I don’t like letting the kids jump/climb on the couches like they’re playground equipment. As a matter of fact, I say, “This is FURNITURE. Not a playground.” But the real reason I say, “No!” is because it annoys me when I’m watching TV to have them climbing around all over the place. AND, it messes up the couch cushions.
A few days ago, Wes decided it would be fun to jump off the arm of the couch onto the giant bean bag we have in the Man Room. I was about to say something like I usually do but instead, I just ignored it. I just said, “Be careful.”
He and Nikki had SO MUCH FUN nearly killing themselves jumping off the couch. Part of me wanted to interfere because – well – that was actually a bit dangerous due to the proximity to things like cabinets and fireplaces. But the other part of me just kept screaming: THEY ARE KIDS. LET THEM BE KIDS.
I let my kids do stuff like paint inside even though it ends in spills that stain the carpet. I let them tie-dye shirts even though it turns their hands green. I let them help me cook even though they sometimes put their finger in their mouths while helping to put the squash in the steamer. I let them dress themselves. I let them sleep with 14 stuffed animals at once.
I say this because I don’t want to seem like the, “NO!” Mom who says, “NO!” to every fun thing that could disrupt my life.
But lately? I feel like a “NO!” Mom more and more. It seems like they’re always wanting to do those things I do say, “No!” too. And every day, I find a part of me wondering if I’m squashing their little spirits for the sake of some stupid furniture that the dogs have drooled all over anyway. Or for the sake of some cabinets (They like to climb on the cabinets…) that we hate and hope to replace someday. I feel like I say, “No!” more and more lately just because…well…I’m annoyed.
So, I said, “Yes!” to the couch jumping. Or, rather, I didn’t say, “No!”
Of course – that threw EVERYONE for a loop all week. E had to put them in timeout for doing it because, as he told me, “You NEVER let them jump on the furniture!” and Donnie got on to them for doing it too. I gave them a little freedom and Donnie and E both looked at me like I had grown another head. “But the rule…the rule is always, ‘This is not a playground!'”
“I know,” I told them, “But sometimes I just want to…well…NOT say NO! all the time…”
It actually felt really good letting my kids do something I normally don’t allow. It made me feel better. This week I’ve felt like I nag a lot less. Like they’re having a lot more fun. Just because I let them jump off the couch and on to a bean bag. Could it kill them? Probably. Hell…kids are just little walking X-Rays anyway, aren’t they? My daughter had to have a CT Scan because she ran into a wall once. If they’re going to break a bone, they’re going to break a bone, my “The furniture is not a playground!” rule has never stopped injuries before, why would it stop them now?
Do you ever do that? Get sick of saying, “No! Stop doing that!” all the time and just spontaneously say, “FINE. Go ahead. Just don’t come crawling to me when you crack your skull open and spill brain matter everywhere.”