Thursday, July 14, 2011

Adventures in Real Parenting: More from the School of Benign Neglect

Yesterday, Lisa at Lemon Gloria wrote about some slight anxiety she's having about parenting. She and her fiance Nick spent the weekend with some friends who have one little boy and the experience gave Lisa some new perspective of parenting. In her post, Lisa wondered:
...You need to be vigilant: You hear the most surprising things. It never occurs to you that you might hear, from the living room, "No, sweetie, don't put a strawberry in Lisa's book. She doesn't like that." Which leaves you to wonder if at some point, when it's your own kid, you get really tired and are just like, oh, go ahead, put the strawberry in the book..
To which I left two comments. In the first, I repeated what MathMan had asked me to convey.
Your fears are well founded.
In the second, I was a little more full frontal me - as in Yeah! Parenting by benign neglect! Woot!
Oh, yes, yes, and yes. Go ahead with the strawberry, go ahead with the paint on the white sofa, go ahead with the Barbie hot tub in the toilet. It all happens because at some point, the 100% vigilance is boiled down to:
1) No blood
2) No fire
3) No sharp objects
4) Not near mommy's laptop
5) Just don't tell daddy
I thought of this this morning when I had the following conversation with Cupcake:

Cupcake: I'm hungry.
Me (not taking my eyes off the monitor): Uh huh.
Cupcake: Can I have a smore?
Me: Absolutely not. Not for breakfast!
Cupcake: Well then, what? There's nothing to eat! (in a really whiny tone that made me grind my teeth)
Me: There's cereal.
Cupcake: No.
Me: I could make you some scrambled eggs, toast? Peanut butter and brown stuff? Yogurt? Fruit?

All was met with snorting derision. I had a blog post to finish and some pictures to edit.

 Originally posted June 12, 2008

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