Lately I’ve seen a lot of posts about being a “bad” parent, how it’s hip these days, and what being a “bad” parent means. I’ve also been feeling like a bad parent these days, knowing that Gabbie has not gotten enough attention these days due to the move and the three colds I’ve had in the past two weeks (seriously! I’m tired of being sick!). I haven’t been reading to her as much as I should, mostly because her books are still packed somewhere and I haven’t gotten off of my butt to find them. I let her watch way too much television, but we do always watch it together, and I’ve only used the TV as a babysitter once (when signing the offer on the house because she was being super demanding and I couldn’t pay attention to her and the paperwork at the same time). I’ve lost my patience. It has probably been a hard couple of weeks to be my daughter.
But I try. I try my hardest to be a “good” parent – only giving her organic milk and meats (at least when we’re at home), making sure she at least has a vegetable and fruit available to her at every meal (even though she doesn’t eat them most of the time), giving her hugs and kisses and telling her how much I love her on a nearly constant basis. She’s just amazing, and she deserves way better than I give her no matter how hard I try.
Sometimes, though, it’s fun to be a “bad” parent. It’s fun to watch TV shows together and seeing her eyes light up when she hears the theme music to her favorite show (Pingu). It’s fun to keep her up past her bedtime for games and dancing on special occasions (like the 4th of July). It’s especially fun for me to let her try new foods that aren’t exactly the healthiest and to see her reaction. Last night we were exhausted and I was feeling pretty horrible (I’m on the downswing of another cold, but last night was the apex of this cold), so we got pizza for dinner. Even though I often cook Gabbie a separate meal (and often healthier than what we eat – I should probably follow my lead on that and cook healthier for myself), last night I didn’t have the energy. So she got deep-dish pizza for dinner, and she LOVED it. She wasn’t really paying attention while I was cutting her piece into bite-sized bits (to make it even more “bad”, we ate our pizza in front of the TV, watching Horton Hears a Who), and so I slipped the first bite into her mouth without her seeing what dinner was. She was totally tuned in until that moment, but suddenly her eyes got big, she looked at the plate, then me, and said, “Mmmmm.” And she demanded more, and more, and ate the entire slice (which is pretty amazing because this pizza is so filling even I can barely eat more than two slices), green peppers, mushrooms and all.
While some parents (even some of my friends who are parents) would scoff at what we did, sometimes it is fun to be “bad”. These moments are some of my favorites, and even though I don’t let them happen too often, I’m glad I made that decision last night. After putting up with me and my stinky attitude for the past couple weeks, she definitely deserved this treat. I have to say this: sometimes these “bad” moments are the best part of being a parent.