Pushover

Anyone in our house for a brief moment of time would notice that, despite our overall lackadaisical style of raising up RR, if I was left alone to raise RR by myself, I’m not sure either of us would get out of the house, much less be showered, fed nutritionally, and with our teeth brushed.  We’d spend our days dirty, covered in SpaghettiOs (her) and donut crumbles (me… well and maybe her, too), watching trashy TV, never learning the alphabet or 123’s, nurturing the cavities in our mouths.  See?  This is why we have her.  Without her, we’re a scene right out of “Breaking Bad.”  Thank GOD we have her.

Since I was raised by wolves, I am new to things like teaching your children to clear the table, or go to bed at a certain time, or say please and thank you.  I grew up without any schedule whatsoever.  Awake or asleep until whenever I got tired or woke up, dinner came out of a fast food bag, and showers were few and far between since we were habitually running late wherever we were going.  Wolves, I say!

Whereas I’ve had many blissful years to adjust my expectations of being a responsible, functioning spouse, my brain apparently turns into mush when I’m faced with a baby who doesn’t want to go to bed (sure! let’s party!), or wants her third bowl of yogurt (she must be starving!), or is shouting incoherent things that leave me frantically guessing instead of telling her to use her words (OMG are you OK?? what do you need? food? milk? the CD?  louder? softer? the sunroof open? closed????).

I’m a total pushover.

There, I said it.

And it’s oh so true.

But I will honestly throw down armfuls of boston creme donuts if RR so much as whispers near my legs, “Up, please Mama?”  Because, um… she ASKED ME SO NICELY!  This means that sometimes, when I remember to not always give in to her wants, I’m walking to my front door, dragging her tiny hand in mine, with her sobbing, crying, “Uppp peeeeaaaaasss!”

And it breaks my heart.

It breaks my heart to try to distract her from wanting to be in my arms with things like, oh look your milk!  Or, when we go in, you can watch Olivia!  Or let’s go say hi to the dog!  When all the child wants is for me to carry her five feet.

The books, our doctor, my wife tell me the same thing:  she’s learning and testing her boundaries, and what/when/how she can control things.  And I am not something that she should feel like she can control.  Right?  Right.  It’s not always “her turn” (MY TURN!) and not all things are “hers” (MINE!) – both things she thinks and says a lot.

So I get it.  I totally get it.

But I also get that she’s just barely two.  And one day soon, she won’t want me to pick her up.  Shit, one day soon, she’ll be too big!  And the times that I see her during the weekdays are spent with her at the breakfast table, at the dinner table, and when I’m wrestling with her to brush her teeth.  I’m also on pajama duty after bathtime.  Those are totally rewarding times.  But honestly, even if it’s the most inconvenient timing ever, or God child, you have two feet, use them… I love to feel her on my hip.

Alas, I am trying to be less of a pushover.  Respectful of the things she needs versus the things she says she NEEEEEEDS.  But it’s a steep learning curve, I’ll tell ya.

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Posted on August 31, 2012, in everyday. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Working full time makes it so hard to say no, doesn’t it? I see the kids for approximately 4.75 minutes in the morning. I get home at 5, and they are in bed at 7:30…. And in those two hours it’s a mad dash to get dinner, bath, pjs, teeth brushing, and sometimes a quick book in. It sucks. So, when I walk through the door and they both whine for me, I totally give in. How can I not? I miss them just as much as they miss me.

  2. ha. you sound like my wife… she’s a pushover too. And like you, my wife is on a learning curve too (it might not help you to know our daughter is seven and she’s still working on it lol!).

    Good luck with the “up mommies” (so cute) and every other demand that comes so cutely packaged in two-year-old-form. You can do it!

  3. Nerdstar is totally our pushover. Part of that is because she has no “leader” center to her, just ask the dog as well as Noah. But part of it is also that she’s the one gone all day and he loves having her around – and LOVES having her do things for him. It’s hard work not being the pushover, feeling like I have to set boundaries and lessons and bedtimes for both of them, but I also love watching them together!

  4. Yup, my wife is a total and complete softie when it comes to the baby (2.5 but she’ll always be ‘the baby’). I am firmer but also more likely to spontaneously take our sprawling brood on an unplanned, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants adventure. We are parenting an 18 year old, an 11 year old, a 6 year old foster child who is with us off and on, and the 2.5 at the moment, plus we have one foster kiddo (age 10) who is making the sl-o-o-o-o-west transition out of our house ever (so slow that I’m starting to wonder if she’s going to make it out at all or if she trying to tell us all that she wants to stay despite her every assertion to the contrary) into her pre-adoptive home at the moment, so unplanned adventures are varied and wild and designed to appeal to all age groups (fishing, anyone?). Today we are all going to the county fair for eight hours and giving the poor Mama a break and she is under orders NOT to clean. My wife rocks.

    I am curious and wanted to ask a question but I don’t mean to be offensive at all and obviously just don’t answer if you don’t want to. You’ve mentioned your weight loss and I’d mentioned I am deep in recovery from what would have been terminal morbid obesity. I am still recovering and have lost nearly half my former body weight. Do you struggle at all with, sort of, butch weight loss issues? This is getting to me. I’ve reached a point where some folks seem to think now I’m thin and can be a ‘real girl.’ There is suddenly pressure I haven’t felt in years to go buy dresses and grow my hair and shave my legs. It’s making me a little nuts because the sharper I look (and I do…I look kind of sharp and drawn and honed and it’s blowing my mind) the more excited I am that I can wear cargo pants from the normal guy’s part of the store and can get shirts from Duluth Trading that I’ve been longing for for years. I never have to go into a a Casual Male XL, again! I don’t know. Just throwing it out there. There’s a dearth of info on butch weight loss, imho.

    • No offense taken!!
      I’d actually say that with the weight loss has come a greater sense of masculinity. It could be that I was so much curvier with more weight… so now, my shoulders, face, and waist are more squared-off than they were before. So I can tuck button up shirts and polo shirts in, which makes me look “sharper.” So for me, no pressure to be more feminine. I did start to shave my legs, but that was months ago, and mostly because I didn’t like they way they looked with hair. Weird, right? But slimming down has definitely made me look more like how I THINK I look in my head, but that’s still a butch picture.

  5. it all sounds so … complicated. i am totally moving to wherever you guys live (next door, preferably) when I have kiddlers. You can be my mentors. RR can babysit for my boundary-less terrors.

  6. I’m sure that PB would tell you I’m totally the pushover in our house, but I don’t think I am completely, anyway. Don’t get me wrong, she’s definitely the one who makes sure we eat nutritious food, at least some of the time, and that we have clean clothes. Actually, I take that back. I would make sure we had at least relatively clean clothes. But she’s the reason you can see the floor in the living room. In my defense, I would at least make sure that Critter got to bed at a reasonable time (at least as much as one can ensure such a thing with a toddler), and with clean teeth.

    But, PB spends all day with Critter, and I pretty much only get evenings and weekends. So yes, I totally just want to have fun with him. And I miss him. So when he wants to be carried the block to the park, I don’t mind the contact either. He’s also totally into trying to control things (us) at the moment too, and one of the things that he’s decided is that when we’re all at the park, only I am allowed to push him on the swings. So when he throws a fit and demands that Mommy push him… it’s hard not to seize that as “our” activity, even though I know a lot of it is just seeing which of his demands will be met.

    Parenting is not for the weak, I tell you.

  1. Pingback: Pushover, Part 2 « butch… and pregnant

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