Thursday, August 11, 2011

What kind of role models are best for our children?

I went away to the mountains recently to do a reality TV Show for the Discovery Channel. I can't say much about it now except that it was CRAZY! I lived in a wilderness camp 9,000 feet high with 9 other people and we were told to, "Survive on our own." I will definitely share more details about the show, when it will air and my experience on it, when I get the OK. The reason I bring this up now, is that my children spent 2 weeks at their Grandma and Zadee's house. When they came home they had all kinds of new manners, good ones, gross ones and some that sounded a little scary. The best was my littlest learned that talking with your mouth full was bad. The worst was that the punishment for talking with your mouth full was being "locked" in the closet. Now mind you my kids were never locked in the closet, but you can imagine my embarrassment when my son announced this punishment loudly to a friend and her children who were visiting us and unfortunately, "talking with food in their mouths." "Don't talk with food in your mouth or you'll get locked in the closet," he sing-songed to her. "What?" I said, "Who taught you that?" "Grandma," he said as he took a new bite. "Did you ever get locked in the closet?" I wanted to know. He refused to answer until he had finished chewing; Pointing to his mouth as he chewed. Well, he hadn't and it apparently had really made an impression on him. But wouldn't also threatening to lock them in the dark basement if they didn't eat their broccoli? I had to get down to the bottom of this and I did. My mother explained it was a well lit closet of sorts that was easy to get out of and they would never have done it. In fact, only Zadee had gotten "put" in there once. I guess you get a warning before that happens, so you have a chance to change your behavior. Either way, it probably wasn't what I would have said. But how can I complain, I dumped my kids there for 2 whole weeks while I went off on a journey of self discovery and starvation! Here are a few other great manners that they learned:

1) After burping you MUST say, "Excuse me, I am a piggy."
2) When you get to the bottom of your milk, you suck noisy air through your straw and say,"Blue Angels" like the noisy airplane air show.
3) And it is okay to wake people up by tickling their feet!

These well meant manners aside, I really do feel totally blessed to have parents who care so deeply about my children and love them so much that they just adore having them visit. My parents play with them like they are kids themselves. Their actions of having uncensored fun with my kids and showing them that adults can be silly too is just the kind of role model that I am thankful my children have. It's not like at home where we as parents have to clean the house, pay the bills, go to work. I want to spend more time playing with my children. I have an idea of how to get them to help out more at home to free up more time for me to play with them ( but that's another blog entry). My parents give 100% of their time when the kids are visiting; playing hide-n-seek 100 times as day, reading to them, taking them for long bike rides and letting the kids squirt them with water canyons, which, by the way, has a penalty of getting a "free" butt squirt if you accidentally squirt someone in the face. Even though I have to make a few minor tweaks when they come home, I know summers at Grandma and Zadee's will forever be filled with fun memories. But beyond those their grandparents will have a lasting impression of learned lessons from two people whom I admire and love.

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