Sunday, October 28, 2007

Carving Out My Style

Tonight was pumpkin carving night. My sister dropped by with her two children. 4 mini pizzas... two crappy carving sets... more seeds than you can shake a scarecrow at... stringy gourd insides resembling my brain after a long week of Rex on and business... and 4 lumpy painted pumpkins later.... it was a great evening.

A dear friend of mine stopped by with her baby. I really like her, because we're different in a lot of ways. Sure, our morals and actions are similar, but she has often a contradictory approach to how I do things. She's much less wishy washy. If we were breakfast foods, I'd be a waffle. With syrup. Maybe. Or maybe powdered sugar. Or perhaps a decaf coffee only because I'm giving up on caffeine, even though I know I'll cave a week later. She would order "The eggs. Over easy. That's it."
Her defining style makes me grow. And think. Like Glinda "with a Ga" says to her friend, the green wicked witch, "My world is better because of you." Or something like that. I was too busy crying during that song to remember the exact words. And tonight I'm too exhaused from scraping pumpkin vomit off my ceiling to bother You Tubing the lyrics from Wicked.

My friend and I landed on the subject of parenting. She made a very interesting point about my woes as of late. (See previous post.) In a nutshell, she deducted that there's two kinds of parents that approach play areas: The type that are a bit protective (such as herself) and the type like me (who are more of a 'let the kid figure it out himself unless danger is imminent' type.)
It now makes sense to me. No style is better than the other, but it's going to cause conflict. Always. If I can't deal with the repurcussions of such conflict, I really need to stay away from those environments.

I know it sounds simple, and my apologies for A) The obvious and B) The parenting slant of this post. But I'm just happy to have heard it said. My poor friend puts up with a lot of questioning from me. Sometimes I don't say things graciously. But in the end, I always see her point of view. If she's reading, I hope she knows that.

In closing, I realize I'm a perfectionist, and this is where most of my issues come from. Not "this mom said that" or "this one acted like that..." But I'm prone to, without even being conscious of it always, "Why can't I just make everything perfect so there's never any conflict. Why can't my kid be that way, also?"

Of course, looking at my pumpkin carving, or how I cook, you'd never guess there's a perfectionist the size of Mt. Rushmore living in my soul.

I give off too nutty of a vibe. I'm brilliant that way.

In closing, I'm once again tired of myself. If you're interested in my opinion on the state of parenting, or how Diet Coke makes me fart enough to start a hybrid car, check out my journal on Otherwise, I am using November to write about things I'm grateful for. Can I start with good friends that put up with my stupid blabber mouth, where I can sometimes sound insulting, but really am just trying to navigate my way through this messy world of raising souls - trying not to permanently mess them up? You're all included in the compliment.

Good night!
More of my writing can be found on I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.


Blog Mama said...

Hey there...decided to check out your it. It's interesting your point about parenting describes me and my husband to a tee. I'm like you, he's like your friend. He's always trying to stay ahead of my 2-year-old to keep him from falling off the play equipment "rated" for 5-year-olds, whereas I'm too pregnant and sick to chase after him. I shout from the bench if it looks dangerous and really hope he doesn't fall, but if he does, then I figure he'll know why I say the things I do. And the sooner her leans that the better...

Pam said...

Kids don't pop out with instructions, it's always a work in progress. You're doing a good job if you enjoy them more than you worry about them.

hamiam said...

Oh, Mama I relate...

I could have written this myself, substituting "overly sensitive people pleaser" and "confident and aloof" for perfectionist and nutty, respectively:
you'd never guess there's a perfectionist the size of Mt. Rushmore living in my soul.
I give off too nutty of a vibe. I'm brilliant that way.

Oh...and diet coke makes you fart? Weird...must be the carbonation, b/c beer does it to me, and that's the only carbonated beverage I drink! I thought of you when I read this post on Diet Coke Plus at Blogher yesterday...

Maggie said...

Yeah, I'm the hands off mom-type also. Because I figure, if you don't give kids the space to try things, they will not learn what they can and cannot do. And children are remarkably smart about their own abilities. They stop climbing when they know it's getting too high for them. Stretching and trying are important skills.

Oh and the perfectionist thing. Well you read my post with all the books I'm reading, so you know I can completely relate to how you feel.

Cheryl Wray said...

LOVE the pumpkins. I personally think they're PERFECT!!

sari said...

"Can I start with good friends that put up with my stupid blabber mouth, where I can sometimes sound insulting, but really am just trying to navigate my way through this messy world of raising souls - trying not to permanently mess them up?"

I think this covers more of us than you realize.

Princess in Galoshes said...

Those are the best pumpkins EVER. How did I never think to use paint?! Oh, the fabulousness!

Also, I like your parenting style. To some extent, a kid's gotta figure out the fire's hot because he gets burned, not because someone told him it was hot.

But maybe not everyone thinks that way?

Anywhos, yes, please feel free to link! Glad you liked the book review. :-)

Monnik said...

It is amazing how there can be such different styles of parenting. I don't feel like I fit into the hands off group, or the overprotective camp. But I am sort of psycho about some things (manners, for example.) That's not to say that overprotective moms are psychos. That didn't come out right.

The pumpkins are GREAT. I hate carving pumpkins. It makes me feel like a horrible mom because I don't enjoy that activity, but really - when it comes to carving Blue from Blues' Clues into a slippery pumpkin with a SHARP KNIFE, who ends up risking bodily harm for a few days of fire hazard fun? ME!

Ok, done with the pumpkin rant. Maybe I fit into the committed-and-not-yet-ready-to-be-
released-to-the-public mom camp.

Susie Q said...

We are all different so we all parent differently...and, for the record, I think you are one Hell of a great parent. I am old so I can say things like, screw anyone who thinks we are not raising our kids right. You do the best you can do...I heard a comedian once say that if he kids were still alive at the end of the day he had been one Hell of a great parent! Now THAT is some style huh? *laugh*

And, I myself am a blabber mouth and love living with my own kind. It is very comforting.

Warm hugs,
Sue who, by the way, adores the painted pumpkins!

Mama P said...

Blog Mama - thanks for visiting me. I enjoy your site very much, too.

Pam - My kids popped out with instructions. They said 1. Drive Mom batty. 2. Spend Papa's money 3. Charm the hell out of them.

Ham - You and I are very similar disposition wise, I gather. Though you might be the one person who talks more than I do. I get that feeling, and I like ya for it.

Maggie - You strike me as very well-read, so a perfectionist makes sense. Thanks for letting me link you at Babycenter.

Cheryl - I owe your site a visit. I'm lazy! Hope the girls are well.

Sari - Aren't you just the amazing little mama. I can't wait to read what's going on with 3... OH my!

Princess - You must be getting a lot of post-wedding nookie, because those pumpkins are on crack. But I love you for loving them.

Monnik - "Maybe I fit into the committed-and-not-yet-ready-to-be-
released-to-the-public mom camp." LOL

Suzie Q - You are always so positive and supportive. I appreciate it. Looking forward to seeing how Grace & Boo survived Halloween.

Dapoppins said...

I was a nanny for ten years, working ten hour days, raising other peoples kids. I got in a lot of practice, and it made my parenting style very relaxed. And Imagine that, we have only had one broken leg! For the most part I don't care how other people care for their kids, as long as nobody dies. or gets scared for life. Or forgotten. My point is...oh darn. i don't have a point.