I’ve known since I can remember that I want to have children. The entire concept of loving someone so much and using that love to bring new life into the world, a baby with 23 of my chromosomes and 23 of another’s. Holding a miracle in my arms. Now that Kevin and I have begun to plan our lives together, weaving his dreams with mine, I am delighted in the fact that he wants to have children just as much as I do. We even have our names already picked out! We know we want two children, and we know when we want them (yesterday!) so now the next step is knowing how we want to raise them. Luckily, I know how I want to do that too.
There is an incident that stands out in my mind when I think about my childhood. It was one specific punishment, and I don’t even remember what I did wrong that day, but I bet I never did it again. You see, in my house there were options when it came to punishment. There was a firm tap on the hands, a “don’t do that!”, the occasional “GO TO YOUR ROOM!” and the time-tested-and-true spanking. But the worst one was standing in the corner. It sounds like nothing right? But there were rules.
1. Stand in the corner specified by the parent administering the punishment.
2. Face the wall and do not turn around, look side to side, or sit down.
3. Do not make a sound, and noise/asking to be let off results in an increase in the length of time in said corner.
Alas, the corner sucked. I hated being put in a corner, and there was never a place with no corner to stand in either, couldn’t get off scott-free on vacations! So this specific time, I was told to stand in the corner, behind the couch where my Dad was watching a movie. (Or maybe it was Star Trek? Hmm..) I stood there, and waited. And waited. And waited, and waited, and waited… Finally, 2 hours later, my Mom came home/came into the room and asked why I was standing in the corner. Why was I standing in the corner? Because my Dad forgot I was there. In hindsight, I can’t believe I stood there for so long. I don’t think I could do it again, even now! But this brings me to how I want to raise my children.
I want to raise them to know that each day is a new day to start over and do well, even though their grounding will last for 31 days.
I want to raise them to know that feeling the sand/grass/mud/pavement under thier feet is freeing but there will be no sympathy when they’re stung by a bee. And they’ll be scrubbing their dirty foot prints from the tub too.
I want them to know that a cold freezy on a hot day is one of the highlights of the summer, but if they have 6 friends outside, they better be carrying out 7 freezies.
I want to raise them to listen to, and maybe even be a little bit scared of, Kevin and I. When we tell them to jump, they better already know how high. And when we forget that they’re standing in the corner, it had better be 2 hours before we hear a peep.
I want to teach them to speak, read, and write properly. When Kevin says their snowman looks like a phallic symbol (Kevin would never do that, but my Dad did), they won’t google it. They will look it up in a dictionary and then I’ll have to have “the talk”.
I want to raise them to know the words ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ and I will clarify that no, boys do not pee out their finger tips (even though it may look like that!). Also, they will know the difference between their ‘stomach’ hurting and their ‘abdomen’ hurting. The nurse in me will never die.
I plan to be open and honest with my children about things such as drugs, alcohol, and sex. They all exist, and my kids will encounter them and they will be ready to handle it. That said, I still want to know where they are at all times, and I want to hear from them if that changes too.
When they are 15 or 16 and they want a job, I’ll drive them to work. I will encourage them to save as much as they can but also let them use their savings when it’s for something important to them.
Kevin and I will be there for them to help them learn and grow, to be kind, caring, and well-behaved children, teenagers, and young adults, but most of all, I want to teach them about love. I want my kids to know that true love is real, and when they find it I will be supportive. Kevin and I will lead by example, just like my parents are. We will show them the hard work, dedication, and love it takes to maintain a marriage, a home, and a family. And when they fall in love, they will know it. They won’t have a doubt in their minds because maybe, just maybe, it’ll be like what Kevin and I have. Who are we, as parents, to stand in the way of that?
“Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”