Christie Mellor Welcomes You To The Three Martini Complaint Department.

You may be one of those parents who run, white-faced and silently screaming, from Mommy-And-Me and similarly themed parental support groups. You might, like me, enjoy being a grown-up. You may have no compunction shooing away a doe-eyed youngster who has become annoying. You may have no wish to orbit around your own tiny sun. Perhaps, like me, you refuse to play "Children's Music" in the car as you run your errands, thinking it a fine time to introduce your youngsters to Bach, The Kinks, or progressive talk radio. It could be that, much like myself, you encourage hours of solitary playtime, which you feel makes for a more independent and self-reliant child. If you are anything like me, you do not run yourself ragged in the pursuit of pleasing and appeasing your youngsters. You and I have been known to say "No." Sometimes we even (gasp!) RAISE OUR VOICES. There are a growing number of us: parents, to a greater or lesser degree, who are attempting to retain their sanity and reclaim their grown-up lives. Some of us work, but we are not beset by the kind of guilt that forces us to abandon all reason and spend our every spare moment catering to the whims of our children.

But I am still taken aback by the occasional and surprisingly humorless reaction to some of my musings involving badly-behaved children and their parents-in-denial. Among the generally enthusiastic and positive Amazon reviews of my first book, The Three-Martini Playdate, one cranky reader wondered, "Does Ms. Mellor even LIKE children?" I admit to feeling kind of sniffy and put out when I first read that, but then I thought to myself, "Do I even like children? Do I like all children?" Because some of them are absolutely delightful, and some are obnoxious and insufferable. Golly! Just like real people! Well, it turns out children are actually people too, albeit smaller and often whinier than the big kind. And yes, they can be adorable and cuddly and whatnot, but I’ve always believed they should be judged on their individual merits, just like the rest of us.

Do you like every person you have ever met? I doubt it. I certainly have to do more than lisp adorably and bounce my moppet curls to get along in the world. I think children need to know that eventually their adorableness will start wearing off, and they'll need some actual personality, manners, and social skills. I am generally not enamored of people who are petulant and demanding, who hit me and then expect me to fetch them a snack, whether they are five or forty-five.

Having children is not just about having children; it’s about raising adults. They don’t look like adults yet, and heaven knows they don’t act like adults, but they will be, very soon. Wouldn’t you prefer to grow the kind of adults who are pleasant to be around? They will never be pleasant adults if Mommy and Daddy cannot say “no” to them for fear of hurting their feelings; Love, cuddle, and nurture; but if you have turned your child into a full-time project, it may be time to find a new hobby.

Welcome to the Three-Martini Complaint Department! Now, go chill the glasses, and have yourself a little grown-up time.
cinnamon282004
12.26.07

I have a 15 year old step son, who's mother gave him whatever he wanted so he would leave her alone, now he is with us and is learning that there are consequences to his actions, he is shaping up and becoming a better kid, and believe it or not, when she wanted him back, he came crying to us begging us to stay. He didn't want to go back to her, he preffered discipline and reward to getting what he wanted. So here's proof ladies, tell em no and follow through, it does work.

kimmy
11.05.07

Wow, you could have been describing me. I'm glad to see I'm not alone!

Chris
10.30.07

Great take!

codynleeann
10.12.07

I absolutely can not wait to read this book! I'm a busy working single mom, and I yell when necessary and tell my son that his behavior is completely unacceptalbe, and ignore him when its just too much to handle. But he has manners and interacts well with adults...I forget how good he is until I'm interacting with a child who has always been given everything he wants...what a pain! My son and I have an awesome relationship and know when to leave the other alone...and he's only 6! I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one out there! And I think 3 martini's is the perfect amount to not care about anything and have a great nights sleep!

DewGirl
10.06.07

I love my kids. All 4 of them. But sometimes, they make it so hard to do. I stayed home for 4 years. I had to get a job so that I could get a better benefits package. :)

MichiganMom (not verified)
09.26.07

I have many friends that ignore their kids bad behavior. I'd love to tell them that's how it got bad to begin with, but they wouldn't listen.

traceytax
09.11.07

I love my kids, I planned for my children, but I don't like them every minute of every day......I DO know it's my responsibility to make them into responsible adults...so I'm trying!

freuten
09.06.07

Holy cow! My sisters! I've found you! I can't wait to read this book...it sounds great (though I too am gonzo after a half glass of wine). As a police officer I can tell you absolutely, you reap what you sow. More often than not the kids I run into haven't been parented - neglectful drugged out/drunk parents, parents working so many jobs to provide basics that they physically can't be there, or (and somehow this is the worst) parents who refuse to engage and do their job - teach discipline, respect, responsability. It's funny how a little effort (ok lots of constant effort) with a toddler results in a kid who is nice to be around.

MidwesternMommy
09.05.07

I don't think the kid music in the car is so bad! The talking cars, toys, books and other crap grates on my last nerve, though!

Daisy
09.05.07

You know what kills me? That there's always that ONE kid in the preschool class, in playgroup, at the park. There is always one kid who is a total pain in the ass to be around. Interestingly, their moms are usually the ones on the cell phone, reading or otherwise totally ignoring their kid while he or she is pushing, bullying, butting in, taking toys, being rude or whatever. I don't really dislike those kids as much as I just try to avoid them. But their parents? Nope, can't stand them.