I just heard these words come out of my mouth: "Be careful tying yourselves up!". My kids were cinching themselves to rolled-up camping pads with the straps intended to keep the pads in a tightly rolled configuration. As I walked out of their room, I started questioning myself: should they be tying themselves up at all? Should I have just shut up and let them have their fun? Is it actually dangerous to the point where they should stop? See, I have no idea. My parents might be described as having been shockingly neglectful in many ways, so I have a very limited sense of appropriate boundaries in many, many situations. But I do recall getting occasional advice from my dad, and one of the things he told me, probably repeatedly, was to never, ever let anyone tie me up, even if it's called a game. Reasonable advice? I don't know. Here's a few other nuggets from him:
- always keep your eye on your wallet
- if it happens to you, it's your fault (this might easily be misconstrued: I believe his intent was to address things like not getting an application in on time because the mail carrier was late; clearly you should have planned ahead a little more and given yourself some margin for error. He did not intend to blame victims of crimes or similar).
- never trust the son of a bitch (this refers to drivers with their signals on; never believe they are actually turning until you see them turn. They might have it on and not know, or change their mind at the last minute, etc.)
So. Back to my probably questionable parenting practices. I know I do it wrong. I have proof! Last year one of my kids had an earache while we were on vacation. I dosed him up on Advil, feeling all competent and shit. It just kept getting worse and I kept giving him more medicine. My husband thought we should take him to the doctor and I argued. I had at least a million earaches when I was a kid, no one ever took me to a doctor. Actually, I doubt I got the meds, either. Sometimes they'd go away and sometimes my eardrum would pop and bloody fluid would come out and it would feel better. If I was lucky it was just one side. So, a doctor? What for, right? Sure enough, his eardrum popped, and my husband INSISTED we go to the ER. So we went. And the doctor, with a horrified look on her face, informed us how DANGEROUS AND STUPID it was to just ignore an excruciating earache. Huh. Who knew?
At the same time, I think I have developed my finest qualities from having been left alone to fend for myself. There must be a balance there somewhere, but I have no idea where it is. I think I'm just going to close their bedroom door, get myself a beer, and think about bondage.