Wednesday, November 29, 2006

the cure for badparentitis

In case anyone is wondering, I live down the block from the Big Dig. Named by the Eldest, the Big Dip in the Imperfect Neighborhood is actually a demolished convent, which along with a rectory and church, was sold to raise some cash needed to settle an unfortunate incident or seventeen.

This work site is naturally a source of much fascination for my trains and trucks crew, and we've salvaged some stepping stones from the site, to the Eldest's delight. All of this, you see, is part of The Plan.

"This is our fourth day here," the Eldest informs me. And so it is, depending on his persona.

Here is the story:

The Toddles and I were lost, in New York, on the sidewalk. We had no house, no family. The Toddles is just a baby, so he was lost-er.

Then he came to me and said, 'ah doh' (all done), and I pulled him into my lap. And we sat there, in New York, on the sidewalk.

Mummy drove by, going honk honk, honk honk, and said *gasp* 'Oh my gosh, those little boys have been lost. I had better go pick them up.' Mummy put us in the car and said, ' how come you two are lost?' And the Eldest said, 'because we had no house and no family and we ran away from our family. You are not our family, this is not our house, how come?' 'What do you want to do,' the Mum asked. 'I have lots of kid stuff, clothing for a baby who is 1 and clothing for a child who is 4 and 3/4ths.' And we said, 'oh, good.'

And Mummy said, 'Oh, but I don't know how to give a child factor.' So the Eldest said, 'don't worry. I'll teach you someday.' And now you know how to do factors, because I have taught you.

So you picked us up, and drove us and dropped Mary Jr. off at her house, and then we all went home. And this is our fourth day staying here.


And so a family is created.

This narrative offers me some insight, as I struggle with a case of badparentitis, also known as BadParentItis, or BPI. I am the nagging parent, who wont let the kid eat until he's helped set the table, I am greeting with a roaring protest when I walk in the door at pickup time at school, and the fuse for maternal interaction is short, where the Eldest is concerned.

Thus, The Plan. With the Man's help, I am trying to create non BPI moments, unpressurized (hah), fun, light hearted. It occurred to me that all of the BPI time was not being balanced by GPI time, to the extent that I was BPI by default.

* So, sans sibling, we have salvaged slate and created a stepping stone.
* We have been to the Museum of Science. Twice. (The second time, I wisely eschewed the gift shop, which I love, but which inevitably leads to the battle between what he wants and what I'll spend - which is nearly nothing)
* We went to a party thrown by the New England Hemophilia Association, where we watched a magic show and he sat on (true!) Santa's lap. Oh yes, and got some loot. And gave some away.

And onwards we go. It occurs to me that the downside of my energetic parenting is that I don't spend enough time just hanging out with the boys. Too much rushing around, not enough enjoying the scenery. And they are awfully nice scenery....
So what's with the story? The making of a family, the choosing to be together and care for each other? Certainly, a declaration that were he responsible, the Eldest would look out for the Toddles. (sneaky relief felt here) But also a declaration of independence, of something. Something. Something.

And maybe I'm over thinking it.

On a different note, check out US Code Title 42 Chapter 82, which states that it is ILLEGAL to throw away human waste. Human waste, even when tidily wrapped up in a poopy diaper, should be flushed. Hmmm. Where to begin, where to begin. Social vs. legal, stricture vs pragmatism, or is it laziness?

Nah. You can unravel this one for yourselves.


joy said...

I had a long and complicated origin story for how I came to my parents. I even painted pictures of my home planet (yep, seriously). I would tell how children were there first, then they'd wait and choose their parents, then be born, but they were all on my original planet first.

Lost in NY or having your own planet of all children...kinda sounds similar, no?

mama o' the matrices said...

It does. So, as a previous traveler from nonparent space to parental space, what does it mean? I'm guessing that the Eldest is going through another round of 'my home is not as I'd like it, post-sibling' - but if it's anything more nefarious, do let me know...

mama o' the matrices said...
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