When Bean was a baby, a friend lent us a Bumbo chair. I wasn’t sure how old a baby had to be in order to sit in it safely, but I was reasonably sure Bean was still too wobbly. One day while nursing and channel-surfing I came across an episode of MTV’s Teen Mom and saw that one of the show’s subjects had her six week-old baby sitting in a Bumbo chair, as happy as could be. Question answered! Later that day as my seven week-old Bean wobbled uncomfortably in the Bumbo, my husband walked in and said “Um, are you sure he’s ready to go in that thing?” “Sure,” I replied. “I saw it on… oh wait.” *
As I recalled the incident of Bean and the Bumbo today, I starting thinking about other less-than-exemplary moments in my parenting history.
Bless me readers, for I have sinned… this is my confession.
1. When my husband is on night shift I put Bean to bed about 45 minutes earlier than his usual bedtime, just so I can have more alone time.
2. When it’s just me and the kidlets home for dinner we sometimes just eat peanut butter sandwiches for dinner. Or I put crackers, cheese and veggies on a plate and call it “tapas” so that I can pretend to myself that I’m not just serving snacks for dinner. This isn’t even an original idea; I got it from a friend.
3. I told Bean that Caillou on Netflix was broken. It’s not; I just really, really dislike Caillou.
4. Once when I really wanted to get out of the house and Bean was refusing to come to the door, I bribed him with the promise of a blueberry muffin from the drive-through coffee place close to our house. Win-win: Bean went to the car happily, he got a muffin, and I got a coffee. However, this go-to trick is becoming a tad (a lot) overused. I promise the muffin even when he doesn’t require bribery, just so I can get the coffee.
5. When my husband is home and the kids are playing, sometimes I say I have to go to the bathroom and then just take my phone upstairs to lie on the bed and check my Facebook feed. Or read blogs. Or do nothing.
6. Monkey has two teeth and I keep forgetting to pick up a new infant toothbrush, so I haven’t brushed them yet. (I wipe them with a washcloth, but it’s not the same.)
7. Sometimes when Bean really wants to do something, I tell him yes, but first I make him shout “Mummy, you’re the coolest!”
8. The three year-old boy who lives next door has all the toys, including a bunch of ride-on motorized cars and ATVs. Bean has nothing so glamorous or exciting, and all his little heart desires out of life is to play with this boy and drive his cars (it is always one of the make-sures). The dad will often take his son outside in the early evening to ride on his PowerWheels Escalade, and I know that if Bean sees them there will be no peace in our home until we go outside too. (Side note – we get along really well with our neighbours and the boys do play together; I just can’t come to terms with the sight of two toddlers driving down an actual road in a tiny car.) So, as soon as I hear the telltale sound of the Escalade starting down the driveway next door, I sprint to our blinds and close them. If Bean asks what the sound is, I tell him the neighbours must be wheeling their garbage bins to the curb.
9. And finally, one that isn’t about parenting: I watched the most recent season of Game of Thrones without my husband. And he doesn’t know it yet.
Confession time! Are there things you’ve done (or continue to do) as a parent that you want to get off your chest? This is a safe place, I promise.* Point for clarification: it’s not that teen parents are bad parents, just that perhaps I should have considered more than just the one source when determining the developmental appropriateness of the Bumbo seat for my own infant.