Those Bubble Moments of Parenting
I refer to them as “bubble moments”, although I didn’t really name them that. They were sort of adopted under that moniker due to the circumstances that first made me aware of them.
See, most parents I know have kids that are close in age. I can see where that’s a handful; that’s a lot of diapers at one time, a lot of sleep regressions, a lot of everything. But there are some advantages, too. They’re obviously going to be playmates. You kind of get through the rough patches in one big jump. And there’s not as much time in-between ages for you to forget how you parented the last time an issue came up.
I distinctly remember when I brought the bubbles home. Tony was maybe 2 years old, and I had just been tickled pink when I walked into his daycare class and an entire room of 2 year old boys sat enraptured and motionless at the sight of bubbles. It was literally the only time I’d ever seen them all quiet. (And that remains to this day.) So I was SO EXCITED to bring him some bubbles.
I had no sooner opened the cap and put the wand to my lips before Jack, then 9 or so, scolded me, “We don’t blow bubbles in the house, Sarah.”
And he was right. In fact, he was perfectly parroting me and the firm and nonnegotiable rule I’d put into place years ago when Jack tried to blow bubbles inside. It will stain the furniture, I warned him before shooing him outside.
He was totally right. And I realized I have bubble moments.
The two kids in my house – seven years apart, one biologically mine and one a child through love – are as alike as brothers can be. They are different in the ways that being raised in two different environments can make them. So I try and limit those Bubble Moments. I try and parent Tony the way I remember parenting Jack.
There are two problems with this philosophy, though: 1) I can’t remember anything and 2) … I can’t even remember what my number two was going to be. Instead, we’ll focus on #1. I can’t remember how I parented Jack. I remember being strict. I remember enforcing routine and structure. Those things came naturally with Tony as well.
Sometimes, the tables turn, though, and I’m forced to have backwards bubble moments. For instance, I’m the parent that found this to be an amazing parenting moment:
Tony – after YEARS of being terrified of Santa, like, to the point that he’d randomly talk about Santa and how he ROARS at you (?!) – agreed this year to have his picture taken with him. But only on one condition, which you see above. I was so proud of Tony overcoming his fear that this picture is framed in my house.
So a couple of weekends ago, Jack asked if he could wear a “disguise” to dinner. Well.. he’s eleven. So I naturally wanted to put the kibosh on that, because .. at some point, you’re too old to wear a costume out of the house, right?
But a backwards bubble moment it was. So I relented.
He said he was going for the Lorax’s evening look, complete with fancy sunglasses, Alabama 2011 Championship hat, and signature mustache. And to his credit, the kid was dedicated to the character. Even though people stared, and stared HARD to the point that even I was uncomfortable, he stuck to the character. Jack is typically our reserved child, not wanting any focused attention on him, so this was fun for me to watch.
I never know where a Bubble Moment will turn up next, but when I can catch it before they pop? Man, they make me realize what awesome boys I have.
Do you have more than one child, and do you have moments like these?
Wrangler of Rocket Scientists, Sarah Lena; has been beguiling hearts at The Anvil Tree; for over ten years now. Mom and StepMom to the masses, she proclaims herself Defender of Underdogs Everywhere as well as The Queen of Snark. You can also follow her on Twitter at @SarahLena.
As a mom of five from 12 to 20, I most certainly do. And I am definitely more relaxed about rules with the younger ones and I don’t deny it to my older children. You learn as you go along what matters and what doesn’t… and you adjust
Oh how those pictures made me laugh! I will remember this for sure and if my children ever want to do this- I’ll let them do so in a heartbeat!