Monday, February 28, 2011

Learning parenting the hard way - by having children

I was talking to my daughter Ky on Skype the other night and we got talking about her younger sister LynnieC.  I had a picture of her cousin's "Lil'T" as my desktop wallpaper.  Lil'T is 4 years old and full of mischief.  In this picture her eyes just sparked with sheer impishness.  I'm glad she is my niece's kid, just as I was glad my sister's daughter, whom I dubbed "Calvin" after the comic strip, went home with her at night.  I just love kids like that and encourage it as much as possible - in other people's children.

We had enough mischief on our hands as it was. Now Ky was no angel.  As a toddler she sang Happy Birthday to the furnace and blew out the pilot light.  The repair man from the gas company thought we must have had a sudden and severe downdraft.  You could call it that. Ky also dialed 911 "cause nothin' 'citing ever happens round here".  Something did. But compared to LynnieC, she was pretty easy to keep tabs on.

LynnieC  was bright.  At less than age 3, she doctored her own headache with two baby aspirins, (the standard treatment from her mom).  We were horrified.  "How did you get the lid open?" "I readed the directions".  She was fast.  At not much over a year, her mother had JUST finished wallpapering the kitchen, gone to answer the front door and returned to see LynnieC with a ballpoint pen, up on a chair, adding decoration to the wallpaper.  The decoration was still there when we sold the house 5 years later.

LynnieC at 1 yr
The episode that became legendary occurred when she was still a toddler.  Her older sister and brother had been instructed to watch her and still she had done something, I forget what.  We were mad! We spanked them, (something I no longer recommend, by the way, having learned better but too late for our kids) and then sat the two at the kitchen table and lectured them about responsibility and about looking after their sister.  When we adjourned the meeting we found...that LynnieC had hauled flour from the pantry and water from the bathroom and made paste on the shag carpet on the stairs.  Under our noses.  While we were sitting there...

We apologized profusely to our children for being very wrong on all counts. 

And LynnieC is still pretty full of mischief though age and adulthood have slowed her down a bit.


  1. That was when she escaped the yard and ran naked down the street to Canadian Tire.

  2. Kids learn how to be kids faster than we learn how to be parents. The stories are too funny (but maybe not funny at the time)

  3. Why do you always do things the hard way, BF? Start with grandchildren. They're much more fun, and ease you gently into the roll of dealing with younger critters. THEN you're in the into the state when you can have children of your own.

    Trust me on this.

  4. May-B, She wasn't naked. It was April. She threw a shoe after half a block but that was all.

  5. I was always told that I was in a diaper and a shoe!! Ah well. I did love Canadian Tire, though, didn't I?

  6. The stories indeed are quite hilarious, but with those they need to be taught what's right. In the future years they'll surely be fascinated on those stories knowing how fast they could react on certain situations around them.

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