The Not-So-Sad Truth

Pudding comes up to me yesterday.

Can I have a soda?

No.”

This despite the fact that there is Fanta Orange, Dr. Pepper, Coke, Vanilla Coke, Ginger Ale, and Dr. Pepper Cherry (awesome!) staring him in the face from the fridge.

I buy soda. I just very very rarely allow my kids to ingest it.

English: Australian Vanilla Coke 2008

Yum. Especially good with vanilla rum added. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So of course, he has to be all LOGICAL and ask me this question:

How come you don’t let us drink soda, but YOU guys drink it?

And you have to admit, this is a VERY GOOD QUESTION.

Just last night, the Tech Guru and I were talking about kids doing what they see their parents modeling. In our house, for instance, staying fit and being healthy is pretty much the norm (soda notwithstanding) and our kids have already taken to it like ducks to water. Punksin came home yesterday aghast that one of the kids in her swimming clinic brought lasagna to eat between the video portion and the pool portion. Now, I like a lasagna as much as the next person (okay, I admit – I make a MEAN fucking lasagna), but really? LASAGNA? Before swimming? Are you FOR REAL? Unless you are Michael Phelps, whom I understand to take in 10,000 calories a day because of his intense training schedule, you really should not be eating lasagna RIGHT BEFORE GETTING IN A POOL. I bet even HE doesn’t eat it RIGHT BEFORE GETTING IN THE POOL.

So anyhow, I’m pondering this question that my inquisitive little 5-year old has asked me. Why the hell DO I not let them drink soda when I sit there in front of them blatantly drinking it?

So, I gave him the only answer I could think of.

Umbecause we love you a lot more than we love ourselves.

I know. That is just…SO fucked up, isn’t it? But I realized that, although I was attempting to be droll – which was going right over his head – that there is more than a kernel of truth in that. A kernel he will never understand until he’s a dad some day, and even then we hope that we’ve taught him that if you DO love your kids, you owe it to them to take care of YOURSELF as well.

Which my answer clearly is not teaching him.

Sigh.

Sometimes, I really suck at this parenting shit, and it’s not for lack of love. It’s because I overthink some things and don’t think enough about others. The thing is, I know that some of this shit will stick in their heads and they’ll remember it when they’re 50. And some of the crap will just drift away. What stinks is not knowing which stuff will stick and which won’t. Will they remember the hugs and the kisses and the laughter? Will they remember Mommy crying and the Tech Guru and I arguing or the times I got short with them? Which will they remember more? Which will they believe in more?

God, help me get this shit right. Help me not to fuck my kids up the way I’ve been fucked. Help me to show them that I love them beyond any boundaries that they can possibly see or understand. Help me not to fuck up. And when I do, help them to see that even then, I was trying to get it right. It was not for lack of love that I may have failed; it may have been lack of sense, or lack of brain cells, or lack of self-esteem, or lack of a whole host of other things. But it has never, ever, EVER been, for lack of love.

I DO love them more than myself. WAY more than myself. I can’t help it. Aren’t I supposed to?

But still…maybe I should cut back on the soda.

 

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