I am a Good Parent

By Chef Cosmo_Tronic

I have two.

They are beautiful. One is an adventurous boy at the age of four, yet respectful beyond his years. The other is an affectionate bundle of babbles with six months behind her. Together, they are the overflowing receptacle of love for my husband and me. We want to teach our children to be the best they can be in the world. We are the breeders of curiosity and intelligence.

Some parents refuse to explain things to their children. They command them and expect them to adhere to their regulations without providing any justifications. “Because I said so!” Some don’t want to elaborate on the happenings around them. “It just is that way, stop asking questions, don’t worry about it!” I believe that those parents just don’t want to think too hard. They’re conditioning their offspring to be as ignorant of our realm as they are. But no, not us. All children should understand the world around them. We want them to question it, scrutinize it, struggle with it, and come to their own conclusions. Most adults really underestimate the capacity children have for comprehension. We know better than that. We are better than that.

We have two, and we’re going to make them magnificent.

In the instance that our oldest inquires, “Mom, Dad, why are you throwing away the lasagna you made the other day?,” we don’t reply, “Because it is bad now.” What would he learn from that? Of course he loves and trusts his parents and may accept that as a valid answer, but do we want him to follow us blindly forever? Absolutely not; he and his sister are to be our checks and balances when we age and potentially lose our open-minded focus. The elderly can be so stubborn. So, instead, we construct a clear observation box of Tupperware to keep the lasagna instead of throwing it away. After a few days, the leftovers spoil and the nasty remnants are left for him to investigate. “Ew! So that is why you were throwing away the leftovers. Because they were getting bad!” Exactly. He is so smart. We are doing a fantastic job as parents.

We have two, and they are going to be perfect.

As most parents know, children are such curious creatures. There are not enough hours in the day to perform an experiment on every question our little boy has. Instead, we will usually lead him onto a path of critical thinking. When he asks why, we query back: why do you think it would be like that? He’ll ponder and fumble his way onto a few conclusions. Usually, he’ll need some boosts into the right direction. One night, he called for us from his bed as I was tucking in our littlest lady.

“MOM! DAD! I heard something in my closet! What was that?”

My husband chuckles as we come to his aide. “Well, kid, what do you think it was?”

“I think it was a monster! Or a ghost, coming to take me away.”

“Where have you seen one of those before? Have you heard about them on the news?”

“Well… no. Just stories from the other kids, but I never saw ‘em.” Our little one considered other possibilities. “Maybe it was an animal?”

That was much more plausible than a supernatural being. He’s on the right track. I chimed in on this investigation. “Honey, we are in safe place here, right?” My little detective agreed. “Why don’t we check to see what it was?” Nervous, he slid out of the covers and padded over to the closet door. It was a sliding door, and inside we keep his clothes up top and a small table with art supplies at the floor. There was a cup of crayons that must have been seated too far on the edge of the table, and the gravity finally got to them. There was a rainbow of wax sticks, sprawled on the floor, leaving light marks on the white door. As assumed, our brilliant mini-man came to this conclusion, all on his own. He would pave the way for his sister.

We have two, and they’re essentially already brilliant.

On a different occasion, he asked, “Why do I have these bumps on my arm sometimes?” We led him to deduct the situation around the occurrences. “Well, I am usually sitting still and I am cold. But why does my body do that?” Since we can’t read our DNA instructions within our home, we resorted to research. He cannot yet perform an intricate Google search, so we’ll be his typing fingers. We discover, in this instance of cooling temperatures, that our bodies are raising goose bumps in order to create insulation—it is working to make us warmer. Happy with his answer, he went on his way. Such a good child.

We have two, and they’re on their way to being great.

Other times, such extensive questioning just isn’t a viable option. Some sunny day, my husband and I tarried along our children to the local park. I was cradling my youngest, when our boy walked to us, fiddling with his fingers.

“There is this woman watching me a lot, and I don’t know why.”

We surveyed the park around us, but did not see any woman staring at him. Maybe it was another parent that didn’t trust other children around theirs, and thus watched our boy frolic around her babe. It was a full grounds on this beautiful day, but it was obvious that our boy was unnerved. We asked him if he felt safe enough to investigate. He said no. Proud of his deduction, we let him know that we were glad that he could recognize when he felt uncomfortable and to come to us for support. We left the park, explaining to him that sometimes you cannot investigate if it is not safe, but gave him our deductions to try to ease his mind. He wasn’t happy with this answer, so we advised him about some scientists. They don’t always have all of the information that they need, so they can’t finish their research. Every so often, one just has to move onto the next excursion without a real answer.

We have two, and they’re going be revolutionary.

My daughter had a fever the other night. I cradled her as she sweat. My son asked why his dearest sister wasn’t feeling too well. I told him we weren’t sure, but the doctor said that it would pass. He was visibly upset. As an older brother, it pained him to see his sister in any sort of discomfort. I placed her in her crib, with a fan on, and left her brother there to stroke her budding hair across her forehead. “I just want to know why your head hurts, little sister, and I want to make it better.”

We have two, and they are loving creatures.

I tried to distract myself with television, as my husband was away on a business trip, but I managed to zone out into a nap. Later, I awoke and left the room to check on my daughter and to see what my son was getting into. On my way, I noticed his father’s toolbox was open and on the floor. Meticulous of a man he was, it was odd to see the box open and a couple of implements missing. I became irritated at my husband, as I know that I did not leave this array here.

I went into the youngest one’s nursery. There, her brother had investigated as to why his sweet little sister had such a fever. He was in the crib with her. He had the screwdrivers. It was a mess.

He is the reason that I have one.

“Mom, I’m trying to look and see why Sister’s head hurts. I still haven’t found any boo-boos in her.”

It is okay. I am a good parent. I remedied the situation.

Because, now, I have none.