Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

June 13, 2007

Downplaying my kids?

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 1:53 pm

Today a friend of mine asked me, jokingly of course, if I was trying to make my kids sound bad so that she’d think they were angels every time she sees them.

Honestly, I can say that I am not.

However, I can see where she would think that.

She babysat last weekend for us, and I was sure that the kids were going to blow a gasket. I warned her about all the things that they try to pull on me: Andrew refusing to go nicely to the potty, Justin pulling the cat’s tail, Andrew sneaking out of bed, Justin bawling when we leave, both boys refusal to brush teeth before bed.

Sure enough, the kids did none of those things with her, and behaved wonderfully.

Today I saw her again at summer camp. She was the work parent today, so I gave her the heads up that Andrew woke up an hour early and Daddy was gone on a business trip. Thus, he was a bit cranky. When I came back to pick him up, she reported no problems. No tantrums. No incidents. She looked at me like I was crazy for even worrying.

Thus resulting in her comment about whether I downplay my kids good-behaviour.

Again she was joking, but I had to wonder if I do. Often I see the bad stuff, and others don’t. It’s because it’s not their kids – and they aren’t obsessing over the fact that they don’t want to raise brats. Likewise, my kids only feel comfortable acting like complete jackasses when they are with me. I don’t think I realized this before now. Until they feel like your family, they will be kind, loving, polite, maybe rambunctious… but generally great. When they are home, the shit will hit the fan.

I just assume that all that bad/crazy behaviour will roll-over into our public outings, but often it doesn’t. I guess I have that working on my side. If I had to choose where they should freak out … it might as well be at home when I can close my eyes, grab a beer from the fridge, and wait for the screaming to stop.

NO, I am not downplaying my kids. That is exactly what was happening this morning before summer camp (minus me grabbing the beer).

However, next time, I will keep my fears of bad public behaviour to myself. If the kids want to unleash their inner demons… I will let all parties in a 10 mile radius be surprised, rather than forewarned. That should keep things interesting.

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