Every day I scan the news for stories that interest me. It depends on my mood as to what prompts me to click. This morning there was news (and I use the word news in the loosest sense of the word) about a new parenting book written by Mayim Bialik. Shes an actress, has a PhD in neuroscience and was a child star. The reason it jumped out to me is that she was Blossom…a show I raced home to watch as a tween. I may or may not have worn a hat with a giant flower on the front. Ive always been a pop culture tragic.
The book explores attachment parenting which seems to get a bad rap from most mainstream press. I think technically I wouldn’t be allowed to be called an attachment parent because I work but I think I’m over-attached to my kids – I wonder what labels that me as?
After doing some interviews I popped to the supermarket to grab some bits and pieces for dinner. My stepdaughters live with us for half of the week. So one half of the week dinners are a pretty relaxed affair – no one ever got malnourished from too many eggs and soldiers? I was grabbing things and looking in the basket. The choices didn’t match but they did reflect my parenting style.
Im a smorgasbord parent.
Someone asked on twitter a few weeks ago if people make separate meals for their kids. I put up my hand. Ive been known to serve 3 separate meals at dinner time – one for the adults and stepdaughters, one for my girl and another for my son. We have some food intolerance’s and some stubborn likes and dislikes in this house that make communal eating a challenge. But honestly it doesnt bother me. Im not sure why considering Im the cook.
On my meander to the supermarket I popped into a kids clothing shop to grab some jumpers for children that would apparently prefer to be cold. I chose a big red fluffy thing for my daughter – I put it back 3 times before I decided to buy it. The lady at the counter and I agreed that we’d both like one in an adult size, she then paused and said ‘you can bring it back if your daughter doesnt like it’. I echoed the line I use in these circumstances to reason away my parenting style “I know I shouldnt be held to ransom by a 6 year old’. The older lady looked at me and said ‘we all like what we like, there’s no shame in recognising that as a parent’. Bless you lovely lady.
My mum rolls her eyes when I feed my kids vegetables – she still hasnt recovered from being forced to eat cold peas as a kid. Maybe Im just offsetting the trauma, God knows theres enough other stuff to fill its space.
So Ill working on giving up the embarrassment of admitting that I do let my kids dictate their meals or clothing choices. I let myself view parenting as a smorgasbord – if I lay it all out they can pick and choose what they like. The lazy Susan is the foundation of my life lessons. I should have been working in homewares not social work.
Are you cool with giving choices? Do you rebel against the choices you werent able to make as a kid?
PS Im banking on the jumper being ‘too fluffy’ or its zipper ‘too zippy’. Ill keep it for my son – he still looks at me like I know everything. Theres still time.