"Good Thing I Installed a Dumb Dumb Button"
Since Ansel is scheduled to have his tonsils extracted tomorrow, I indulgently (and foolishly) allowed him and his brother to stay up to watch the latest episode of "Gravity Falls" last night.
One of my more explicit fond childhood memories is of my parents allowing me to watch a Muppet television special despite the fact that it was on after bedtime and I had behaved horribly earlier in the evening. Now, of course, I wonder just why this generosity stands out so much in my memory. It seems that my parents gave me a second (or third, or tenth?) chance and let me have something that was important to me at the time, despite my not having remotely deserved it. I am hoping that I remember it clearly because I felt that my parents were really being nice to me, not because I thought I had gotten away with something.
I have more than once considered this childhood memory in relation to my own sons, who let no parental indulgence go unpunished. They are much the classic case of "give them an inch and"... they will steal your shoes, pee on the floor, leave the toilet seat up and the water running in the bathroom. Both boys are compulsive envelope pushers by nature. (Hi Archer sweetheart! I am aware that you will be reading this at some point)
Envelope pushing is not necessarily a bad tendency in and of itself, but it has made me more careful about being too nice/generous/indulgent of my sons...Particularly as they are boys, and my more youthful angry feminist self is lurking just beneath my premenopausal dry skin, wanting to burst out at any moment and stomp on any lazy, entitled, disrespectful owner of a Y chromosome who lives in my house. I often find myself complaining to my sons that I want to be nicer to them, but they are not letting me.
All of that said, the Gravity Falls viewing went off without too many repercussions (although I will no doubt pay on next Monday, when the indulgence will be viewed as a new entitlement.) Archer and Ansel love the weirdness of the show, and are particularly fond of the pig character Waddles.
In the middle segment of the episode, Waddles became suddenly super smart and built himself a voice synthesizer which spoke in the mellifluous tones of Neil deGrasse Tyson. At the conclusion, however, Waddles chose to give up the intelligence and the voice, pushing the "dumb dumb button" because he valued his affectionate relationship with Mabel more than his new intelligence.
And here's the pithy wrap-up that ties all this drivel together: Even though I should be too smart to ever indulge my sons, I feel that I still have to occasionally push the dumb button because I am their mother and I love them despite how they behave. I just have to be careful so their future female friends, teachers, coworkers etc. don't end up cursing me.