I have a confession to make: I'm not a perfect parent. I know, you're surprised. Okay, so that isn't exactly news, this entire column is usually centered around that. However, one thing I'm truly struggling to be a better-than-average parent about, and feel like I'm failing, is trying to teach my children the most important lesson they'll ever learn: they are not the center of the universe.
As a mother, it's a delicate balance. On the one hand, I want them to grow up thinking they're amazing and special, but on the other hand, as a member of the human race, I want them to grow up not thinking they're more amazing or more special than anyone else. See what I mean? Tricky.
Basically, since birth, I've tried to instill a mentality in them that sharing is caring. If you have something you should share it. If someone gives you something, you should be grateful. If you see someone in need, you should help them. If you have two Ring Pops, you should give one to your friend. Wait, what? Give away a Ring Pop? They look at me as if I must must be high (not likely). You just don't go around giving away Ring Pops, Mom. Duh. Apparently, to my kids, there is a limit when it comes to their generosity and it comes in the form of candy that doubles as jewelry.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say, is that despite my best efforts, they can still be selfish little turdbags when they want to be, and it's really, really starting to wear me down.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Me being on the phone. "Mom. Mom. MOM!" while looking right at me, talking to someone on the phone or in person. Now, first of all, my darling, you should know that even having a phone conversation with anyone is so rare it must mean that someone is dying. Why would you want to interrupt that to tell me that you want some chips? Can your need for chips not wait two minutes? You can clearly see that I am talking to someone that isn't you.
Me being in the bathroom/shower/bathtub: BANG BANG BANG on the door while screaming "MOM!" like you are dying only to then tell me that you need some water. Really? Tip: If you ever can't find your kids somewhere, just go into a bathroom, close the door, and they will miraculously appear like Bloody Mary circa 1989.
Sharing and/or taking turns with their brother: Self explanatory.
Dinner: Oh, I didn't make your absolute favorite thing for dinner tonight? Please whine and cry and tell me over and over again how awful your life is and how you might actually die if you have to eat this leftover spaghetti, which, I might add, is always better leftover. But you don't like "precooked food"?! I'm so terribly sorry, by all means let me just go whip something fresh up for you. Newsflash, kid! You are not royalty, you are not Beyonce. You will eat leftover spaghetti and you will like it. Even Beyonce would like my leftover spaghetti.
Maybe it's just a normal phase kids go through, or maybe I truly am an epic failure, but one thing is for certain: my kids seem to think they are so much better than leftover spaghetti. That only means we'll be having it more. Good thing I like it.