Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Okay, let's start with mothering.
I have two wild children: Madeleine, 4 and Carter, 1.
Right now they are specializing in climbing (exhibits, monuments, backs of chairs and other treacherous pieces of furniture), eating forbidden foods (Carter: sticks/rocks, Madeleine: boogers), water play (overflowing sinks consistent fave, also drowning games), art experience (nudity and paint essential) and computing (Carter types with his feet, Madeleine surfs like a champ).
I guess you could say my kids are the kind of little people who make single people gasp in admiring awe while making a mental note to absolutely remember to take their pill when they get home. Adults with children look at my kids and thank their lucky stars that they had the good sense to institute bedtime from birth. We console ourselves daily by telling each other they're brilliant. What can I say? It's all true.
Before I had kids, I consulted lots of books and carefully crafted a loose but somewhat cohesive parenting philosophy. Yes, I'm one of those people. After a major move, a few rounds of unemployment and more transition than any decent woman can bear (all of which I endured without television), I can honestly say four years later that most of my ideals have been usurped by the basic hope that my adorable children will grow up to be good citizens and not experience incarceration for crimes against people or property. I have a few good tricks left, but unfortunately they do not work on demand and definitely not in the presence of strangers or important company.
I do however cling to the belief that rock songs make for good parenting. Even a two year old can see the inherent wisdom in "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones, and "Your Smiling Face" by James Taylor with a few lyrical changes can melt the heart of the most recalcitrant pre-schooler.