Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Roller Coaster

It's highly amusing to me to look back at my previous posts because it seems that I am forever riding the extreme highs and the low lows of parenting. My kids make me crazy...my kids are so sweet...they're making me crazy again...but isn't that cute.
I've been riding a bit of a high lately so when I look back at my last post and see how frustrated I was with Pudding only a few days ago, I feel like I'm reading something someone else wrote. That's not the daughter I dealt with today, that must be some other woman's bratty kid having to be dragged out of preschool.
This week has gone much better, partially because I've bribed her. Today when I got to preschool to pick Pudding up, I told her I had something special in the car for her and if she came with me nicely she could have it. It turns out that she didn't really want the half a muffin I'd saved her from my own afternoon snack but by then we were already in the car and she didn't really seem to mind.
All this reminds me of Parenthood, one of my all time favorite movies. Steve Martin plays the father of three, soon to be four who has never really learned to enjoy the ups and downs and general crazyness of children. Towards the end of the movie there is a scene where their three year old escapes the clutches of his parents and manfully defends his big sister from the imagined threats of her fellow actors in her school play. The child wreaks havoc and stops the production. While many of the parents in the audience find this hilarious, one mother is red faced and tersely yelling, "He's ruining the whole play!" Over all this action the sounds of a roller coaster play.
This movie and that scene in particular make more and more sense to me the older my kids get. You can't control every thing they do. Some days they are going to embarrass you and some days they will make you so proud you feel like your chest is going to burst. Parenthood is not for the weak of heart and learning to deal with that small stuff (it's only an elementary class play, you're there to see the kids be cute) and find the joy in it is the difference between enjoying the ride and screaming your head off for someone to let you off.

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