LATELY, our preschooler insists that while he brushes his teeth, his dad count to 10 in Spanish. Then French—with guttural accents. Then “Dubai”, which means 10 grunts, each uttered in a different octave and each with its own bizarre facial expression. Teeth brushing has now gone from 5 minutes to 15, delaying bath and bedtimes, our son crumpling with giggles when Dubai comes around, foamy toothpaste streaming from his mouth. Rather than teaching proper teeth brushing skills and making it clear that people in Dubai do not count to 10 like cavemen on speed, my husband tries harder to make the boy laugh. Every. Single. Night. Someday, in language or cultural studies class, our son will find out our lie and feel betrayed by his parents. RECENTLY, honoring my son’s Ninjago obsession, I allowed him to watch Ninjago episodes without prescreening them. How violent could little Lego dudes in Ninja wear get, I thought, carelessly. The next time I let him watch Ninjago episodes, I watched with him. I cut the viewing short after 2 minutes. Little Lego sticks can do a lot of damage bonking everything that moves and knocking little Lego heads off of little Lego bodies with adequate sound effects, etc. What I did to ease the disappointed sobs from my son: switched to Power Rangers. LAST NIGHT, we had guests. I served up a fancy meal with a fun dessert. I served my son cheese pizza and a juice box, let him eat more than 3 petit fours and stay up far past his bedtime which, the rare occasions this happens, still means he rises at 6:30a.m., if not earlier. Today, he is a wreck. Now that’s good parenting!
PS. Happy Father’s Day.
PPS. Spinach pancakes for dinner tonight, no dessert.