I am a Mean Mommy and most of my friends are Mean Mommies.
The Mean Mommies have the kids who are self-sufficient, polite when necessary and creative. Of course, what else can these kids be when their mothers are off drinking Guinness with friends rather than hovering over them with kind words of advice and praise?
Oddly enough it is the Mean Mommies who tend to have swarms of kids at their houses. Kids just LOVE Mean Mommies. They are the mommies who let them do the fun stuff. Bake a cake without adult supervision. Run through the mud and play with sticks that might poke their eyes out and climb high trees with the only warning—”if you fall and break your arm, we are not going to the hospital until I have finished my coffee.”
Of course, blood always warrants an interruption in the adult conversation, but really....any other distraction should be ignored at all costs....a fight over hurt feelings (please... we invited that little brat over here because you wanted a playdate with her, you work it out) or a request for a snack—(honestly—have these children not heard of step stools?)... If you don’t nip the annoying behavior of interrupting in the bud, you eventually become a NICE MOMMY.
The opposite of me is the Nice Mommy. The world stops for the child. “I am so sorry...could you hold that thought about your impending divorce and cancer scare while I listen to little Melissa’s thoughts about the scab on her pinky?” It is not that I do not love little Melissa and appreciate the song she made up for the scab on her finger, but really...once the kids can communicate...is it not our place as parents to make them realize that although it is MOSTLY about them...it is not ALL about them?
I have stunned into silence many a whining suburban child just by saying NO. The word is apparently not a part of their parents’ vocabulary. The child sits there dumbfounded by the fact that an adult is saying NO to them and not even giving a reason...like there has to be a reason not to want to go Chuck E Cheese’s or another inane PG movie or ice skating at the mall.... You fill in the blank. The true surprise is that the child survives this horrible let down and she comes up with (drum roll) another idea...one that does not involve you (wild applause). Another self-sufficient and creative child is made.