Sunday, November 19, 2006

I think we're decent parents.

That statement is true because of the word "we're". It allows me to lump together my wife's parenting ability with mine. I'm a pretty lousy parent, but she's a really great one, so if you average us together, we're decent parents. Yay, math!

I'm not certain everyone is going to rate us that way though. Daisy had a friend, Jasmine, sleep over on Saturday night and it's just a matter of time before that Jasmine's parents prohibit her from socializing with our family.

First, when the mom dropped her daughter off, she also brought along a present for Daisy, a nice sweater and skirt. Daisy's birthday was months ago, so I'm guessing this was just a Thanks For Having Me Over present. Given that when we drop Daisy off at other people's houses, we're lucky to remember her underwear and medicine, so I can't imagine we'll be reciprocating for these types of gifts.

After the mom left, we got ready to have dinner. Jasmine saw her plate of food and said, "Since I'm a Christian, I'm going to thank Jesus now."

It would be an understatement to say that I'm not a religious man. My parents half-heartedly pushed some Judaism at me, much as I occasionally try to get Daisy to eat a couple of bites of squash. I hate it, she hates it, I know she hates it, and she knows I hate it, but it's a game we play about once a year because it makes me feel like a better parent. I can pull off that game because I force down the squash too, so it passes the hypocrisy test. I can't do the same thing with prayer.

So, let it suffice to say that this might have been the first prayer offered to Jesus at our dinner table ever. Wisely, and uncharacteristically, I decided this would be a good time for me to shut my mouth. Daisy spoke up though.

"Well. Go ahead," Daisy stated, shrugging.

I think Jasmine was a little put off by our lack of piousness because she immediately changed her mind about the prayer. I felt (a little) bad that somehow we had dissuaded her from thanking Jesus, but maybe he would have preferred a nice sweater and skirt anyway.

A few bites into our dinner Daisy launched into a discussion about what to have for dessert. We asked Jasmine what she usually had for dessert at her house.

"Dessert? Hmmmm," she mulled, "We don't usually have dessert. Maybe some fruit."

I cringed, knowing that as soon as dinner ended, Daisy would proudly show off the literal suitcase of candy that resides in our kitchen. I didn't feel any better when we fed Jasmine ice cream and Holiday Oreos (santized of all religious imagery) after the meal. I'm pretty sure that Jasmine's mom will be hearing all about it the next time she offers up bananas for dessert.

To top off the unwholesome evening, we let the kids watch some Tom and Jerry, which features all the violence of a good Looney Tunes cartoon, but without any of the cleverness.

Poor Jasmine. It was Her Dinner with Satan.


Anonymous said...

Daisy rocks.


zelda1 said...

My house was not a traditional house either, but for some reason, all the kids wanted to hang out and they did up until, well, even now when my son's friends are in our neighborhood, they come to see me before they look him up. I never gave them drugs or alcohol, but they could eat all the junk food they wanted plus I let them watch all the slice and dice movies they could stand. I'm sure their paents hated that they chose to spend time at my house, but the alternative could have been much more destructive. I bet Daisy's friend comes back.

Starlet said...

pretty much anyone who wants to feed my kid for me. I'm all over it. Take her to church, let her watch horror films and give her all the sugar she wants. As long as I can get her out of my house for a few hours.

Mike said...

Pablo, you know it. Seven year olds are very matter of fact.

Zelda1, oh I don't think Daisy's friend had a bad time. I think her parents won't be pleased with it.

Starlet, send your kid over. I can totally cram her full of candy.

Janelle Renee said...

I just thanked baby Jesus for this funny post.

Mike said...

JR, people always talk about Baby Jesus, but never about Toddler Jesus or Terrible Twos Jesus. Did he just skip those stages?

carey said...

Well, at least precious Jasmine didn't find the bong in the closet and the loaded gun under the mattress.

I'm completely with starlet on this one.

Mike said...

Carey, do I look like an amateur at hiding drugs and guns? Sheesh.

Crystal said...

i am surprised you didn't give her candy cigarettes and let her watch PG rated movies.

what fun is being a parent when you can't screw other people's kids up?

Seamus said...

I had a friend from North Carolina who bought guns because (he said) he needed to protect his baby from unspecified hooligans.

My mom: "Oh I wouldn't worry about other people screwing up your baby. You'll do a just fine job yourself. Look at Seamus - dropped on his head, left in a burning house. Forget the guns."

Maybe Daisy'll grow up and move to Vail too!

Mike said...

Crystal, candy cigarettes? That would have been smarter. Less coughing for sure.

Seamus, so, in that anecdote, I'm the hooligan? Cool.

Seamus said...

I think you can be anything you want to be.

But in this case, I was thinking more speed-addicted Phoenicians who break into houses. If that's a sideline of yours, I really think we should hear more about it.

Mike said...

Hmmm, I don't think that describes me very well. Maybe I could make up a story or sumpin.