Mom Notes: Are Goldfish A Gateway Drug?
The boss of me stands less than two feet high and can't tie her own shoes. She gives the best hugs and tells the funniest stories. And has the power to transform me from a fully functioning, successful, stable (well, mostly) adult into a tantrum-throwing, weak pushover in mere minutes. Um, make that seconds.
Repeated, shrill whines of "I want more Goldfish- only the color ones MOMMY!" (as the dinner I made her sits untouched) or "I don't wanna watch Dora" (after asking to watch Dora 10 times), or "I don't want a new diaper" (when hers is so full she looks like a lost Kardashian) send me into a tailspin. There must be some biological reason for it- because I have never had such a problem standing up to resistance (10 years in PR teaches one much about gracefully moving on from being told "no" 100 times a day.)
As I give in- in the case of the Goldfish- or give up- in the case of the diaper- I mutter under my breath a monologue that typically starts off something like this: "Outside of this toy-filled playroom, people actually respect me, great companies pay me good money to share my expertise (yeah, you hear that, I have EXPERTISE!) with them, I am asked to talk about stuff on national TV and people LISTEN TO ME! I get invited to go to fancy places, and when I get to said places, nobody kicks me in the face or pulls my hair. I wear outfits that don't involve yoga pants, and accessories other than your discarded hair bows...." It goes on and on and gets more pathetically inane with each sentence, so I will spare you the humiliating over-share.
Recently I have realized that this pattern of behavior- she cries (loudly), I cave (exasperatedly)- is probably starting solidify the message in her quickly maturing toddler brain that she is officially the boss of me. (Yes, I know- NEWSFLASH!- but I have never claimed to be a parenting expert by any means, so go easy on me, okay?) And it has to stop. Before she gets old enough to order herself a "The Boss of Mom" plaque for her desk on Amazon.com or something.
But giving her the freaking Goldfish instead of trying to teach a lesson while serenaded by screaming at 7pm on a rainy night when all I want to do is sit on the couch, watch "The Killing" on DVR, and perhaps stick a straw in a bottle of wine is just so tempting...
I have to remind myself- Goldfish just may be the gateway give-in. I fork those puppies over today, and in 15 (optimistic to say 15, may be more like 10) years, the Dixie cup of crackers morphs into age-inapproprate Gucci stilettos.
Goldfish to Gucci, 'tis a slippery slope.