Saturday, March 23, 2013

Prodigies, Knuckleheads, and Dealing With Your Deluded Plans For Them

Ok, all you mommy and daddy bloggers! Time to dig in and discover your delusions. What's that? You say you have none? Au contraire, mes amis! Read on!

Those three of you familiar with the Marshmallows will understand the impetus behind this entry. For those not so familiar, here it is in brief:

Me, the Defiant Marshmallow + Lady Marshmallow + Unrestrained "Alone Time" = Four Little Marshmallows (now big Marshmallows).

Here's the part where I have to be gentle and kind, as all of them read this blog from time to time - when I beg them to. Because I'm desperate for approval that way (aren't all bloggers?)

When you've accomplished the above mathematical formula, you know that you develop plans for the sum. In my case, I developed plans, despite already being aware of the fact that I haven't been able to control the plans made for myself over these many years. Raise your hand if you've done the same thing. I thought so.

See? We do it. We assign aspirations/titles/jobs/entire life stories to our offspring, knowing full well we have absolutely zero control of the situation. Now, back to the title of this entry.

Knuckleheads. It may not be what you think I mean. To me, it's an endearing term for your normal, hormone-infused male offspring, who, despite your best efforts to prevent it, end up an awful lot like you. Some more than others, with some aspects of personality traits showing up more prominently.

I have four Knuckleheads. Lady Marshmallow has five, because I have to be counted as one. It's cool, we're all good guys. We're just, you know, guys. The roster:

Me: 'nuff said.

Offspring the first (Ferdinand Magellan Marshmallow): Independent, wandering type. Late bloomer. Good heart. Not exactly proactive. Pretty much the opposite. Roaming about constantly, looking for landfall somewhere. Cancer survivor.

Offspring the second (Leonardo da Marshmallow): yeah, new nickname. Fits him better. All artist, with flecks of humanist, inventor, creativity out the wazoo.

Offspring the third (Frank Lloyd Marshmallow): Architect. Energy to spare. Nuclear, in fact. Will still be bouncing off furniture after the universe has disappeared. Can describe him as "Ready! Fire! Aim!". Most like the Defiant Marshmallow in that regard.

Offspring the last (Wolfgang Amadeus Marshmallow): Much has been written about him here. Prodigy? In my mind, yes (perhaps more like Prodigy-Knucklehead-ADD Poster Child). Compared to his namesake, no. But then, the number of people who could be compared to his namesake can be counted using the total number of teeth contained in all of Honey Boo Boo's extended family.

Alright, to the point of this whole thing. We desire better lives for our offspring than we had ourselves. But we go about it the wrong way most of the time. We write their life stories in our minds and immediately dry the ink. The instant that their life paths begin to deviate from our engraved mental pages, we start losing our shit. It begins about the time they take their first breaths. They cry when we think they should be happy. Sleep cycles, poop schedules, walking, talking, saying "No!". They completely screw up our carefully constructed plans for them.

What we should do is create a big, blank canvas as a birth present. And then...

Sit back and watch them fill that canvas! And just relish it. Sure, guide them here and there. Mostly, to avoid the things that will kill or maim them. Want them to be good human beings? Don't preach to them about it, simply set the example. It's really that basic. Just set the example of doing well by doing good, live a life worthwhile, leave the world in better shape than when you came into it. In some way. Any way. Even the littlest way. They'll get it. They see more than you know. And they will build upon your example if you let them.

While you're enjoying their journey, don't forget to keep living yours.


This blog entry is dedicated to the Knuckleheads. Prodigies all, in my mind. And to Lady Marshmallow, who shall remain photographically anonymous.

Architect and Artist enjoying the Eternal City, Rome.

                                    Take a wild guess.

Magellan, cancer survivor and wanderer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Well said brother. I'm almost at the same point in my own parenting. I'm resisting that same urge aka I've downgraded my "I'll drive and drop you off where I think you need to be" to just grabbing the steering wheel periodically.

  2. So very different at the Tuna's house, only one, and only a girl. Waaaaayyyyyy more hormones in one little female then all those boys combined.