At home, one of my many nicknames is “mommy no fun.” That’s me, a real killjoy. I don’t buy a new toy every time we go grocery shopping, I don’t recommend eating chips for breakfast, I’d rather not encourage a five years old to watch 18A-rated horror movies and I like to point out that jumping on furniture has consequences.
See—I’m not fun. My in-laws are fun, they never say no. Feng is still fun because his “noes” don’t carry much conviction and, with enough whining, decisions are usually followed by “oh, whatever”.
Have you ever started a new job not quite sure of how someone found you suitable for the position? That’s how I feel as the parent in charge of enforcing discipline. Why do I always have to be the bad cop? I hate policing and managing people and I have a questionable relationship with authority! I’m easy-going! I believe in talking things out! JUST DON’T FUCKING JUMP AROUND IN FRONT OF THE TV WHEN YOU EAT CHICKEN NUGGETS, OKAY?
So when something fun comes up—Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Mark’s birthday…—, I take it too seriously. I know I won’t “win” because no matter what I do, my in-law will always buy more gifts, bigger toys, giant cakes. But I want to mark the occasion so that Mark will have happy childhood memories.
Apparently, for Easter, I signed up for Kinder chocolate and an egg hunt at home, because that’s what we did last year and that’s what Mark is now expecting for the next twenty years. If I had decided that our Easter tradition was bathing in a tub filled with melted chocolate, I would have had to do it every single year—parents, take note, don’t start with something too ambitious because next thing you know, it has now become the family tradition.
When we left Latin America, there were aisles and aisles of giant huevos Kinder in supermarkets for the upcoming Semana Santa. None of us was really tempted—chocolate and hot temperatures equals a melted mess. The first thing I saw in Canada? Aisles and aisles of the exact same Kinder eggs. This time, I bought one—the biggest, the one Mark expected because guess what, that’s what I gave him last year.
So “mommy no fun” hid the eggs and left notes. Since Mark can read basic sentences, I let him figuring it out on his own. Just as well, I kind of forgot where the third and fourth small chocolate “carrots” were hidden in his room.
I’m still “mommy no fun,” though. I suggested eating ALL the chocolate at once probably wasn’t a great idea.