Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Zombie in my Graveyard of Mothering Theories

I've written before about my Graveyard of Mothering Theories where all unwanted good ideas go after their short-lived and spectacularly failed lives. Ideas like never feeding kids preservatives or letting them watch TV. Or the theory that I would never yell. Then there are the sundry ideas guaranteed to make chores desirable, homework doable before due, or washing with soap standard. Most of these theories are killed so thoroughly they sensibly stay buried in their graves.

But there is one idea that just won't die!  No matter how often it's veracity is destroyed and it is sent again to the Graveyard, it comes back in rotten, zombified form to try again. Obviously it has already eaten away at my brain.  Why else would I listen to it over and over and over again?  After nearly FOURTEEN years of failure, I still think it will work this time.

What is this zomberific, evil idea that refuses to die?  If my kids stay up late the night before, they will sleep in the next morning.  It never, ever works, and yet . . .

Every weekend, school holiday, or snow day as bedtime approaches, I think to myself, "I'll just let them stay up late now so they'll sleep in late tomorrow."

The problem is it makes sense! Logically, when one stays up late they'll want to, need to, try to sleep in the next morning. The law of conservation of sleep. Of course, if logic mixed with kids they wouldn't whine when their mother is already irritable or try to wear sandals in knee-deep snow.

The worst part is that the kids are then grouchy the entire next day. And, since it isn't a school day, I'm the one stuck with them and their cantankerousness! I'm telling you this zombified mothering theory is downright SCARY.

This is why last week, on a Monday without school, I could be found with 6 ornery children at the McDonald's playland. (Thinking taking them out of the house would make them magically less grouchy- another theory that just won't die.) If I looked like I was ignoring my children please don't judge too harshly. I had, after all, just become a little more brain dead from attack of the undead parenting theories.

What about you? Have a great parenting idea that just won't die, no matter how often it is disproved?


  1. Actually I think my zombified idea has more to do with the fact that I keep having children....as in, won't this be so fun? Babies are awesome...

  2. If I serve kid-friendly foods, they will eat.


    My four year old has gone two days without eating anything.

  3. Didn't you know my parenting skills were perfect? Just look at the wonderful kids that I put out. Glad to have you back in the blogging world.

  4. That it's not too late for us to become the Von Trapp family Singers.

    When am I going to realize that we aren't musical?

  5. What?? Keeping kids up late at night makes them cranky in the morning??? Someone should have told me this. I could have cured my kids crankiness long ago. I will start putting my kids to bed earlier tonight.....................that is a lie, I will go right back to my bad habits. Oh well. It was nice for a second.

  6. If I allow the kids to have an animal, they will take care of it. (Yeah, right!) That one will NEVER die!

  7. I'd heard rumors that young kids don't sleep in -- Maybe you just have to wait until they're all teenagers. Then you can resurrect this one :)

  8. Telling your kids "because I said so" ends the discussion... It never does.

  9. If the idea is repeated enough times, it will stick. (ie. no hitting or use a nice voice)
    We're going on 7 years of repetition now, and I'm obviously not learning...

  10. That if I serve a lot of veggies and not much else, the kids will realize they will be hungry if they don't eat them. Wrong.

  11. Yeah. Here's one: serve them something they don't like to eat often enough and they'll break down and it eat.

    No, they won't. Ever.

  12. Emma Jo's made me snicker. I'm glad I never fell for that! (Sure I have five kids, but I always remembered how much work babies are whenever we planned to have another one anyway.)

    The one I do fall for repeatedly is this idea: If I don't go searching for dirty socks and underpants on laundry day, and instead leave them in piles in the bedrooms, my kids will figure out to do it themselves the next week when they've had to buy a few pairs from me in the meantime. It sounds like it should work. Really, isn't it easier to just carry laundry to the washer than to fork over a dollar for some underwear? Apparently not. My kids think it's easier to ignore the laundry in one's bedroom, because after a couple weeks, mom will get so disgusted that she'll go hunting for it eventually. I know I shouldn't undermine myself, but at least I know my kids have something clean to wear under their stained clothes.

  13. Hmmmm. I'm thinking and wondering. I think mine is that if I just keep serving vegetables they'll actually one day eat them. So far I've been proven wrong hundreds of times, but I keep trying. :-)