December 31, 2014 by Katia
Last week we had a few of 5 Year Old’s friends over for a viewing party hosted by Netflix of their new children’s show, All Hail King Julien. One thing led to another and before you knew it my severely sleep-deprived brain produced a thought. The Thought, to be clear, wasn’t actually born AT the viewing party since *pro tip* parties for 5-year-old boys will not generate much thinking (other than of the “THINK FAST!” variety). These kinds of parties are more about reacting.
Just like parenting. Sometimes. You try to put your best foot forward. You read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “How to Talk to Kids So They Will Listen” only to stand there and gawk with your jaw on the floor as you discover that your child’s announcement “check this out!” leads to them jumping out of the bathtub crouching tiger style and breaking their toe. As you watch this scenario unfold the last thing on your mind, I assure you, is crafting a how-to-talk-so-kids-will-listen skilfull response.
During the (interactive) viewing party there was a lot of this:
And a little bit of this.
And some of that.
And even some of this.
I’ll let you keep guessing.
After the party 5 Year Old and I sat down to watch another episode. He insisted on episode 4, which happened to deal with a reign of mindless fun represented by King Julien vs. the reign of terror represented by his devious uncle. Both were grotesque and very hilarious representations reminiscent of Robin Williams’ crazy, unhinged humour, but they brought about thoughts of something very real that I’ve been bothered by for a while.
In an absolutely unexpected twist of fate and contrary to anything I expected, I’ve assumed the role of Not Fun Parent.
5 Year Old: mom, grownups are just kids, but big boring kids.
— IAMTHEMILK (@KatiaDBE) November 22, 2014
Hello. Meet the inspiration behind this tweet. My name is Mama and I am here to bore. If you’re lucky. Otherwise I’ll scold, discipline and if things get really out of control – yell.
I was recently wondering, how is it possible to love my kids so badly, to worship them in a way that would out-cliché any parenting cliché uttered by a super model who just had her first baby, how is it possible to adore them so very much yet to so often spend your days not reacting the way a loving parent should and not experiencing much fun. And why is it, the thought persisted, that my husband seems to enjoy himself so much more than I do? Why is parenting so effortless to him (and Giséle)? Then I realized (remember The Thought?) That the difference lies in fear and its byproduct, stress. In my parenting pie chart terrible, paralyzing, all consuming fear for my fearless rambunctious little boys takes up an enormous portion, while I’m sure my husband’s is far more balanced.
Parenting is about constant learning. The surprising part of it, for me at least, is that so much of it is self-learning, and some of these lessons are attained by long and hard staring at a seemingly distorting mirror, which reflects an image you don’t wish to see. I want to be the parent my children deserve this new year. How do I let go of fear?
Do you feel the same way? How do you handle fear and stop it from paralyzing and distorting you as a parent?
This post is a Netflix Stream Team post. I want to thank Netflix for their generous hosting of the viewing party and for being Netflix.
I want to thank Ben, Amelia and Rebecca, Brayden and Jen, Alex, Hayden and Joanna and Shawna for attending and bringing life into the party.