|Cookie dough with brownie bites for her; chocolate peanut butter (obviously) for me|
|This is weird to think about, but I realized that night that, because I'm usually super strict about bedtimes, this was actually one of the first times my five-year-old daughter had seen the night sky! (7:30pm lights out FTW, people.)|
A version of this post first appeared here on my Instagram, and I got such an enthusiastic response, both online and off. It seemed like it spoke to many people out there--many fellow not-fun parents--so I wanted to expand on it a bit here.
I am not the fun parent. My husband is the McDonalds parent, the eat-in-the-living-room parent, the sure-you-can-pour-a-vat-of-syrup-on-your-pancakes parent, the wear-whatever-crazy-outfit-you-want parent.
That is not me.
I am the bedtime stickler, the rules-enforcer, the eat-your-broccoli, get-in-the-bath, "You're-not-listening" parent. Somehow, somewhere along the way, I became the strict one.
But one night, a few weeks back, that briefly changed. It was a Saturday night (one of the first ones that wasn't bitterly cold), and just before bath time, my daughter announced out of the blue that she wanted to go out for ice cream. This is something that us Not-Fun Parents would normally nix immediately. I mean, staying up late? Sugar right before bed? Straying from the routine? Madness, no? But instead of reacting immediately, I listened to her, thought about it for a moment, and said, "You know what? Why not?"
My daughter eyed me suspiciously (likely thinking: "Who is this kind alien who has invaded the body of my mom?"), but I convinced her that, yes, I was serious. So she enthusiastically took a quick bath, then we threw her coat over her pjs, and walked the few blocks to Ben & Jerry's. (Yep, in her pajamas--which she thought was hilarious and definitely turned out to be half the fun for her.)
It was just the two of us. We walked hand in hand, sat down and ate our ice cream, and then walked back in the dark (which she thought was awesome since she is almost never outside at night). When we were almost home, she said that it had been one of the coolest things that she had ever done.
And just like that, I got to be the fun parent for once.
Are you the fun parent? Or the not-fun parent? And if you're the latter, have you ever considered playing the fun parent for a night? I highly recommend it. But don't worry: By the next morning, I was back to my "PUT YOUR SHOES ON" self.