I LOVE structure, organization and order…you may feel it cramps your style, that I am rigid, harsh, sterile [which dictionary.com defines as: lacking in imagination, creativity or excitement. Uninspiring.] or anal-retentive (defined as a person who is excessively orderly and fussy…). Honestly, I actually am those things…OCPD, I apologize… BUT I cannot HANDLE disorder, I see it as chaos and it hurts me… I am a perfectionist. I expect things I am involved in to be perfect from the minute they begin. I have limited tolerance when they are not. I am well aware that these are issues and I am sorry when I [as I am SURE to do] offend you by the way that I react to things sometimes.
I might be a VERY strict parent…I feel that you fix your little girl’s hair, including a bow, everyday of her life even if she screams and cries every time. I also think you can use the other side of the hairbrush to pop her bottom if she won’t be still. You may feel that you would never do anything that your child objects to…she doesn’t like it, don’t force it. Well what about teeth brushing, nose wiping, diaper changing? Those things have to be done regardless if your child likes them, screams bloody murder or sleeps right through them. You might think this is harsh, overbearing, mean, even cruel. But I think if you don’t you are negligent, I think you need to ask yourself who is the parent. I think you need to be stronger as a parent and not lazy and just give in. If you let your child rule you on these things now, just wait until it gets to the point where she wants her own cell phone, doesn’t want to do her homework or get dressed or even go to school? What about when she wants to date that kid with the motor cycle, tattoos, and is 5 years older than she is—when she’s 16? Do you think she is just miraculously going to let you lay down the law after all of those years? Do you think she is going to let it go easily? No. She will still cry and pitch fits and throw things and run away. She will not all of a sudden respect your opinion and rules. Sorry.
I understand that from your point of view it seems that you are being loving, that you don’t want your child to not like you, or think or say you are mean…or best case scenario, that you are choosing your battles. WELL…I disagree. Young children thrive with boundaries and structure. They look to you to set rules and standards. They need you to do things for them that they can’t do themselves, even if they don’t KNOW what they need at that time. You make a child go to bed at a decent hour because you know they need a full nights sleep. What if your 4 year old, “doesn’t waaaannnt to go to bed?” Who is going to teach your child if you do not? Trust me, she will be mad at you later when she is so tired by 9 AM the next day that she cannot walk straight. She is going to fall and bump her head or her lip because her balance is going to suffer if she doesn’t get a nap…don’t you think she is going to cry then? That is going to hurt worse than the “injustice” of making her go to bed. She is going to be MAD when she looks back at her baby pictures and she sees that you let her run around looking like a ragamuffin too!
With all of those things said, here are my most recent reasons to need to rant…
I cannot wear jeans to work. I was told that it was because I needed to look professional. Yet I can wear flip flips. Yet I can wear yoga pants, ordinary t-shirts, and cargo pants…but not a nice pair of blue jeans? I understand in theory…you wouldn’t want me to wear old, faded, hole-y, frayed edges or any other ratty jeans…but a nice pair of jeans? I guarantee you my jeans would look nicer than the stupid-khaki-or-brown-cargo-pants-now-with-bleach-water-stains on them look!
Second point…I work at a daycare. I work with one-year-olds, with BABIES. Let me tell you how functional "professional" is NOT when you work with babies...my pencil skirts don't allow me to sit Indian-style on the floor for story time... my black pinstriped pants look awesome with snot, peas, drool and spit up, milk crust, other chewed up food and probably poop on them, AND my silk shirts that have to be dry cleaned...yeah, they're great for letting me help my 1 year olds paint and make their precious little hand prints into plaster of paris... Not to mention none of these things look professional with tennis shoes...and I am not risking little John's life by wearing heels and not being able to run across the room or playground before bigger John throws some random toy at his head...My eyes are NOT rolling... I can make many more points...but it seems I have very few public forums which I am allowed to share them on these days...
I wrote a status on my facebook page trying to express the agony I feel when picking out my clothes for the week…it said, “You would laugh if you could see the tantrum I am throwing right now because I can’t wear jeans to work.” BUT it is true. You would think I was 4 years old. I really do fling myself on my bed, (couch, or occasionally floor) and cry. This happens repeatedly each evening and in the morning when I am getting dressed. I kick off my pants, throw shirts and shoes across the room and talk to myself in a pathetic voice about how unfair this life is. I whine and cry! I hate how I look! I waste money on clothes I hate and ruin…it is SO frustrating.
The first thing I do when I walk in the door each afternoon is strip off my school clothes. I hate fall shoes. I HATE ANYTHING BUT JEANS and FLIP FLOPS!!! I HATE khakis. This last one actually has a rational explanation. Hatred of khakis…and actually the combination of pants and tennis shoes comes from high school. I was required to wear a uniform of khakis, a collared shirt, tucked in, belt, tennis shoes and [yes], visible socks. I hated every day of high school if I am not mistaken. I whined and cried about EVERYthing school related, made VERY valid points about why this was not functional, how it was pointless, more costly, did NOT foster academic success (or rather uniforms did NOT promote academic success…or eliminate competition and social comparison…because they weren’t FULL uniforms…) and they finally saw the light…the year AFTER I graduated. I was outraged! I just feel like this is ALWAYS how my life is. I am ALWAYS stuck in the group that is the guinea pig group that test out an unsuccessful idea…and then after I suffer for a good long time, the powers that be realize it really just isn’t working…and change it…when it no longer affects me. Irony. FURY.
SO. I THINK that if I were a parent, which I am NOT, which some of you reading may already feel I should NEVER be, and I had to leave my children in daycare, I would want to see my child’s teacher dressed comfortably, in practical, functional clothes, that say to me ‘this teacher is going to be very involved in my child’s day on every level from feeding and diapering, to playing on the floor, holding and running around, to arts and crafts. She is not concerned with ruining her clothes, getting a little oatmeal on her when my baby needs a hug or a hand. She is going make sure she is experiencing the process of art, helping her tactile and sensory skills develop. She’s not afraid of a little dirt, blood, drool, snot…’ like you won’t be when it comes to loving your own kid. People, I LOVE these kids! I really do. Through the tears, snot, drool, diapers, sticky, dirty hands, spit up, food, anything…but I need to be helped, ALLOWED, to do my job, to take care of them, play with them, hold them and LOVE them!!!
So let me wear jeans. The end.