Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Family by fate, friends by choice blah blah blah whatever

My sister and I are SOOOOO opposite of one another. It is fun to hear an outsider's viewpoint of my family, and Robin has hit the nail on the head: she said she has never met a family that is so different from one another to still be a family.

The Mominator and I are basically two peas in a pod. We are opinionated. We can't keep our mouths shut. We have to have five jobs to feel fulfillment. However, I have more self-confidence than my mother, and I attribute that to the fact that I have more "control" over my marriage relationship than my Mom did when she was my age. My Dad ... I love him to death, but he can be a real dork sometimes, pulling that macho "Me man, me work outside, you woman, you run sweeper" crap with my Mom. And I have always been so surprised to see my Mom roll over when it comes to some arguments with my Dad. My Dad hasn't always put my Mom first. Ok ... who am I deluding. He NEVER puts my Mom first. He is always thinking about others so much, that he forsakes my Mom on occasion. Too many stories, not enough attention span to write them down.

Then there is my brother. Good old brother. He is 11 years my senior, so saying we are the best of buds is an overstatement. I was the one who ruined his Thanksgiving dinner. I am the one who wasn't a brother when I was born. I think that deep down inside, he hasn't forgiven me for those two things that I could never control. But we are cool. We have a relationship. And that is good. We can go for months on end without speaking to one another, and we are just fine with that. He is the one I look like the most, though. So you can well imagine ... that is either good for him or bad for me. ;)

Then my sister. Ah yes.... Mini Martha. She is extremely SO opposite of me, it isn't even funny. She has a quirky dress style. I am granola Birk and tye dye. She is organized. I am so far from organized that I drive her insane. She is vegetarian. I am not. She loves to be outside gardening. I love to be outside sitting my fat arse in a chair and knitting or crocheting.

And our parenting style. Don't even get me started. This morning, I was relaying how I had taken away the Queen's Gameboy for a month because she had mouthed off to me SO badly yesterday that I just took it and told her she was off of it until June 1. I made that comment to Mini Martha, and she said WOW. That sure is a long time. You bet your bottom dollar it is, Annie.

Then I said that it was too bad because I had just won Wario Ware off of Ebay for it last night. I said that the Door Man will be able to play it while she is off of it, and immediately she said "well, that sure isn't fair. That seems like a double-punishment right there. You shouldn't let him play it."

I informed her that he DOES play it when the Queen is not around. That she DOES grant him permission to play it from time to time. So ... why should HE be punished because she is being punished? I mean ... ok yeah. It technically is NOT his game. I understand that. But we have allowed them to share it when SHE lets him. She is the one in control of it. So since she is no longer in control of it, then we are. WE are the parents. The Queen doesn't run the show.

And therein lies our difference: She is all about sacrificing everything for the well-being of her child, sometimes losing herself along the way. I am all about self-preservation because if my kids see that I am no longer "me" because I have so fallen into the role of their mother, that is not doing them any good.

Plus ... she gave birth to one. I gave birth to three.

See ... totally different. SOOOOOO totally different.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was getting through that and thinking, "Her sis only has one, I bet." Yep. I was right. Parenting one kid is a thousand times different than parenting two or more.

We just recently had to change the rules in our house to, "No one takes anyone else's game out of the house...period." Doodlebug was nice and gave DT permission to take a game to his friend's house when he spent the night and it came back unusable. So, not only does DT have to replace it with his own money, but the rule has been changed. Stuff like that a parent of ONE just doesn't have to deal with.

Oh, and I bet you get a lot less sass back next time. ;)

9:37 AM  
Blogger Knitting Maniac said...

Sue... I can only hope.

Yeah. The Man will play it here only, and really only when the Queen is at school. I won't let him sit there for hours on end, playing it. It is just something that has caused a rift in this house .... she comes home, she immediately goes to it, and I kept making a mental note to myself to put it up when she gets home until homework and chores are done.

I mean, she is eight going on nine. She isn't six. Whatever.

And you are totally right. One vs. two or more is a totally different ball game, parenting-wise.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I saw your post about your dad. I am a New York Times bestselling author working on a new book about father-daughter relationships and thought you might want to contribute. Please visit my page for details about submitting stories for Daddy's Little Girl.

Gregory E. Lang
Author, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad

10:39 AM  
Anonymous jenn said...

sounds just like my family. tight with my mom, brother 10 years older, love him, but don't talk a lot.

little sis that drives me crazy! she is so mini martha, I love that term, I'm stealing it.

She doesn't even have kids yet often times has something to say about the way we're doing things.
Drives me crazy!

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

well you know where I fall on this argument..
you and I are parenting twins. I know I am a good parent, even though I'm not willing to lose myself in the process. I cringe at the idea of sacrificing myself for my children..I am selfish about my "me" time.
I love you because you handle things just as I do. It helps confirm to myself that I am not the only parent who yells and screams and demands things of their children.
P.S. holy crap! Umm..can you mention my name in your new book..I have some GREAT dad

12:46 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Umm, Merideth... Looks like your blogging might "pay-off", (referring to Greg), I think it is a change of the time from when your mother was a younger wife and mother of young children, they worshipped the good and the bad of their husbands, now days, totally not like that, and as far as your sister, your right, she gave birth to only one child, so her parenting is going to be different from anybody who has had more than one child. Things that might have been negative in your life has made you the person you are today,which is a good thing. I am so glad I've gotten to know you,and I totally love the person you are. I completly feel your pain with the children/disipline thing... just the other day we were putting mulch out and I asked the boys to help, Ryley refused and went into the house, Hunter worked his heart out, and did a good job, so I paid him. Ryley got pissed and wanted money too, but hey, he didn't help, so he pouted, but I stuck to my guns. You help=reward, You refuse=nothing.

10:55 PM  

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The Lovely She, that is me!

I'm a mom of three peeps ... Queen Bee, The Door Man, and the Chandelier Monkey, and wife to Ace, the Helpful Hardware Man. I created this space to get away from the people known as my inlaws, and because life with three kids and a hubby is all Unexplored Territory.

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The nine-year-old who seems to be growing older every minute, has an opinion and a comment for everything, and has a true servant's heart.
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The seven-year-old who loves the organization of things, will someday be someone's therapist because of his kind soul, and will more than likely be living with us until he is 40 years old.
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The five-year-old with the 13-year-old attitude, who has a dictator's personality, asks you to watch her all the time and say "hold on" to keep your attention, and will someday come home on the back of some dude's motorcycle with 10 tatts and a body piercing or two.

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The man of the house, the fixer of things, the winner of prizes, and the only person in his family to escape the South.

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