Monday, January 22, 2007

In A Nutshel

In a Nutshell

A place set aside to answer 201 autobiographical questions from a mother for her daughter. This may take awhile...join us if you like.

5. I remember getting into trouble with my parents on this occasion:
I only remember getting in trouble with two parents at the same time once. Before my father died, I might displease Mama while he was at work, but she took care of it before he got home, and when he was home, I don't remember getting in any trouble at all.

With my step-father, I just remember the one time that I was in trouble with both of them. It was my first day of public school after they got married -- I stayed late playing after school and when I got home Mama was so worried and angry that she promised Daddy would spank me when he got home. Poor Daddy got home and was told he had to spank me. Since he didn't believe in spanking, he told my mother that he would this one time so as not to make a liar out of her, but he wouldn't do it again, so don't tell me he would. And then his heart wasn't in it, and he ended up hitting his own legs because I ran around and wouldn't let him connect.

I think that Mama quickly learned that when Daddy did get mad at us he could be very sarcastic and much harsher than she was. So, she never told him when we misbehaved. Indeed, if there was any way to take the blame herself, she would. The number of things we broke and she claimed to have broken was amazing. If I had done something that they both knew about and agreed I shouldn't have done, she was more apt to try to reason with him to be more tolerant of childish behavior.

I do remember one time when I was visiting from college and the dog did something he wasn't supposed to and Mama said nothing, and Daddy turned to her and said, "Don't expect me to be the villain to the dog as well." So, I think he was well aware of his role in the family drama, and he didn't really like it.

Since those days, as a parenting expert, I have become well aware of the pattern they played. One parent feels that the other is too lenient, and so has to be harsh so the children will learn. The other feels that the first is too harsh and so has to be even more lenient so the children will know they are loved. The further one goes, the further in the other direct the other is driven. That was our household. It's called complementary schizmogenesis.


J said...

That doesn't even sound like a real word. ;)

Maya's Granny said...

Oh, but it is. It isn't just about parenting. It is any time that one person does A and the other does anti-A and the As escalate in response to the anti-As, and . . .