’s easier not to be so rigid. I think because of this both Lex and Loki are flexible to change and don’t let things get to them (that often).

Do I give parenting advice? I’m sure I do, I think it’s hard not to tell someone “Hey this is what I would do”. My brother, Sean and his wife, Tiffany are about to become first time parents in less than 2 months. Since telling us I have attempted to keep my wisdom (it is wisdom since I am older that Sean) to myself, unless I have been asked. This has meant keeping quiet as I reviewed their baby registries (new parents always pick things they’ll never use or don’t need until the child is walking) and staying quiet when reading their newsletters and other correspondence regarding the upcoming birth.This whole process for me was very different, because I had Mad Dog. He told me I didn’t need the this baby product or that. He knew that the diaper bag I wanted would be gone before Lex was 3 months and that the bright yellow rucksack that he got at Springfield College would work ten-times better and be around now that he is almost 5. He still walks me off the parenting ledge from time to time even now, reminding me to stop worrying. He’s the reason Loki wasn’t in speech therapy right from the get go and why she wasn’t sent away for potty training. On both counts he knew that we needed to let her do it in her own time.

In the last 3 weeks as the birth of his son approaches, my brother has called me more and more. Asking if we had a birthing plan (I told him it was just to get Lex out), how we found a pediatrician and how we handled Lex’s flat head. I think he’s getting a little nervous about “W”‘s (pronounced “Dubya”) arrival.  Of course he is – have you ever seen Sean with a baby? He looks like he thinks he break it. I don’t think this is unique to him, my brother Kevin didn’t like holding Lex when he was an infant or even Loki when she came along even with her being much a more substantial baby. Babies are much more resilient than you would think. I’m not talking about shaking them or throwing them up on the air, but they are a little tougher than all that.

I know my brother and I will have different parenting styles. It’s a given. We both remember our childhoods differently, our parents differently and have different personalities. In a lot of ways I had wished they were having a  little girl, though I would hate to see when she started dating what her suitors would have to deal with. My thought process was a little girl would warm his heart. I worry that he will be tougher on a son. His expectations will be higher and any disappointments even lower. I think as a parent in general you can’t compare your children to yourself. You can have hopes and dreams for them, but in the end you have to support them in their’s. Of course I have worries about Lex and Loki. I am terrified that they will have the same struggles in school I did. Mad Dog reminds me they are doing fine, they have their own pace and we have to support them. Easy for him to say, he was in the advanced classes. All this just reminds me I can’t push myself on my children. Loki is a tomboy, while still being a girlie girl. Lex loves comic books and video games, while he loves playing sports. They will grow into their own without any help from us, but the help is our gift to them for all they give us.

If “W” doesn’t like history, if he doesn’t like reading or even if he doesn’t like sports he’ll find something – but remember that is miles away (I bet it will be comic books and gaming, but then again he’ll have some good influences). First he has to get here. I’m looking forward to meeting my nephew and hearing all about my brother’s parenting adventures (I bet there is a post or two in it for me).


~ by Cute Fan Girl on February 10, 2012.

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