Friday, March 3, 2006

Not so fast

I'm a little overprotective.

I have a wide age range here, preteen to toddler.  I have to keep things in the middle, so the older kids can have a grasp of popular culture while I try to preserve the "little" for my younger two.  It's not easy, but I think I manage okay. 

Imagine my surprise, to hear this from my little princess, complete with body/head swaying in time, last night.  Hum along, and you'll know the song.

"Mm-hmm,, mm-hmm, mm-hmmm..."

I don't own the CD, I don't do hip-hop radio (much) and yet, here she is, humming the Blackeyed Peas.   Yeah, yeah, it's just music, but I just don't think it's appropriate for my three-year old.  At least she doesn't know the words.

In a world of Bratz, mermaid Barbies that come pre-loaded with tattoos, and low-rise-let-it-all-hang-out pants ("Mommy?  Why are her pants so small?" as she sees an errant buttcrack in the mall) it's really hard to keep her, for want of a better word, unexposed. 

I don't expect to shield any of them from the world forever, I just can't believe how some things are so pervasive, that even a minor thing like a cell phone commercial can imprint on her little brain.

I don't remember it being so hard with the boys, when they were small, but now as they are growing up...

My oldest got really mad at me one day, because I will restrict their video games, they aren't allowed to play anything with an M rating, and I check out the T (teen) titles.  He was ranting about how all his friends get to do it, of course.  I do it with movies, and tv shows too, to a certain extent.  Between that and his irritation that I won't give him free rein to curse, somedays I am not so popular.  "But I'm the only kid in my class that can't ______ (insert golden privilege here)."

That day, I told him that I am only responsible for him, not his friends, and he has to respect that sometimes my wishes and his/theirs will not match...I went on for a minute, trying to get him to understand, until finally I got mad and said, "Forgive me, forgive me for treating you like the child that you are.  You're twelve, not twenty-two."  (Oh, yeah, he rolled his eyes, but I shushed him before he could get out "MO-OM!")

My brother nearly fell of the couch, eager to pass his judgement on how I was overdoing it.  Until I pointed out to him and reminded him of the trouble he was getting into at that same age, and he told me to shut up.   (That's what I thought.) 

There's nothing wrong with not wanting them to grow up too fast.  Like I tell my oldest, especially, you only get time to be a kid once, and once you see the world from an adult perspective, there is no going back to that innocence, that blissful ignorance of some things, so enjoy it.

I'm restrictive and overprotective because I am trying to save this time for them as long as I can, I told him, and if I have to be the meanest Mommy in the world in their  eyes to do it, then oh, well.   

"Then when I'm a grown up, I'm gonna...."  I interrupted him.  "When you are a what ??"  That took the wind right out of his sails.  "Grownup."  "Exactly."

Mm-hmm,, mm-hmm, mm-hmm...

Yeah, it's a got a catchy beat, but I just can't always dance to it.


jckfrstross said...

good for you :) they grow up to fast


womandriver2 said...

My oldest is 17.  She will be 18 on September 9.  On September 10 she is moving out.  See, she does have her head on her shoulders... such a good girl to plan ahead!  

(In reality I will be hooked around her ankle screaming see.. you can't drag your mama!  I got this extra weight for a reason and now I know what it is!)

I don't let her dress like something on a street corner, I don't let her cuss.  I don't let her run with her friends and "hang" at the mall. and ... meanness of mean. I do NOT let her go to her boyfriends house unsupervised!  I really should be brought up on abuse charges... I am SOOOO mean to her.  

suzypwr said...

My daughter is 26 and STILL not allowed to swear around me. I don't swear around her, either. It's called respect, and those just are the rules :)


inafrnz247 said...

LOL I think I wrote this same journal entry somewhere...  Not so well written as yours though!  You have such a great way with words!  Good luck to ya! Michelle

tdain2003 said...

Shoot, I think that song is too racy for my boys to hear and they are 10 and 12... I turn it every time.

I for one, agree with everything you've said.  I restrict what my kids see and do and what they watch and the games they play, too.  They don't always like it, but I just want them to be kids, too.  Not to be exposed to everything so early... there's nothing wrong with it, Anna.

You are a GREAT parent!  


ekgillen said...

Looks like you might be in for a long ride with that Audrey! :)

onemoretina said...

    Did this entry ever bring back those old memories!  I remember playing 'Who's the meanest Mom in the world?' many times in those good old days.  Of course, everybody else's parents are cooler than we are, aren't they? ...   SURE they are !  lol    Don't you just wish you could hear the disagreements that are going down at their friends houses ?  It's always a comfort to know that everybody goes through the same stuff.   Tina
p.s.   ..... Why, oh why, do they always take to the songs that seem the least appropriate for them?  I remember my three year old following me through the supermarket one day, humming the tune to Eric Clapton's 'Cocaine' ... lovely !!  

screaminremo303 said...

I guess I'll leave my Black Sabbath CD at home this week.

slyracing1 said...

Stick with it mommy friend because they thank you in the end!  [check out "Parent Paycheck" on my blog in February!  
Hugs with Love Kendra